LECTURING page 2 – awards and testimonials

These awards include:


National course of the year for excellence and innovation 2009
National course of the year for excellence and innovation 2010
National course of the year for political reporting 2010
National award for multimedia journalism 2010 (overall winner)
Silver award for live news reporting 2011
Student documentary of the year 2011
Student of the year award (overall winner) 2011

Royal Television Society (RTS)

RTS southern region, student factual film of the year nomination (Coastlines, 2011)
RTS southern region, student factual film of the year nomination (Karet, 2011)
RTS national student factual film of the year, national shortlist (Karet, 2011)

European League of Institutes for the Arts (ELIA) Neu/Now festival, Estonia, 2011

Exhibitor (online festival) Coastlines (documentary), 2011
Exhibitor (festival and online festival) Karet (documentary), 2011

BBC College of Journalism

BBC Academy postgraduate award for Innovation in Journalism, 2012
BBC Academy postgraduate award for Innovation in Journalism, 2013

News International/Sunday Times

Build the News award for digital journalism, 2014

The course at Winchester involves regular visits from guest professionals, who work with the students in the newsroom on the production of weekly editions. Visiting guest editors often remark on the quality of the teaching and of student work. Typical comments include the following:

“The quality of student work from students at Winchester is extraordinary. The sharpness of the students the quality and sophistication of the content and the presentation is really admirable. I have seen a student television programme of this kind of quality.

“The election programme I saw is proper journalism and it is the same as the BBC is doing and it is as good as anything the BBC is doing. As these students go forwards in their careers they will take that with them and as editors interview them for jobs, their experience at Winchester will give them very, very real experience to draw upon.”

SAM WOODHOUSE, Editor, BBC Elections Unit

“The quality of the programme is exceptional – probably higher than in any other undergraduate journalism course in the country.
“This is my final year and I would just like to say that it has been a privilege to watch this excellent course grow and develop over the past four years.
The structure of the practical work, always of a very high standard and brilliantly conceived, has gone form strength to even greater strength. Winol and the Innocence Project. with its very strong supervision, are inspiring examples of journalism education.

DR HUGH BARNES, ex-Financial Times and The Economist, external examiner, BA journalism

“The attitude of the students is absolutely phenomenal. The students I saw would fit into a newsroom as soon as they graduate. The way the course is run doesn’t happen in every university, it isn’t commonplace. What you have go going here is really special. How many universities up and down the country would be able to do a live programme on the day’s breaking news, and do that again and again? Not many. The teamwork that I witnessed during my visit was phenomenal.”

RICHARD EVANS, Senior producer, Sky News

“I had no idea that journalism students were doing things at this level. It is fantastic and I was completely blown away by the professionalism of the students’ work.”

LAURA BARTON, senior feature writer, The Guardian.

“The two top stories which I was (on the newsday observed) could have lead any regional news bulletin in the country. The whole operation was very impressive and the amount of learning that was taking place was remarkable.”

RICHARD SLEE, senior News Correspondent, BBC News

“If students have been at a place like Winchester and they have the experience and resources at such a high level they will stand out in the job market.”

“So impressive, all the students are so confident and competent. The students are so lucky to be in amongst such expert tutors who are so obviously in tune with what it is like to be in the workforce. And also the technology you have is amazing.”

MARIA MILANO, online editor, InStyle magazine (IPC magazines)

“Winchester students get an excellent training. Full multimedia training is a unique skill and students at Winchester get just that.”

CHRIS SHIP, political editor, ITV News/ITN

“Winchester (journalism) is a real replica of what goes on in the industry. A course and an environment like this is a real opportunity to experience the reality of working as a journalist, and so they are in a really good position to get jobs.”

IAN ANDERSON, BBC World Service Trust, former output editor BBC 10 O’Clock News

“Being on a BJTC course is important in starting a career and if you have worked on a project that has won a national award that will make you stand out. The awards that Winchester students are winning are very well deserved and it is great to see such a new course producing such outstanding work”.

ALEX GIRLIS, BBC College of Journalism and BJTC National Council.

“I love the way the Winchester journalism courses simulate the reality of journalism. When I visited Winchester it was great that it was organized like a real newsroom – just like I would see in a professional news organisation. It was excellent.
“… before my visit to Winchester I had never seen a college send their students out to cover a general election live, working as proper journalists. It was really impressive and the atmosphere amongst the students was really positive.”

LOUISE BAMFIELD, Managing Editor APTV (Associated Press) and BJTC national Council

“This course is really, really impressive. The facilities are fantastic and the moment I walked into the student newsroom there was a buzz. It was brilliant and really professional – nothing beats actually doing the job, and that is what the Winchester students do on a daily basis. The way this course work makes students so much more employable. It is excellent.”

RACHEL CANTER, Reporter, BBC South

“Journalism and television is changing all the time, so to have people who are actually on the inside of the industry training you is exactly what you need. I am really impressed by the way students at Winchester train within a range of roles so they are truly multi-skilled. Students at Winchester are taught by people who are actually in the industry. That is excellent and exactly what is needed.

