If you have turned on the news at any point in the last few years you will have seen Nick Eardley appearing back at you. Nick is one of the BBC’s most prominent political correspondents and has reported on all of the biggest political events in recent years, including two general elections, two Scottish Parliament elections, the Brexit process and the Covid pandemic. We are proud to induct Nick to the SACI Alumni Hall of Fame in recognition of his incredible career success! Keep reading to learn more about Nick.

Facebook logo on blue backgroundLinkedIn logo on blue backgroundTwitter logo on blue backgroundInstagram logo on blue backgroundYoutube logo on blue backgroundEnvelope icon on blue background

Nick studied MA Journalism at Edinburgh Napier University and graduated in 2011. 

Prior to joining ENU, Nick studied History and Politics. As an undergraduate student he was involved in a paper called The Journal. This was a local publication produced by students from all universities and colleges in the city. Nick met students from Edinburgh Napier during this time who he is still good friends with today. 

Nick enrolled at Edinburgh Napier in 2009 as a postgraduate student. The practical elements of the course were found to be the most beneficial to Nick’s career, such as when the class had to come together to produce a mock TV bulletin.  

“It was really rewarding getting to know people in a similar position to myself. We were all interested in journalism and each of us had to figure out our own path, but it was good to be able to bounce ideas off each other and support one another.”

While still a student, Nick got a job working at The Scotsman via a recommendation from a friend. The job involved doing sub-editing work for the website, which was great experience, but it meant working anti-social hours. It proved to be too difficult to do this and study. Getting industry experience was too beneficial to give up and therefore Nick decided to delay his dissertation. 

During this time Nick also did some work for The Guardian. This inspired his dissertation topic which looked at how hyperlocal news operated. After graduating in 2011 Nick remained at the Scotsman and eventually moved to the news desk. He kept his writing skills sharp by producing features for magazines during the festival. 

I loved working at the Scotsman. They are a really great group of people. I was quite young compared to a lot of people on the news desk, but they were all very supportive and helpful.

Nick moved to London to take up a job at the BBC working in the online team. This was around the time when online news was booming and becoming an important part of newsrooms across the UK.

This role involved writing features and magazine pieces about big news issues and human-interest stories. Nick was aware of the growing number of young people found to have gambling addictions and suggested doing a story about this to his editors. They took the idea to the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC Two who requested Nick make a TV piece about it. At the time Nick had only done one radio segment before, never mind a piece for TV, so this was a nerve-racking but exciting experience. Nick spent weeks working with a camera crew and producer and complied compelling case studies. The result was a 7-minute TV broadcast. This opened doors for Nick. 

I genuinely believe that journalism requires a bit of luck. I definitely work hard, but sometimes things have to fall into the right place at the right time as well.

Nick Eardley

Nick was offered a role as a political correspondent job at BBC Scotland. 

“I stayed in London but focused on Scottish politics. This was great because I met some wonderful people and received a lot of training. I visited the Glasgow newsroom and was introduced to people who I had watched growing up on TV. These stalwarts of Scottish broadcasting taught me a lot, but some of these lessons were sink or swim! 
“I remember being asked to watch a Parliamentary committee meeting and report back about what was said. It lasted two hours and nothing happened! I thought the purpose of the exercise was to practise my broadcasting skills and see if I could get through an imaginary radio report. However, five minutes later I was at Radio Scotland delivering my account on air! It was quite an experience.  
“Everybody at BBC Scotland was brilliant and gave me time to figure out how to be on TV and radio. It was the perfect place to get that grounding.” 

After two years of focusing on Scotland, Nick’s remit widened, and he became a political correspondent for the whole of the UK – a job he continues in today. 

There is no average day for Nick. He works on a rota system. Sometimes he starts at 5.30am and appears on BBC Breakfast and the Today programme. Other days he will be scheduled on a later shift and be responsible for doing the evening TV and radio news bulletins. 

Nick has reported on the biggest political events that have happened over the past few years, including two general elections, two Scottish Parliament elections, the Brexit process and the Covid pandemic. The past few years have been a busy time in politics, but it has proved how vital the role of a journalist is.

“One of the most important and rewarding parts of my job is trying to understand what is going on behind the scenes. I go to Parliament and speak to politicians, ministers, civil servants, and special advisors to try and figure what is happening and tell the audience why it matters.  
“During the pandemic, millions and millions of people would watch news bulletins, press conferences, and even more would watch the PM’s address. As I journalist I was relaying information about literal life and death stuff at a time when everyone was worried. There was a lot of pressure, but it made me realise how important the job can be.” 

Edinburgh Napier University is delighted to induct Nick Eardley to the SACI Alumni Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame recognises Edinburgh Napier alumni who have achieved excellence in their careers and who have made significant contributions to their profession.

“I am grateful to be inducted to the SACI Alumni Hall of Fame. It is nice that the University follows their alumni and what they have been up to since graduating.   
“I loved my time at ENU. I hope that there are lots of people studying now who get some of the opportunities that I was lucky enough to get and end up getting the job they want. 
“One thing about journalism that isn’t taught as such but can be forced, is the brazen confidence that is needed to phone up a person you have never spoken to before, or to approach someone very powerful and tell them that I think you might have something wrong. The course taught you to do things like that and to build up confidence.” 

Published May 2022