Journalism Lecturer to Cover World Cup
As the world's media flocks to Russia for the FIFA World Cup, one of Falmouth's own will be lining up alongside them.
Multimedia Journalism lecturer, Kevin Bishop, will be combining his love of football and journalism when he teams up with the BBC for football's biggest spectacle. Kevin will be looking after the BBC's pitch side live positions, being their eyes and ears on the ground, and helping them find the best stories to tell the audience back home.
And he's the perfect man for the job, for it was while in Russia that he first discovered journalism was the career for him.
He recalls it well. He was at a dinner at the British Embassy in Moscow. It was 1986, the gin was flowing and, by sheer chance, Kevin spied a note pinned to a board at the Embassy's entrance. It was from the international broadcaster NBC, looking for help in the evenings. In a moment of inspired courage, Kevin pocketed the note so no one else would see it and headed to the nearest phone box to call the number.
"I made that phone call and ended up working my first shift the very next evening," he says. "I then spent the next six years working for NBC in Moscow and London. It was a fascinating time as it marked the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of Yeltsin. I ended up in the country after studying Russian at university and taking a job as a group leader for British students studying over there. Little did I realise I'd end up reporting on some of the biggest global stories of that decade."
Nor did Kevin realise that he'd end up working as a journalist for the next 30 years. In a career spanning the globe, he went from NBC to the BBC, where he specialised in foreign news and sports journalism, producing interviews with the likes of Prince Charles, David Beckham and Vladimir Putin.
He adds: "I've always loved sport and from 1998 onwards I looked after running the coverage of the England football side for the BBC. I went to every World Cup with them from France '98 onwards, apart from South Africa in 2010 as I was heavily involved in the preparations for the London 2012 Olympics.
"I was working on a programme called World Olympic Dreams where we focussed on 25 athletes from different countries around the world, one of whom was Usain Bolt, following their journey to London. The stories we told were less about their performance and more about what their sport meant to them and their country, and how sport has shaped their lives. It was an experience, taking me to Brazil, Iraq, Kenya, the Caribbean and many more places in between."
Kevin left the BBC in 2015 and, within ten minutes of walking through the door of his first guest lecture, knew higher education was the next step for him.
"My focus on teaching journalism tends to focus on creative problem solving," he says. "As a journalist, you never know what's coming next so you have to think on your feet. Journalism is essentially focussed on finding out about other people's lives. There's so much creative crossover here in Falmouth that it makes it the perfect place to do it. Another added bonus is the opportunities for students to get real experience. Especially in Sports Journalism, where the access you get from the local sporting clubs is second to none."