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All Hail Professor Martin Conboy

Stepping away from Politics for two blog posts in a row but this is a special one for all that know him…

All Hail Dr Professor Conboy of the University of Sheffield!

Yes that is right folks. The man who was far too intelligent for the likes of me at the little old Surrey Institute of Art & Design University College has moved up in the world and now is officially even cleverer than he was previously – which was to be honest pretty darn clever. I like to think I’m not stupid but in the presence of genuinely dialled in people I feel pretty darn dumb. It is a bit like when doing a Pub Quiz machine with Sean – I’m not even in his league.

Professor Conboy is the author of the following publications:

* The Press and Popular Culture (2002)
* Journalism: A Critical History (2004)
* Tabloid Britain: Constructing a Community through Language (2006)
* The Language of the News: Communication and Power (2007)
* The Special Issue of Journalism Studies on Global Popular Journalism (2007)

So this is a) a short note of congratulations for the man and b) a note to all students who may pass under his – or any other lectureres/doctors/professors – wing. Actually listen to them, work hard and you can get a lot out of it. I didn’t and that was doing myself a disservice. I sailed through university with my only eyes on the practical side of Journalism and had little to no interest in the theory. It was this that turned by comfortable 2:1 into a 2:2. However whilst that might have been all fine and dandy in a practical sense, part of the journey of life and certainly university should involve expanding the mind.

For example Michel Foucault. I know of the name. I know he was pretty darn smart. Beyond that…

I am sure I spent the best part of fifty hours either in a lecture or in a seminar discussing the aforementioned scholar. Alas without doing any research I couldn’t tell you too much more about him. I zoned out. It wasn’t my interest and I’d have preferred to be spending this time either up in the print or radio newsroom. If I had my time again I’d take a legitimate interest to try and understand. So for all those at university or going to university in the future, heed my warning, make a real effort with every class you have. Whilst in the long run it might not directly help you career wise, what it will do is help your ability to learn along the greatest journey of all – life – and those who sail through life and stop learning are people I do feel sorry for.

So well done Professor Conboy on being awarded a personal chair and keep giving the students who pass through your door the opportunity to grow to become the men and women that they can be. If they choose to keep their mind closed then it is their loss but if you get through to a handful and help them achieve greater life goals then it is a job – and life – well spent.

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