Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

HE&me

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

HE&me

Article excerpt

Kevin Maguire is associate editor of and political columnist at the Daily Mirror. He previously served as chief reporter at The Guardian and was labour correspondent for The Daily Telegraph. A regular on television and radio, he also used to host his own programme on talk radio station LBC 97.3. A native of the North East, he was appointed visiting professor of journalism at the University of Sunderland last month

HE&ME_standfirst. May vary in depth - shorter is better. May also go over two columns depending on picture. Name of person interviewed in black, please

Where and when were you born?

South Shields on the coast of northeast England in 1960, third of six children. Dad was a miner, mam worked in a biscuit factory and as a cleaner.

How has this shaped you?

It gave me a work ethic and a fierce belief that life should and can be fairer for people who aren't born with a silver spoon in the mouth. Grumbling is understandable, but you've got to do something if you want a better world.

What do you hope to achieve in your visiting professorship?

Pass on my experience and do my bit to help students live their dreams.

Do you hope this might be a springboard into a new career?

Journalism's been good to me, so I'll stick with it unless journalism leaves me. I've had offers in the past, but I love what I do.

What is the future of print journalism?

Much rosier than we often shout! People will always want to buy the printed word in papers, magazines and books.

What role did higher education play in bringing you to this point in your career?

Studying politics at the University of York opened my eyes and raised horizons, not least by introducing me to new people from different backgrounds (they're called Southerners!). And a one-year journalism postgraduate diploma at Cardiff University was my passport to a job.

You've had a fair few splashes in your time at the Mirror. Is there one in particular that gives you most pride, and for what reasons?

Revealing that humans could be infected by mad cow disease won awards, and ringing John Prescott about his affair was surreal; but my favourite was helping a waitress win back her job when she was sacked...for eating an After Eight mint left on a table after a reception. Bonkers.

You were once described as a "mischief man". Is that how you'd regard yourself still?

I might be addicted to mischief, but I intend to cause trouble for the powerful who are guilty of sharp practice, corruption, hypocrisy and making the lives of less powerful people miserable. I won't pretend it isn't fun.

Which is more high-pressured: journalism or academia? …

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