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Chris Nightingale

BA (Hons) Sports Journalism
Graduated 2013

Headshot of Chris Nightingale

Tell us a little about your career so far.

I’ve now been working in the media industry for 14 years and I’ve learned a lot in that time. Whilst I was working for the BBC during my time at university, I covered the 2012 Olympics, EFL football and rugby union. I joined Sky the year I graduated in 2013 and have been there since. At Sky, I started as a researcher and am now out reporting regularly for Sky Sports News and also work as a Reporter for the Premier League.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve just finished working on the Women’s Ashes series. It was incredible to be involved in and, a few weeks ago, I was in Southampton providing live build-up to the ODI match at the Ageas Bowl. I also worked on the Men’s Ashes. This involved doing a 1-2-1 interview with Chris Woakes at The Oval.

With less than a week to go until the Premier League returns, all focus now changes to building up to that. On Sunday I was at the American Express Stadium in Brighton covering their pre-season match against Rayo Vallecano. For this I did a live interview with the Deputy Chairman Paul Barber, team news, goal updates followed by a post-match press conference with the Head Coach Roberto De Zerbi and interviews with players.

In terms of production work, I also regularly work on F1. This involves making race highlights for Sky Sports News.  

Why did you choose Solent?

I always knew Broadcast Journalism was the career I wanted to work in and the facilities available to me at Solent were just what I needed. Radio and TV studios, cameras and audio equipment and editing software were perfect for what I wanted to achieve. Secondly, the fact that the course was led by lecturers who were still active in the industry was a massive plus. Having BBC Solent pretty much opposite the university along with local professional sports teams was also useful.

Facilities at Solent prepared me for the job I do day-to-day now whether that be production, reporting for radio or TV and interview various subjects.

What was the best thing about your course lecturers?

I graduated ten years ago and still speak to them now. For me that’s a great indicator as to how they were with me, the advice they shared and the quality of the teaching they delivered. They were also honest. The industry is very competitive and can be tough at times and they never hid that. I never asked them for contacts, just guidance. When I started university, I didn’t have any contacts in the industry I wanted to work in. I’ve always made my own contacts within the industry and made sensible decisions.

Can you talk a bit about any opportunities you had to get practical experience?

In the first week of university, I joined the university TV station, which at the time was called Sonar TV. That immediately gave me a sense of belonging at the university and a group of new friends with similar interests across TV production. A friend and I started a university sports highlights show called ‘On The Ball’ – it gave us TV studio experience and access to an autocue.

I also discovered a production company in Southampton who were producing a weekly boxing highlight show called KOTV. I got involved with them on a weekly basis – my voluntary role included providing voice-overs, editing video and researching topics.

From there I got involved with BBC Sussex and Surrey, working as a paid Broadcast Assistant producing the weekly sports show on a Saturday which I loved. At the BBC I became part of the BBC College of Journalism, where I had access to additional training. My biggest opportunity whilst at university was when I got a role as a commentator for BBC Guernsey. I was finally able to combine all my experience in a live broadcasting environment. The skills I gained at university, developed at the BBC and Sky, are the ones I use now in my day-to-day roles.

What tips would you give to someone wanting a career in your industry?

Back yourself and get experience whilst you study, the time goes by before you know it. It’s a very competitive industry but you have to persevere and believe that you will achieve what you set out to achieve. It can be difficult at times, so just enjoy the journey and you will get to where you want to be. Also, be kind and polite no matter what, this is something I have stood by my whole life, and it goes a long way.