Phil is an Associate Tutor in Sports Journalism
By PHIL JONES
It’s curious how life can take you full circle. My career began at a press agency in Salford, fresh from a course in journalism. Here I am, 35 years later, just down the road in neighbouring Trafford, helping inform the next generation of reporters and broadcasters as an Associate Tutor at University Academy 92.
The notion of a career circle, though, is to suggest the formation of a perfect round shape when, in truth, there have been various tangents and the odd squiggly line here and there. An imperfect, but nonetheless appealing, circle.
My life in journalism took me from Salford to London, from London to Atlanta, back to Salford again, taking in myriad adventures with local and national media, most enduringly with CNN and BBC Sport. Hosting more than 2,000 World Sport shows out of CNN’s HQ in Atlanta was rarely bettered; presenting the BBC’s flagship sports programme Grandstand was a dream fulfilled; reporting trackside at the Olympic Stadium on Super Saturday during London 2012 was beyond compare.
The highs were many, but not constant. A life in journalism and broadcasting undoubtedly has its pockets of turbulence. But it’s a wonderful world to inhabit, given the opportunity. And that opportunity, for so many, starts right here at UA92.
Since UA92’s inception, I’ve been captivated by the desire to do things differently here. That was the overriding appeal. One concentrated module at a time, no traditional end of year exams, a timetable that allows a study-life balance, industry-led teaching and an emphasis on each student’s personal development and well-being: it’s a fresh formula that shouts success. The launch of a Sports Journalism degree is just the latest of many exciting developments.
After decades in the journalism profession, there are some areas of work in which, honestly, I have to feign enthusiasm. But not at UA92. Not with what I’ve witnessed and experienced here already. This is a ground-breaking, trend-setting place of education, ready to burgeon and boom.
Given the creators of UA92, given my track record – if you forgive me parking my modesty for just a second – where better to follow your sporting and journalistic goals?
See you soon.