RACHEL HEPWORTH, presenter/journalist, ITV News/ Meridian

“It was absolutely fantastic to watch the training that was going on when I visited the students. They were superb. These students are getting the inside track knowledge. … and this is the best student journalism I have ever seen”.

KAY OLIVER, senior journalist, GMTV

“The journalism training and education at Winchester is ahead of the industry itself.”

MIA COSTELLO, BBC South and BBC College of Journalism

“I am very, very impressed and even slightly envious of the equipment you have to train on. It is very, very professional and what is going on the journalism course at Winchester is great stuff.

“What the university is doing is absolutely essential for the industry. Multi-skilled graduates are like gold to a newsroom. The quality of the students and the work they do as a team is right up there with the best I have ever seen. Editors and employers are going to be chasing graduates from the Winchester journalism courses”.

IAN MURRAY, editor, Southern Daily Echo (NewsQuest)

“The training that Winchester students get is incredibly well done. It is fantastic because simply to be able to do the job week after week gives you a tremendous advantage and will be a tremendous advantage as well in progressing in the industry when you get your foot in the door in the profession.”

FIONA FOSTER, ITV national network news presenter

“The students I saw during my visit to Winchester did extremely well, handling a live breaking news story. I was very, very impressed by the standard of student work, particularly the sport element which was I think good enough to grace any of the BBC’s regional output. These are students just starting out in television, radio and online news and I was thoroughly impressed by the way they gelled together as a team. There are some very promising young journalists here.”

MIKE SMARTT, founder-editor, BBC News Online

“Some of the student work I have seen at Winchester is the best I have ever seen outside a professional newsroom….
“The courses at Winchester are in many ways in leading journalism training in this country…
“I have been tremendously impressed with the quality of the students and the energy and determination that they show.

ROB KIRK, head of training and development at Sky News, former home news editor, Sky News.

“The advances that have been made [on this course] are remarkable. The students I saw were already working in the way all journalists will work in the future. The work at Winchester is a testing ground for developments which will be taken up in the industry itself They are ahead of the industry itself. And the degree of enthusiasm of the students was outstanding. They were the most engaged group of students I have seen in 40 years”.

Martyn Hurd, BJTC Hon Treasurer and former MD of ITN

Broadcast Journalism Training Council

BJTC national course of the year for excellence and innovation 2009
BJTC national course of the year for excellence and innovation 2010
BJTC national course of the year for political reporting 2010
BJTC national award for multimedia journalism 2010 (overall winner)
BJTC silver award for live news reporting 2011
BJTC student documentary of the year 2011
BJTC student of the year award (overall winner) 2011
[2009 was the first year of entry]

Royal Television Society (RTS)

RTS southern region, student factual film of the year nomination (Coastlines, 2011)
RTS southern region, student factual film of the year nomination (Karet, 2011)
RTS national student factual film of the year, national shortlist (Karet, 2011)
[2011 was the first year of entry]

European League of Institutes for the Arts (ELIA) Neu/Now festival, Estonia, 2011

Exhibitor (online festival) Coastlines (documentary), 2011
Exhibitor (festival and online festival) Karet (documentary), 2011

BBC College of Journalism

BBC Academy postgraduate award for Innovation in Journalism, 2012
[2012 was first year of entry]

I might be noted that the BJTC has given its annual national course of the year award for innovation and excellent in every year that the BA journalism course has been offered in its current form. Further the BJTC has given this award to courses lead by the current programme leader for journalism at Winchester in five out of the last six years.

2007 Periodicals Training Council

PTC Student Magazine Project of the Year.




[I was negotiating with NCTJ for a joint BJTC/NCTJ validation for my courses at Westminster earlier this year, and had this initial feedback from the NCTJ curriculum development officer Andy Bull – my emphasis in bold]

Dear Chris

Many thanks for your time last Friday. It was very illuminating to see in detail what you are doing with your various courses, including your magazine pathway. I have to say what you offer is really outstanding and I hope very much that we can partner with you. As mentioned, I am seeking universities that would like to work with us in piloting the new Magazine Journalism syllabus that we went through. I would offer practical support in any form you felt necessary, but from seeing what you do I don’t think your staff or students would have any problems with the new syllabus.

All best wishes

Andy Bull
[email June 18th 2007]

Bob Atkins Prize for Innovation in Teaching awarded to MA journalism, University Westminster for academic session for 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. Citation from Jim Latham, secretary BJTC.

“Because of the huge changes taking place in the broadcast and journalism industries, it is important that we recognise institutions that are embracing the convergence of the two disciplines. Westminster continues to catch the eye with its innovative courses at the cutting edge of journalism training, and they set down a marker for the delivery of such courses in the future,”


Excerpts from BJTC re-validation inspection of my course at Westminster University, March 2007.

[Student radio work was] “very imaginative and with previous visits the standard of the long-form work was very impressive.” … “projects were of a very high standard – we particularly liked the Scientology piece, and were not surprised to hear that the material had been used for an hour-long special on BBC Radio Five Live.”

