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UCLan journalism researcher takes expertise to University of Oxford

28 July 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

François becomes Visiting Academic Fellow

The Director of the Journalism Leaders Programme at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), François Nel, has been handed a prestigious role at the University of Oxford that he will take alongside his work in Preston.

François will take up the role as a Visiting Academic Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford to extend his research into innovation at news media organisations with a particular focus on their venturing activities.

He commented: “In previous published studies I've asked, 'Where else is the money?'. During my time at Oxford, I'll be extending that line of questioning. I plan to take a closer look at the specific directions forward-thinking news organisations are going into, and just how their venturing activities are run and managed. In effect, I’ll be asking, ‘Where else is the money taking newspapers?’ I hope to discern what others in the industry might learn from those experiences and also to reflect more widely on the implications for the future of journalism.”

The award-winning journalist will take up the role at Oxford during a research sabbatical from UCLan after receiving a National Teaching Fellowship award last year.

“I plan to take a closer look at the specific directions forward-thinking news organisations are going into, and just how their venturing activities are run and managed.”

François was one of only 55 higher education staff to have been awarded a 2013 National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy and has initiated three ongoing studies into the impacts of technology on the business and practices of the newspaper industry, including: Where else is the money? A study on the evolving business models of newspapers in the 66 cities in Britain; Laidoff: What do UK journalists do next? and the annual World Newsmedia Innovation Study, which he initiated in 2009 in collaboration with the World Association of Newspapers & News Publishers.

François added: “Of course, I’m delighted for the chance to engage with thought leaders such as Dr David Levy and Prof Robert Picard, and to work alongside other talented researchers at the Reuters Institute. And I’m certainly most appreciative of the generous support from UCLan that is making that possible.”

François is a researcher, author and educator who works with innovating news organisations and digital media start-ups worldwide. He is the founding director of the pioneering Journalism Leaders Programme at UCLan, home to the UK’s oldest journalism school, a co-founder of the Digital Editors Network and initiator of the Media And Digital Enterprise project, which is the only UK winner of the International Press Institute’s inaugural News Innovation Contest sponsored by Google.