Broadcast journalism students and staff at NTU’s Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism have teamed up with the Nottingham Post to broadcast live hustings in the run-up to polling day.
Debates with all candidates standing in the constituencies of Ashfield, Mansfield, Nottingham East and Rushcliffe, are being live-streamed on the Post’s Nottinghamshire Live Facebook page.
The 30-minute debates have each attracted audiences of 15,000 from across Nottinghamshire and the UK.
They are also to be shown on the city’s independent television station, NottsTV before the General Election on Thursday, December 12.
Students on the Broadcast Journalism undergraduate degree course, at Nottingham Trent University, have been responsible for producing and filming and broadcasting the live programmes which have been directed by their tutor Jannah Robinson and presented by their course leader Gail Mellors.
Both Gail and Jannah have worked as professional broadcasters before joining the teaching staff at NTU.
The initiative is an industry first for ReachPlc, which owns the Nottingham Post, as it has given the newspaper the opportunity to broadcast live content on its site from a professional television studio, on the university’s city campus.
It is also an extension of the partnership which already exists between the regional paper and the journalism department at NTU.
Speaking after the first husting, Nottingham Post editor Mike Sassi said; “We were genuinely bowled-over by the sheer professionalism of the broadcast. It was sparkling.
“Obviously, CBJ and The Post share a love of good journalism. But for these hustings we’ve also been able to dovetail CBJ’s great broadcasting expertise and fantastic facilities, with our excellent contacts and big local audience.
“It really is a win-win partnership, in the true spirit of the Post-NTU compact.
“My Deputy Digital Editor Dan Russell (a CBJ graduate and HPL) assures me that that there are no other partnership hustings like these (between universities and local media) taking place anywhere else in Britain.
“Which is possibly why every one of the six candidates, in what is a very high-profile local constituency, turned up for today’s broadcast.
“There are still four more hustings yet to take place. But I’m sure we’re not being presumptuous when we say that the partnership has already been a great success.“
It is now hoped the unique partnership will serve as a pilot for other regional newspapers in the group
Watch: Jess Coppins’ report.