Published on February 18, 2014 | by Miles Crallan


Life in the fast lane for LCC graduate

Matthew Barnes with former Tottenham captain Ledley King

Matthew Barnes with former Tottenham captain Ledley King [Matthew Barnes]

Life for Matthew Barnes, a former graduate of the sports journalism course at UAL, has ascended from dreary shelf stacking in a supermarket to rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s most famous stars.

Barnes is currently enjoying working as an ingest operator at BskyB.

“Ever since a young age I have always wanted to work in media and journalism, explained Barnes. “At first I wanted to be a sports commentator, and as I grew up and started reading magazines and newspapers that turned into wanting to become a football writer and interviewer. 

“When I carried on with further education at college and then university, I established that multimedia journalism, in particular broadcast, was where I wanted to make a career. I have grown to like the technical side of seeing how a show works, working under pressure and to tight deadlines, which gives you this strange buzz!”


Barnes graduated from UAL in 2010.

“I personally found the course brilliant, and did do quite well. It was a course where you could balance your social life with your university life and so you never felt like you had missed out.”

Barnes went on to say, “Our lecturers organised some great trips out and had some amazing personnel come into the university to teach and inspire us! It was great to get a feel of what life could be like upon leaving university and going out to the big wide world to start a career.”

At 25, Barnes has gone on to land himself a job many studying the current sports journalism course would enjoy immensely, meeting and being in the presence of a host of famous sporting icons such as David Beckham and the Klitschko brothers.

“My job role now is an ingest operator at BskyB. I release content that is going out to the viewers at home, work on outside broadcasts and in-house studios for sporting programmes such as Ringside, Rugby Club, Fantasy Football Club and Soccer Saturday etc.

“I go to outside broadcasts. Football games, tennis, boxing, darts etc to work on replays going out live to air, and putting graphics on screen such as commentators’ names and score lines.”

A typical day doesn’t apply to Barnes in his current job, with sports news constantly on the move, so is he. 

“We have so many different roles that are undertaken in my job. Recently I have been doing lots of supervising roles, so attending meetings, set preparing, sorting agendas for our staff and working on rosters.

“My ideal day is to ingest some x-files that have come back from the outside broadcasts in the morning, do some studio work in the afternoon and then a bit of shadowing in the evening.


“We do shift work, on for seven days a fortnight, 7am to 7pm shifts and on a rotation of nights, so we are always busy when at work. We get plenty of time off also, so overtime is always available to earn extra cash.”

It hasn’t always been a rewarding career in journalism for Barnes but one that has maintained a high level of hard work and focus on the bigger picture.

Matthew Barnes with current Spurs captain Michael Dawson

Matthew Barnes with current Spurs captain Michael Dawson [Matthew Barnes]

“It was a difficult time because people aren’t going to openly pay you for work experience, so you have to show lots of desire, and be hungrier than everybody else. Effectively say no to nothing and yes to everything, even if you don’t want to do it!”

The efforts Barnes put in throughout his time in education, and the lessons he learned from working unpaid in the journalism world has allowed the former Arts student to establish himself in the country’s biggest broadcaster of sport.

“The best thing about my job is being about to get paid to watch football and talk to ex pros and pundits on a daily basis. I would be sitting at home paying to watch a game, and now I am a part of it going to air.

“It’s difficult doing the team you love, as you have to remain unbiased throughout. The best thing is not to let anybody know who you support and remain neutral within the business. At Sky, everyone supports Chelsea!”

Barnes progression in the media world via University of the Arts can be used as a little bit of inspiration for current students studying on the long hard road to success.


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