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Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

Media Training

This training aims to equip students with basic media and presentation skills and is included as part of your degree. Training is provided by experienced BBC journalists Deborah Mackenzie and Simon Crutchley.

By the end of the training students will:

  • Be able to defend a political position in public, both in small groups and to international media
  • Be able to put themselves forward as a media spokesperson for e.g. a charity
  • Further develop presentation and debating skills necessary for challenging interviews
Training workshop

The training consists of 7 hours of teaching aimed at improving a student's pre-prepared presentation and enabling students to defend it against hostile questioning. Because we start with an analysis of the student's natural style and ability the course is suitable for students of differing abilities and cultural norms. No matter what their starting point or how presentation skills fit within their culture all students will improve on their abilities and learn what is expected in different environments.

The training is made up of short sections with diverse topics such as document analysis and précis, political slogan writing, soapbox politics, rhetoric, political marketing and media strategy, which fit together as a mosaic. We also include 90 minutes of speech training and basic journalistic skills and students will have experience of defending their position in a hostile media interview on radio and TV.

At the end of the training students will be able to confidently extract the essential arguments and proofs from a variety of source materials, assemble and present them, and argue a case against a knowledgeable opponent. Students are given a copy of their recorded interviews and presentations, along with handouts and video examples.

Groups are formed of up to 8 students and the course is diverse and fun, but intensive and above all highly practical. We provide a safe environment where students can explore their natural abilities and experiment with different rhetorical and presentation techniques: students are encouraged to make mistakes in a supportive and culturally aware environment.

About the trainers

Deborah Mackenzie and Simon Crutchley both have backgrounds in Politics and International relations and have combined 50 years of international broadcasting behind them. Deborah currently presents for BBC News 24 while Simon is a former BBC producer and both have taught generations of BBC staff.

In addition Deborah and Simon are experienced in teaching students with English as their second (or third) language and Deborah is also a qualified voice coach.

Listen to former CISD student (2011-12) Alireza Ahmadian speak on the BBC World Service radio documentary 'Ahmadinejad: The Populist and the Pariah'

Watch former CISD student (2010-11) Jack Hamilton's interview on Sky News (March 2012).

Sky News Interview - Jack Hamilton on Hostage Crisis in Northern Nigeria