The NCTJ’s alumnus of the month for August is Robert Nisbet, currently Sky News’ US correspondent based in Washington D.C and soon to become Europe correspondent in Brussels.
During the presidential election in 2008 Robert spent most of his time on the campaign trail, interviewing Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani and others. He also reported live among the crowds lining Pennsylvania Avenue on inauguration day.
In addition Robert covered the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s death from Los Angeles and has also filed reports from around the Americas including tracking the elusive canoe couple in Panama and following the career of Venezuela’s maverick President, Hugo Chavez.
Robert started his career on local radio following his NCTJ training at Cardiff University, before joining BBC Radio 5 Live where he won a Sony Award for his work on Entertainment News. He later worked on BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat, BBC Liquid News and The Morning Show before becoming BBC News’ Los Angeles correspondent.
Robert joined Sky News in January 2005 as a special correspondent. Before becoming US correspondent he filmed a series of undercover reports on religious extremism in America’s mid-west, assessed voter reaction to the general election campaign and even reported live from the Oscars in Hollywood. He also interviewed former vice-president Al Gore live about his environmental concerns and fronted Sky News Green Britain: The Bigger Picture, a week of programmes dedicated to the environment.
Speaking about how his NCTJ training has helped him throughout his career, Robert said:
“I studied at the Cardiff School of Journalism back in 1990 and still remember much of what I learned from the NCTJ training course. The production days allowed us to apply the skills we were taught in the classroom, from shorthand in the field to the legal restrictions when reporting from court.
“Put simply, the training provided a solid foundation on which I could build my career in journalism. You can glean the information from a textbook, but the training helps you apply the skills in a dynamic environment.
“The British news media is, quite rightly, being scrutinised after recent developments, so a course outlining public affairs and media law is more important than ever for those setting out on a career in journalism. The increase in ‘user generated content’ and the burgeoning digital news landscape means the importance of a well-devised and balanced training course cannot be overstated.”