Journalism graduate is a broadcasting hot shot



A University of Lincoln journalism graduate has been named as one of television’s up-and-coming stars.


Waseem MirzaBBC news reporter and presenter Waseem Mirza, who graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University in 2002, was listed as a Hot Shot 2008 by Broadcast magazine. The publication is the major trade journal of the television and radio industry.


The Hot Shot awards are held every year to recognise the industry’s rising stars. Previous Hot Shot winners include Jay Hunt, the BBC One controller, and Stephen Merchant, co-creator of the hit comedy series The Office.


Waseem, who joined his fellow winners in a photo shoot at Pinewood Studios, will now appear in the magazine’s Who’s Who of rising young talent.


The 28-year-old, who works for BBC TV East as a multimedia broadcast journalist, said: “The story that Broadcast focused on was an exclusive I did about MRSA. I had to put in a Freedom of Information Act request and discovered that one particular hospital had a shocking number of patients contracting MRSA compared to the rest of the region. That was in 2007 while I was working at BBC South Today in Oxford.”


Waseem, who joined the BBC directly from the University of Lincoln, paid tribute to the University’s Journalism Programme Leader Deborah Wilson for helping him get his all-important first foot in the door.


He said: “You cannot really get ahead in this industry without some sort of work experience. You have got to show you are committed and really serious about a career. In my first year Deborah was really keen to get me doing some work experience straight away. She had lots of contacts because she worked in the BBC for decades. Using her contacts, she was able to get me a work placement in the BBC at Leicester and that’s really where it all started.”


After getting his face known at Leicester, Waseem secured himself a temporary job as a researcher at BBC World whilst still studying at Lincoln. When he graduated he won a job at BBC East in Norwich, before switching to his current base in Cambridge.


Deborah Wilson said: "Waseem was a real joy to teach; his energy and commitment, along with an evident passion for journalism and broadcasting, meant he shone from day one.  He sought out every opportunity to develop his skills both in coursework and on work experience.  Waseem is a terrific example of what can be achieved if you've the stamina to work hard and learn from the experience of those around you. “