Google News Initiative extends support to UCLan flagship journalism course
Support will cover the 2023 cohort
The Google News Initiative (GNI) has extended its support of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) flagship Journalism Innovation and Leadership (JIL) Programme for the third consecutive year.
The GNI has worked with the JIL Programme since 2019 to fund 15 scholarship places on the 30-week part-time, postgraduate certificate, course, which has been co-designed by a team of pragmatic academics and thoughtful industry leaders to foster the next generation of diverse news media leaders and innovators.
In addition to funding, the GNI also facilitates the industry mentoring programme by offering key network connections and providing access to a pioneering approach and practice across the news industry.
"We look forward to seeing the university build for the future and provide opportunities for journalists from across the industry."— Matt Cooke, Head of Google News Lab
The company’s continued support means that the 2023 cohort will also be eligible for the sought-after scholarship places. Announcing the news at the 2022 International Journalism Festival, Matt Cooke, Head of Google News Lab, said: “We're announcing the Google News Initiative's third year of support for this innovative and experimental course.
“We're hoping the next wave of participants will benefit from their time studying at UCLan, and from the industry-led, expert trainers and mentors. We look forward to seeing the university build for the future and provide opportunities for journalists from across the industry."
The current JIL Programme cohort is made up of 18 participants from nine countries on three continents stretching across 12 time zones, from Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, to Europe. The group of 11 women and seven men bring with them a wide range of media experience from national broadcasters and news publishers to digital media start-ups and technology companies.
"The ongoing support from the Google News Initiative ensures we continue to foster the diverse leadership our news industry now needs more than perhaps ever before."— Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan and director of the scholarship programme
Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan and director of the scholarship programme, said: “Our programme has been co-created with our alumni and other industry actors who play an active part in every step – from curriculum design, interviewing applicants, contributing deep insights as guest speakers, and mentoring participants.
“The ongoing support from the Google News Initiative ensures we continue to foster the diverse leadership our news industry now needs more than perhaps ever before.”
Society of Editors’ (SOE) Executive Director Dawn Alford sits on the JIL Programme board of industry advisors and mentors.
She said: "The JIL programme can play an important role in the careers of future leaders, ensuring that the media is represented by diverse, considered and innovative individuals.
"The Society of Editors is proud to play a role in this programme and recognises the important contribution made by the Google News Initiative in supporting the next cohort through these scholarships."
"The Society of Editors is proud to play a role in this programme and recognises the important contribution made by the Google News Initiative in supporting the next cohort through these scholarships."— Society of Editors’ Executive Director and JIL Programme board member Dawn Alford
The announcement comes as UCLan marks its 60th anniversary of journalism teaching.
Jane Anthony, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Culture and the Creative Industries at UCLan, added: “UCLan has been training journalists since 1962 and has always ensured that its teaching reflects this fast-paced and ever-changing industry.
“We are delighted to receive this continued backing from the Google News Initiative. It is key industry partnerships like this that help us remain so successful and this is reflected in our Guardian Good University Guide 2022 League Table ranking of number one in England second in the UK.”