One of the BBC's most experienced investigative journalists Kurt Barling has joined Middlesex University's School of Media and Performing Arts as Professor of Professional Practice.
As a current practitioner, the BBC London Special Correspondent has been tasked with 'bringing the outside world in', giving students access to his expertise and bringing expert practitioners into the University. This has kicked off with a series of talks from high profile journalists and broadcasters including former war correspondent Martin Bell, Five Live presenter Dotun Adebayo, and ex-Newsnight editor Sian Kevill.
Professor Barling said: "In order for students to be employable we need to ensure their awareness of the industry is relevant. They still do critical thinking and cultural critique but the course here is a practical based course, which means they don't just think they do, and in order to 'do' you need outlets for that. I want students to experience the buzz of making programmes and filming the lecture series will make that happen."
"I want to open minds of our students to working in this industry. There's no point going into the world of journalism being starry eyed. We are in a world that is fragmenting, we don't get jobs for life anymore, the world is more freelance and people need to have more skills. The sooner students are aware of that the better they'll be in securing sustainable employment. "
Middlesex University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Waqar Ahmad, said: "We are delighted to welcome Professor Barling and the wealth of experience and expertise as a broadcast journalist he brings. His contribution to Middlesex is already making an impact in bringing industry figures into the University and further preparing our students for a potential career in the media."
Professor Kurt Barling gained a PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics where he was a Lecturer before joining the BBC in 1989, almost immediately covering the fall of the Berlin Wall. A documentary-maker as well as a journalist, he is currently writing a book on terrorism. He has been recognised for his journalism with national awards on several occasions and has been the Special Correspondent for the BBC in London since the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001.
Professor Barling says his mission at Middlesex is to "share my craft, nurture fresh talent and broker real opportunities for the next generation of creatives".