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Thursday 1 July 2021

Google News Initiative will extend its support of UCLan’s Journalism Leaders Programme

Postgraduate course boosted by Google pledge following success of first cohort

The Google News Initiative (GNI) has pledged further support to the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) new Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme following the success of the first cohort who started in January 2021.

It means the postgraduate programme, which aims to foster the next generation of diverse media leaders and innovators, will continue to receive support from the GNI in 2022 for scholarships and to facilitate the industry mentoring programme. This is in addition to offering key network connections and a pioneering approach and practice across the news industry.

The Class of 2021, who hail from across 12 time zones, bring with them a wide range of experiences, ranging from being editors at established news organisations to entrepreneurs fostering early-stage media start-ups.

"This is the most intense and rewarding course I’ve ever taken. It tackles problem-solving in journalism from every angle, be it strategy, technology, revenue or newsroom leadership. "

Marcela Kunova, editor of Journalism.co.uk

Marcela Kunova, editor of Journalism.co.uk, is a member of the first cohort, who recently completed two of three 10-week cycles of the programme. She said: “This is the most intense and rewarding course I’ve ever taken. It tackles problem-solving in journalism from every angle, be it strategy, technology, revenue or newsroom leadership.

“I feel like it has sped up my professional growth and provided me with guidance and mentoring I would otherwise not be able to access.”

Fellow participant Guthrie Munyuki, Group Editor in Chief: Daily News, Daily News On Sunday, Financial Gazette and 3K TV in Zimbabwe, commented: “If there's anyone who ever doubted the power of learning from a multicultural group, with different experiences, the JIL programme provides the best platform to those aspiring to be leaders in Innovation.”

"If there's anyone who ever doubted the power of learning from a multicultural group, with different experiences, the JIL programme provides the best platform to those aspiring to be leaders in Innovation."

Guthrie Munyuki, Group Editor in Chief: Daily News, Daily News On Sunday, Financial Gazette and 3K TV in Zimbabwe

Content Editor at the Lancashire Post and Blackpool Gazette Jenny Simpson added: “The programme has helped me address any gaps in my knowledge at a time when the media industry is going through a seismic change, and made me feel more confident that I will have the skills to cope with whatever changes happen next. It has also been a brilliant way to grow my network and learn from inspiring people across the world.”

The Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme provides thoughtful practitioners and pragmatic researchers with a clear pathway from Postgraduate Certificate, to Masters, to PhD by Portfolio through Applied Learning Projects, enabling them to make a difference in their organisations today - and a meaningful impact on the sustainability of the news industry tomorrow.

The pioneering postgraduate Applied Learning Project route was designed by the team of pragmatic academics at UCLan's Media Innovation Studio, working closely with a Board of Industry Advisors and Mentors and the Leaders in Residence at the School of Arts and Media at UCLan.

"We're pleased to see the further experimentation and development of this innovative course, and we're grateful to both the university and all of the industry experts involved."

Matt Cooke, Head of Google News Lab

Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan and director of the scholarship programme, said: “It has perhaps never been more critical for those committed to the sustainability of journalism to take time out of the newsroom to think and learn from others as they assess new opportunities and ways of working.

“The support from the Google News Initiative has enabled a diverse cohort of talented practitioners from across the globe to do just that - and so we're delighted that their ongoing investment will open the opportunity to others next year too.”

Matt Cooke, Head of Google News Lab, said: “We're pleased to see the further experimentation and development of this innovative course, and we're grateful to both the university and all of the industry experts involved. This second year of support from the Google News Initiative is designed to help broaden the availability of learning opportunities for journalists and leaders across the news ecosystem.”

Applications for the January 2022 intake are now open. For more information contact the course leader and scholarship coordinator François Nel.

Read more - Working together to transform journalism training, by Matt Cooke.