Clarence energised and inspired students at City College Brighton with an exciting, informative and engaging talk on Monday. Clarence spoke about his time as a junior reporter, through working for the BBC and the Cabinet Office, to his current position on the European media team of PR firm Burson-Marsteller. He also spoke about his selection as the Tory PPC for Brighton Pavilion and his campaign in general.
The reaction amongst students was great, with lots of questions being asked on a range of topics.
Ceirney Eddie, a student at the college studying for her National Copuncil for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) qualifications, said "Clarence Mitchell gave a very informative account of his experiences within journalism, the 'political machine' and as a spokesman for the McCanns. His discussion was encouraging and inspiring for all of us studying journalism.
The highlights from the talk were his stories about covering the first Gulf War and the Balkans conflicts and the atrocities he witnessed during events. He also told some brilliant anecdotes about the part he palyed play in breaking the news that Margaret Thatcher was prepared to use the Army during the Miners' strike of 1984-85.
Overall, an extremely entertaining and engaging discussion. He allowed us to ask questions about his career and also about his political beliefs."
Jan Goody, Journalism Course Leader, said "It was fortunate that Clarence's visit chimed with the McCann's news update on BBC Crimewatch as he is their press spokesman and was able to give fascinating insights particularly into how the Portuguese police dealt with the case"
Speaking afterwards, Clarence said "It was great to meet the journalism students at City College. Speaking to them very much reminded me of my time as a trainee reporter at the Westminster Press Training Centre in Hastings back in 1981-82. Gaining NCTJ qualifications was just as vital for a young journalist then as it is today.
I stressed the need to never give up in applying for places in one of the most competitive industries of all. Newsdesks look for determination and those young journalists or producers at City who show the right level of drive and commitment will always succeed in the media.
Some great questions from the group as well. I'm looking forward to going back sometime soon."