“Online journalism has assumed a more important role in the delivery of this course each time we have come here. The online framework for the delivery and the support it now offers to students is exemplary.”

“The panel were very impressed with the substantial progress which has been made – particularly looking back at the state of this course five or six years ago before the arrival of Chris Horrie and the re-organisation of his team”.

[The course was upgraded to full multi-media status, for three years with no conditions. This is the highest form of endorsement the BJTC can give.]

The new course leader Chris Horrie had only recently arrived in Winchester at the time of the last visit – but he has now made significant changes in the structure of the course, which are reflected elsewhere in this document – and it now represents very much the kind of multi media, multi platform course which the BJTC envisages meeting the needs of training journalists for the digitally converged present and future. …

Online is now at the heart of this new multi platform course structure and is fully integrated into every aspect of the course. Here, at least, the University is setting standards which other better equipped and longer established would do well to emulate.

I’ve spent a lot of time on various recent visits looking at what is being delivered online, and it works wonderfully well. Not surprising, given the substantial experience Chris Horrie gained setting up a similar system at Westminster….

I was able to talk to the entire third year following their television newsday. At this stage in the redevelopment of the course, it seemed to be particularly important to focus on them, since it was their concerns and complaints which informed last year’s highly critical report.

There was no dissent from the view that the course has improved massively and is now delivering what these specialist journalists required….

The transformation which has taken place within the space of less than a year is remarkable by any standards – and we have seen some struggling or new courses pull themselves together in a similarly remarkable fashion – but nothing quite as complete as has happened here.

[In 2006 I created a real-time online newsroom simulator which was then developed by the BBC as the core of its College of Journalism website. It was endorsed by Vin Ray the head of he college, Alex Gerlis his assistant and by Keith Somerville the head of the college’s operations. Below is an email from Keith Somerville]

Dear Chris

Through our cooperation we’ve got something we think will work superbly for us and we hope yours will do the same for you. Very keen to keep in touch as the College and I have gained a lot from working with you And I’m very happy to come along and run sessions for your students. We’ve got a good online law course called Sources, Scoops and Stories which might work very well for your students. And I’ll keep feeding scenarios for News City through to you.

Keith Somerville

[email July 12st 2006]

Testimonial from Dr Larry Bunt, University of Westminster

Chris is acknowledged by both his colleagues and students as an exceptional teacher and course leader who brings a great deal of enthusiasm and interest to his work, founded on very sound knowledge and a broad and extensive range of professional expertise as a journalist, author, documentary maker and broadcaster. He is an internationally recognised authority of most aspects of broadcast, newspaper and online journalism and the mass media.

Feedback on Chris’s teaching from students has been consistently excellent and his commitment to them and extremely hard work on behalf of them and the university was noted and formally established in a series of annual monitoring and appraisal processes.

During his time with us students on his courses regularly won national awards and commendations, including individual nationwide journalism student of the year and magazine and online journalism team of the year awards and commendations.

[RE: Westminster] After 2000 a new team was recruited led by Chris Horrie, previously director of studies at LCP (and now LCC), Mike Dodd (radio) and Geoffrey Davies (TV) […]After these changes were made the BJTC was able to report that the course had experienced a “breathtaking turnaround” and was now in generally good health.

After re-inspection, the quality of the cohort improved markedly and, on a number of formal and informal measures, the course came to be nationally regarded as amongst the strongest and most popular. Students began to regularly feature amongst the BJTC’s annual awards (and other national awards for journalism run by the BBC, the Guardian and others) [….]

[ …. ]Multimedia developments have been to a large extent led by Chris Horrie who for much of the last academic session was seconded to the BBC college of journalism where he developed a prototype online real-time newsroom simulator. A fully developed version of the simulator now forms the core of the BBC college of journalism’s activities. Under his leadership Westminster is now regarded as one of the leading players in multimedia developments in both broadcast and, as it happens, internet and periodical journalism.

Testimonial from Dr Hugh Barnes, previously head of undergraduate journalism at Kingston University and a senior news reporter at AFP:

Chris Horrie is a remarkable teacher of journalism who brings to
the workshop and lecture-room not only a proven track record as a journalist
and author, but also a dynamic and innovative approach to pedagogy. He
inspires students with his expertise and energy, but he is also constantly
looking for new ways to improve their learning experience by incorporating
the latest media technologies and practices into coursework.

His work on NewsCity and Westminster News Online (WNOL), the journalism department’s website, was groundbreaking and skilfully designed to reproduce the actual conditions of journalism in a university context. At the same time, he is a
gifted lecturer who is able to engage his students’ interest in topics such
as the history of journalism or media law. He is of course a recognised
authority on tabloid and TV culture.

Chris is utterly professional and conscientious in his approach to
journalism education. Indeed I can honestly say that, in my nearly four
years’ experience at two of the country’s leading university journalism
departments, I have not come across another lecturer who puts so much effort
into preparation, feedback and assessment.

I can only add that Chris was much liked and respected by his Westminster
colleagues as a first-class journalist, an excellent teacher and a person of
integrity and wit.