Mark has enjoyed a long career as a multi-platform broadcaster at the BBC and is currently the presenter of The View and Sunday Politics on BBC One Northern Ireland and the politics podcast, Red Lines on BBC Sounds.
In his visiting professor role, Mark will share his industry knowledge and experience with Ulster University’s undergraduate and postgraduate students in the School of Communication and Media.
Through a series of masterclasses and in-studio sessions, he will offer insights on the anatomy of a newsroom and how news programming is made, from radio and TV to online and podcasting. He will share interview, news-gathering and investigative techniques and help them to build the skill sets needed to be a presenter, producer or journalist.
Mark commented: “I’m delighted to be appointed to Visiting Professor at Ulster University - with which I have enjoyed a long-standing connection - I consider it a great honour. What I’m really looking forward to is supporting the next generation of Northern Irish journalistic and media talent in a very practical way. I’m hoping to offer them hands on experience of front-line reporting – the TV studio on the Coleraine campus is the perfect environment to help them hone their craft, whether that’s in front of or behind the cameras or podcast mics.
“I’m pretty sure that I’m going to learn from the students, just as much as I can share with them and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”
His association to Ulster University goes back decades and in fact he is not the first of his family to take up a role on the Coleraine campus. Two of his uncles worked there over many years: one in admissions and one in the physics department – he recalls spending many happy times on campus with them.
Mark, who was born in Derry~Londonderry and grew up in Limavady, is known for his keen interest in theatre and could often be found performing in the Riverside Theatre on the Coleraine campus, memorably alongside former Chancellor of Ulster University, James Nesbitt in a production of Oliver!
University Provost, Ulster University, Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan said of his appointment: “We’re very excited that Mark is joining the Ulster University community in a more formal capacity, having worked with us to host major events such as our Tourism Summit and recent US Trade Delegation visit this year. Mark has so much to offer our students - his unique and incredible front line media experience will really supercharge the learning experience for those on journalism and media programmes. Our students will no doubt be inspired by Mark as he generously shares his perspectives, industry insights and knowledge from an incredible 35-year career spanning the Troubles, the Belfast Good Friday Agreement and all major political milestones in between and in the years since.”
Mark begins his three-year tenure as Visiting Professor of Media this month.