"NCTJ training is a must for any aspiring journalist." says BBC presenter

Nick Owen is a regional and national television journalist who is currently the main presenter on BBC Midlands Today. Nick is the NCTJ's featured alumnus for April 2011.

He began his journalism career with the Doncaster Evening Post, where he completed his NCTJ training, and has fond memories of his time there.

Nick said: "I went into journalism in the summer of 1969, as a graduate trainee with the now defunct Doncaster Evening Post. I had an eight week block release NCTJ course in Sheffield during my two years on the paper and I am still grateful for what I learnt there. The course was well run, interesting and extremely educational for someone who was rather naive about the wider world, as I was then. It was also good fun being with so many like minded individuals for that period of time!

“It was there that I learned shorthand (Teeline) which was, of course, immediately invaluable, whether I was attending a court hearing or a council meeting or just snatching a doorstep interview. However, it is still a vital tool for me today, even though I have been predominantly a TV presenter, rather than a reporter, for more than 30 years.”

Following his stint at the Doncaster Evening Post, Nick joined the Birmingham Post and then BBC Radio Birmingham before joining ATV Network’s sports department to cover the World Cup in 1982.

He originally joined TV AM as a sports presenter but within eight weeks had taken over the main presenting role in partnership with Anne Diamond and they continued to present the programme together for several years.

He then joined ITV Sport as presenter of Midweek Sport Special and also hosted the Olympic Games and the World Cup, as well as a variety of other sports programmes, including athletics and boxing and game shows Sporting Triangles and Hitman.

Nick renewed his partnership with Anne Diamond in 1992 when he moved to the BBC to co-present Good Morning with Anne and Nick. The programme ran for 600 episodes until 1996. He is now the main presenter on BBC Midlands Today.

Nick believes his NCTJ training has helped him throughout his career adding: “The NCTJ also gave me a valuable grounding in public affairs, the way the 'system' works and, of course, a grasp of media law is vital, more so in these litigious times than ever. All these ingredients are pivotal for the profession, absolutely basic, and I believe that NCTJ training is a must for any aspiring journalist."

In 2006 Nick was awarded the Baird Medal by the Royal Television Society, Midlands, for lifelong achievement in television.