How Journalism graduate Chris went from unpaid shifts to an award-winning career at ITV News

Chris Hall always had a passion for journalism and he knew that a Newspaper Journalism National Diploma from The University of Central Lancashire would help kickstart his career.

Chris had always aspired to work in Journalism. He witnessed his brother’s career take off soon after he obtained a National Diploma in Newspaper Journalism at UCLan a few years earlier. This motivated Chris to follow in his footsteps and study the same course, and it was a “no-brainer” that he’d also choose UCLan as the place to do it at.

Despite his love for Journalism, Chris initially set out to study a Spanish degree at another University, but later dropped out as he’d realised it wasn’t fulfilling him. He decided to go back to the one thing which he loved and was good at, newspaper journalism. When looking back at his time spent at UCLan, Chris recalls the lasting memories which he’ll always cherish and be grateful for. He remembers the “exceptional” teachings of his course leader, Vince Kelly, whose past as a Sports Reporter inspired Chris to fall in love with the profession. He is grateful for making lifelong friendships, “The people on my course are still some of my closest friends - 26 years on! It was a wonderful group and Preston was a really fun place to be a student”. Chris said.

Chris managed to find employment soon before completing his studies while on work placement at the Warrington Guardian. He was encouraged to apply for a job at their sister paper in Crewe and was soon taken on as a News Journalist. He then spent five years working for various regional and national newspapers, websites and even as Wigan Athletic’s Press Officer.

Chris Hall, Newspaper Journalism alumnus
Chris Hall, Newspaper Journalism alumnus

He volunteered to shadow and work unpaid shifts at ITV Granada, which he remembers to be the moment he “really caught the bug” for journalism. Chris was excited at the potential of becoming a full-time researcher when a job came up, and prior to the interview he “researched and rehearsed harder than I’d ever done before”. It all paid off when he secured the role in 2003.

Chris began by writing scripts and conducting interviews for other reporters before eventually getting to show his face on-screen. “Though I must say, no good TV reporters get into this job to be “On telly. We all just love using pictures, sound and scripting to tell stories. Finding a way to get in front of the camera is often the last thing we consider.” Chris said.

"Without UCLAN, I simply would not be in this career. It was because of its great reputation for producing high quality journalists that I was able to get a placement, an interview, and eventually my first job."

Newspaper Journalism graduate, Chris Hall

To this day, Chris remains at ITV, now as a Sports Correspondent. His job entails researching and conducting interviews, script news reports and presenting live reports on television both in studio and on location. Chris’ reports are showed on ITV Granada News bulletins as well as occasionally being broadcasted on national ITV News and Good Morning Britain.

Chris adores his job and is grateful for all the opportunities which have come along from it. He has been privileged enough to travel all over the world, covering world title fights, Champions League finals, and interviewing huge stars such as Sylvester Stallone and Sir Bobby Charlton.

There were many moments where Chris was proud of himself for how far he’s come along. A particular career highlight was when he was chosen to be the official on-stage host of the Europa League draw for UEFA in Monaco in 2008 and 2009, which he describes as a real “fish-out-of-water” experience and “biggest gig” of his life. He has also won several awards, two North West Royal Television Society Awards for Best Journalist and Best Presenter, four O2 Media Awards for best Sports Journalist and five ITV News Awards for Best Specialist Correspondent, Best News Report and Best Sports Correspondent.

If Chris had any advice for prospective Journalism students, it’d be to “keep your options open and be willing to do some unpaid shifts to get your face known. The job and the technology is constantly changing and you must always be willing to learn new skills and ideas.”

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Chris Hall, Newspaper Journalism alumnus
Chris Hall, Newspaper Journalism alumnus