Sky Sports News executive editor joins NCTJ board

Andy Cairns, executive editor at Sky Sports News, has been appointed as a director and trustee of the NCTJ and will chair the charity’s accreditation board.

Andy has worked for the 24-hour sports news channel for the last 18 years. He oversees a team of 150 journalists working on TV and online, and also has experience of leading a team of radio journalists. An NCTJ alumnus, Andy started his career on local newspapers in Surrey and South London before joining BBC East and then BBC News as a producer. He moved to Sky News, where he worked as a reporter, presenter and sports editor, before launching Sky Sports News in 1998.

Andy has been a member of the accreditation board since its inaugural meeting in September 2010, and as its new chair, succeeds Chris Elliott, who is stepping down as The Guardian’s readers’ editor and from the NCTJ board. Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, is also leaving the NCTJ board after completing the maximum term of office for directors. He will continue to support the work of the charity in other ways including working with the Journalism Diversity Fund.

Andy’s objectives are to work with the NCTJ’s centres running accredited courses to see a continual improvement in standards and to ensure they understand the rapid changes within the industry and are equipped to teach the appropriate skills.

Andy said: “I am honoured to follow Chris Elliott as chair of the accreditation board. I’m determined to ensure students get value for money when they commit to an NCTJ-accredited course and I’d like to look at ways to simplify the accreditation process for centres. I’m also a passionate advocate of diversity and want to see an increase in diversity among journalism students and accreditation board members. I’m especially keen to ensure training centres meet the target of a 25 per cent female intake per sports journalism course by the end of this parliament.”

NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher said: “We’re delighted to welcome Andy to the board and to the chairmanship of the accreditation board. He is a great advocate for good training, a passionate believer in journalism and an expert in the way the industry is changing. Chris and Bob have brought a huge amount to the NCTJ board over many years. We owe them both a huge debt.”