Martin Bright

Bloody Students: The Next Generation

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I've been teaching the politics specialism at City University's journalism course and I've been pleasantly surprised how much fun it has been.

I was warned before I started that my student would be barely literate, apathetic lumps with just a passing knowledge of British politics. I was surprised how few of them regularly read a newspaper, but I have found them, for the most part, well informed and engaged.

My job is to provide them with insights into the job of a political reporter, which mainly involved me droning on about my scoops and great victories over the forces of darkness. But from time to time I wheel out a special guest. So far we have had Boris Johnson's policy advisor Anthony Browne, Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey and, just last week, the Labour Party's answer to Barack Obama, Chuka Ummuna, the prospective candidate for Streatham.

As part of their "training" as journalists, all students on the course are asked to write a blog. One of my students, Simon Neville, thought I went too far this week in showing my gratitude to Mr Ummuna.

"I believe he was given an easy ride today," writes the cheeky  Neville. "Maybe it was because of the short amount of time we got with him, maybe it was Martin Bright's evident awe of him (I’ve never seen Brighty quite so eager, muttering sounds of agreement throughout), or maybe his message of genuinely making politics engaging for today’s youth really resonated with a room full of students in their twenties."

But just to give you a taste of the young talent in British journalism here are some examples of  the City students' blogs:

Benjamin Martin on The Times's coverage of the Paul Gilfoyle murder case.

Alex Ralph on Gordon Brown's lack of contrition

Oliver Shah on Jacqui, Tessa and Harrier

Etan Smallman on Obama's web guru

Hannah Hudson on Anna Politkovskaya 

Martina Booth on Death and Jade Goody

Michael Haddon on the launch of LabourList