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Journalism Entrepreneurship Summit findings published

20 April 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

François Nel reflects on first ever event to examine UK journalism ecosystem  

Pic: François Nel chairing the panel of the first ever Journalism Entrepreneurship Summit.

UCLan’s Clare Cooke presented in the academic panel and lecturers Katie Taylor and Onno Bouduain were workshop facilitators.

 

The Director of the Journalism Leaders Programme at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), François Nel, has published the interim findings on the first ever Journalism Entrepreneurship Summit that brought together entrepreneurs, funding and support agencies, policy makers, educators and researchers.

François, who is also a Visiting Academic Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, convened the event with the ambitious aim of taking the pulse of the journalism ecosystem in the UK. The one-day workshop was hosted by Google at Campus London and presented in collaboration with the International Press Institute and Talk About Local.

While François accepted that an interactive workshop is too short to uncover the full range of relevant issues, the event attracted over 70 delegates with wide range of experience, expertise and perspectives and Twitter analytics show that it reached almost 570, 000 users and more than seven million impressions online.

“Digital-savvy journalism entrepreneurs operating at different scales and levels of intensity and in a variety of genres and formats are now a standard feature on our news media landscape."

Writing in the 24-page report, Taking the Pulse, François commented: “Digital-savvy journalism entrepreneurs operating at different scales and levels of intensity and in a variety of genres and formats are now a standard feature on our news media landscape and they make an essential contribution to meeting the critical information needs of our communities. Hence, any conversation about the media in the UK – whether in classrooms, boardrooms or committee meeting rooms – that fails to seriously factor in this segment of the industry cannot be considered comprehensive.

“Perhaps it’s time to go even further? Perhaps it’s time to draw a line in the sand and to declare inadequate any policy, any regulation, any legislation, any curriculum, any research agenda, any representative body, any intervention or any other initiative with ambitions to address the concerns of the news media in the UK and that does not devote substantial attention to new and emerging news enterprises, including (those definitely not exclusively) those operating at local and hyperlocal levels?

"If our journalism entrepreneurship ecosystem is to function at the scale, velocity and effectiveness required to meet the varied needs of society and to ensure the sustainability of the enterprises, there is much work to be done."

“Yes, the (not so) new news media enterprises are a standard and essential segment of the industry. Therefore, their well-being should not be taken for granted. If our journalism entrepreneurship ecosystem is to function at the scale, velocity and effectiveness required to meet the varied needs of society and to ensure the sustainability of the enterprises, there is much work to be done - and there is much need for greater collaboration amongst those at work in this space.”

The workshop was sponsored by the Media And Digital Enterprise (MADE) project at UCLan and convened in collaboration with the International Press Institute and Talk About Local. Three other UCLan researchers, Clare Cooke, Onno Bouduain, and Katie Taylor, were also involved in the project.

The full Journalism Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 report, which includes a list of all the presenters and participants, can be downloaded here.