As Bureau Chief she set up the Sky News Northern office, covering most of the major breaking news stories in the region for the next 18 years. From Hillsborough to James Bulger, Dr Shipman to the London bombings, she has been involved in most areas of TV news production, including documentaries, forward planning and the role of senior News Editor.
She began her lecturing career at the University of Central Lancashire, working with the BBC on the highly successful joint Foundation Journalism course. She has also designed a post- graduate course for Al Jazeera television.
In addition to lecturing, Shirley works as a freelance journalist and media consultant. She is a member of the Broadcast Journalism Training Council responsible for accrediting Journalism courses at universities throughout the UK.