David Barber

David has worked in journalism and broadcasting for over three decades, and now teaches radio production as a visiting lecturer at the University of Buckingham.

His career as producer ranges from an RTS award-winning programme about Hillsborough - to working with Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt on a radio documentary about singer-songwriter Nick Drake.

“All those memorable moments are rooted in the training I was given by the NCTJ at the beginning of my journalistic life, and so I’ve been able to work successfully in newspapers, TV and radio.” he says.

After writing for Leeds Student at university, David joined The Star in Sheffield as a graduate trainee where he completed his NCTJ Proficiency Certificate in Practical Journalism.

Among his fellow Star trainees was the current NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher.

David said: “Kim joined the year before me, and the last time we met at an NCTJ event, we were reminiscing about the invaluable training we received from some fantastic journalists.

“The experience I gained then as a reporter coupled with my NCTJ studies in law, public administration and shorthand have always stood me in good stead.”

He admits that he found learning shorthand a real struggle, but persistence paid off and much to his surprise and thanks to a very patient teacher, he managed to get 110 wpm.

“When it came to reporting court cases and council meetings with a deadline looming, I could put all that training into practice.

“Crucially it’s given me the ability to identify key facts and tell a story accurately under pressure – whether filming undercover for an investigation into teenage drug use in America or reporting from the scene of a major international story like Lockerbie.”

After 5 years at The Star, David joined the BBC and, during a varied career he worked in production and management roles.

Among the highlights – giving aspiring pop star Rick Astley his first TV appearance; being part of the launch team for Radio 5 live; and helping different networks win 4 Sony Station of the Year awards.

Now as a university lecturer, he is training the next generation of journalists and broadcasters.

“Grabbing an audience’s attention in what is an increasingly crowded marketplace is crucial, so the skills I learned with the NCTJ are still vital whether I’m writing my daily Blog or using social media to cover a story.”

June 2012