Monday, August 21, 2006

Discuss the challenges of leading innovation with 'the most powerful figure in Britain's regional newspaper industry'

The Independent's Raymond Snoddy wrote this today on Johnston Press chief executive Tim Bowdler:

The most powerful figure in Britain's £3bn regional newspaper industry is neither the flaxen-haired Sly Bailey of Trinity Mirror nor the curly-topped ruler of the Harmsworth press dynasty, Viscount Rothermere, but an engineer with a track record in companies that make everything from ball bearings to milk floats....

In this age of ever-increasing competition from the electronic media, Johnston, a company whose origins go back to a Falkirk printing business in 1767, still delivers hefty profit margins to its shareholders of about 35 per cent...

Snoddy’s profile of Bowdler also includes a discussion about the Johnston’s strategic partnership with the Department of Journalism in Preston, which is the hub of the company's digital innovation.

To hear more from Bowdler on the challenges of leading journalism in an digital age, join the next Journalism Leaders Forum on October 17th. Why don't you join the free global discussion in person or online?

The open forum is scheduled as part of the autumn residential week activities for participants in the Journalism Leaders Programme courses. Applications for The Principles of Journalism Leadership: Strategies for a Digital Age, which is being offered this autumn, are still being accepted. Visit the programme website or contact the director, François Nel at leaders[at] for more details.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Journalism Leaders team help Johnston Press (UK) move to multimedia

In a presentation to the City yesterday, Johnston Press (UK) went public about their efforts to convert 70 traditional newsrooms into multimedia operations, starting with the Lancashire Evening Post in Preston.

Their key partner? The Department of Journalism team at UCLan.

Department head Mike Ward, author of Journalism Online and an initiator of the Journalism Leaders Programme, coordinated the team who advised on Johnston's strategy and helped refine the planning for implementation – and who continue to provide management and skills training.

Research in this area also continues with the Johnston Press Chair in Digital Journalism Development (described by Les Hinton, executive chairman of News International and a Johnston Press director, as "one the most sensible corporate investments I have seen for a long time.")

Others worldwide who also want to build the capacity - and confidence - to lead journalism in a digital age can participate in our flexible and highly-rated Journalism Leaders Programme, which is currently accepting applications for the next block. More details are available on our website .

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

First Journalism Leaders Programme residential gets enthusiastic 'thumbs up'

The verdict was unanimous: The first residential week of the new Journalism Leaders Programme was a great success.

An analysis of questionnaires to participants- who joined the professional development course from news organisations in Africa, Asia and Europe - shows that everyone was ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with the overall experience. The key to that, according to participants, was relevant content and stimulating discussions with colleagues and presenters.

“Great variety. Huge thought gone into it. Excellent presenters,” wrote one respondent when asked what they liked most about the experience. “Discussions, sharing of experiences and ideas,” wrote another. “Leaving on a high. Privilege to attend,” noted a third.

Presenters, too, gave the programme a ‘thumbs up’. “Very lively and stimulating!” is how one discussion leader described the week, which included extensive discussion of a specially-commissioned case study on convergence at Nordjyke Medier in Denmark.

The on-campus residential week formed part of the first module of the course, which is offers modules in three 10-week blocks and blends face-to-face sessions with extensive online discussion and support.

In addition to the core faculty, participants also heard from:

  • Dan Gillmor, author of We the Media. A former US newspaperman, he is one of the web’s leading advocates of grassroots journalism.
  • Pete Clifton, Editor of BBC News Interactive, responsible for one of the web’s most successful news sites.
  • Cath Hearne, editor of BBC London’s nightly news programme and was at the helm on July 7th, a day in which some of the most vivid images of the London bombings were contributed by members of the public.
  • John Fray, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Journalists, which represents 35000 journalists in the UK and Ireland.
  • And Mike Ward, author of Journalism Online and head of the journalism department at UCLAN.
What advice do participants have for other considering joining the programme? “Read the pack [of materials sent to you before the residential session]. Be prepared to be challenged, stretched, puzzled, but over all have fun!”

Applications for the September 2006 intake are currently being accepted. Visit the course website or contact course leader François Nel at for more information.