Ian Whittell

Senior Lecturer

Digital, Tech, Innovation & Business

I have been a lecturer and course leader at Staffordshire University for three years but a working journalist for over three decades.

After graduating from Durham University, I spent three years with the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, first as a news journalist and then on sport, gaining NCTJ qualifications in the process.

After a spell with a north-east freelance agency, where I began working for national newspapers, I moved to The Sun newspaper in Manchester for three years, covering a variety of national and international sports events, predominantly football.

In 1995, I established my own freelance agency which, over time, grew into a fully national operation employing, at its peak, 15 full-time journalists. That agency still thrives today and we have contracts to provide content to, among others, The Times and I newspapers.

I have a wealth of knowledge of the industry and have been by-lined in every national newspaper, most of the country's leading provincial papers plus a wide variety of other magazines, agencies (AFP, AP, Reuters), websites (BBC, ESPN) and publications.

Among thousands of events I have covered for national newspapers are Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Football World Cups and European Championships, FA Cup Finals, NBA Finals, Super Bowls, Tour de France, boxing title fights, cricket test matches and world championships in sports ranging from swimming to basketball to cycling. I have conducted exclusive interviews with hundreds of high-profile sports personalities, a varied list which includes Jose Mourinho, Michael Jordan and Lance Armstrong.

I also have experience of appearing on television (Sky Sports) and radio and have worked in sports public relations on a freelance basis for, among others, Nike, USA Basketball and the NBA.

I remain a director of the agency and combine my work at Staffs with assignments covering Premier League football and other sports for a number of national newspapers – predominantly The Times and Sunday Times – at weekends and evenings.

Academic qualifications

BA Hons English Literature; Full NCTJ diploma


Impact of Brexit on sport; sports funding in the UK; sports governance; NBA basketball.

Research interests

Impact of Brexit on sport


I teach on a wide variety of modules, ranging from practical skills such as sportswriting and production journalism to our “flagship” Newsday module, a weekly “real world” simulation in which students generate and broadcast original radio and television programmes.


Widely published in numerous publications on an on-going, regular basis. e.g.




in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021