Universally respected former trainer receives 2017 NCTJ chairman's award

David Holmes, an exceptional broadcast, newspaper and digital journalist who has trained and inspired the careers of hundreds of journalists, has been honoured with the 2017 NCTJ chairman’s award for his outstanding contribution to journalism training and education.

NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher presented the award to David at the Awards for Excellence gala dinner at Hampton Court Palace on Thursday, 23 November.

Universally respected and popular, nominations for David to be recognised by the industry for his outstanding contribution to journalism education and training came from his students, former students, his colleagues at the University of Sheffield and those he has worked closely at the NCTJ.

During the presentation, Kim praised David as “dedicated, enthusiastic, patient and always willing to go the extra mile”.

David stepped down as a lecturer in the department of journalism studies at the University of Sheffield in July 2017 where he led the NCTJ-accredited MA journalism course. In his final year in charge, the course has been recognised by the NCTJ as the top performing university post graduate course in the UK.

David began his career as an indentured NCTJ trainee on the Morning Telegraph newspaper in Sheffield, where he also worked as municipal correspondent, reporting the affairs of Sheffield City Council when it was led by a young and influential David Blunkett.

He moved to broadcasting in 1986, working as a reporter, producer, news editor and editor at BBC Radio Sheffield. He reported live from the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 and produced a live link-up with BBC Radio Merseyside a few days later. He also worked as a bi-media editor in BBC radio and television in Leeds, and was trained in BBC online production skills.

David joined the university in 2003 where he always managed the difficult task of teaching students everything they needed to know about traditional journalism skills and at the same time keeping pace with digital developments and integrating them fully into his teaching.

David has been a strong supporter of the NCTJ for many years, masterminding the skills conference when it was staged in Sheffield in 2014. He represented higher education postgraduate courses on the accreditation board, and chaired the NCTJ’s postgraduate higher education forum.

In his presentation at the gala dinner, Kim added: “David’s legacy is the deserved reputation for his university’s journalism department, skilled and talented working journalists for the industry and a robust and rigorous accreditation scheme for the NCTJ.