I teach on Coventry University's unique postgraduate course in Automotive Journalism. There are usually five to seven students each year (some of them seen above meeting Ferrari's Jason Harris, and a California) and many graduates are now working in automotive publishing or the motor industry.

The course mixes theory and practice, and covers essential journalism skills, journalism practice with a focus on automotive stories and media, and an introduction to cars and the motor industry. The topics I cover include:

  • Automotive industry - history, current and future technology, manufacturing, marketing, challenges and future
  • Journalism skills - news and feature writing, interviewing, research, writing for print and online, audience analysis
  • Specifics of automotive journalism - automotive contacts and networks, road testing, car photoshoot techniques
  • Print production - digital images for print, page design, Adobe InDesign, content planning and flatplanning, managing a production process
  • Other subjects - digital presentations, professionalism and entrepreneurialism/freelancing

cropley 6890I also regularly bring guests from automotive media, the motor industry and motorsport to meet students or give guest lectures. Guests I've invited in recent years include:

  • Murray Walker - legendary F1 commentator
  • Steve Cropley - editor in chief of Haymarket motoring titles and Autocar columnist (right)
  • Gavin Green - CAR contributor and former editor
  • Jon Quirk - a former student, now editor in chief of Auto Trader
  • Sue Baker - freelance motoring journalist and former Top Gear presenter
  • Karun Chandhok - racing driver and commentator
  • Mike Valente - renowned automotive photographer
  • Jason Harris - head of communications, Ferrari North Europe
  • Chris Thorp - then editorial director, Newspress

For more on the course see the web pages for Coventry University's media department.

Awards

Coventry University Teaching and Learning Excellence Awards 2014 – nominated for the award in Digital Literacy

Coventry University Student Union Awards 2012 – winner, Most Innovative use of Technology in Learning