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Tuesday 21 September 2021

International media organisation appoints UCLan researcher to support public-interest journalism

Dr Clare Cook is business viability advisor for the IMS

A senior researcher from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been appointed by an international media organisation to support public-interest journalism.

Dr Clare Cook will work as a business viability advisor for IMS (International Media Support), an international non-profit organisation working across four continents to support press freedom and strengthen democracy.

The role will see Clare, who is well regarded in the industry as a media sustainability expert, work closely with IMS partners to develop the business side of running an independent media outlet by looking at strategies that will support long-term growth, whilst simultaneously being able to withstand short-term shocks.

"IMS’ partners need business sustainability to help protect editorial independence. "

Dr Clare Cook, UCLan senior researcher and business viability advisor for IMS

Speaking in an interview published in the IMS annual review, Clare said: “I believe support can be a catalyst for independent media becoming progressively more self-reliant through income diversification, new products and formats, better audience knowledge and data usage.

“IMS’ partners need business sustainability to help protect editorial independence. Ensuring sustainability is important, not just for those working in the news media industry, but for better societies. Without it, their position as part of plural and diverse media landscapes will be thwarted.”

In her new role, Clare will work with partners to develop a tailored strategy suitable to the business’ particular needs, whether that be generating revenue in ways that align with the company’s values, creative advertising or membership packages. She will also stimulate new interdisciplinary multi-partner projects.

“This is an exciting opportunity to bridge scholarly and industry practice, which is high on the agenda for media management” she said.

"This is an exciting opportunity to bridge scholarly and industry practice, which is high on the agenda for media management"

Dr Clare Cook, UCLan senior researcher and business viability advisor for IMS

Clare will still retain her UCLan post as a researcher and module leader for the MA Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme, creating closer links between UCLan and IMS. This includes supporting IMS partners onto the course through sponsored places.

She added: “The sponsorship programme and the close relationship between the Journalism Leadership and Innovation Programme institutions will enable media partners globally to be fully supported in their challenge for business viability. Now more than ever, as media workers in multiple territories are facing catastrophic changes to their working life, this support will offer a potential anchor: an opportunity to reskill, upskill and retool. This is particularly important for journalists and media workers in exile,” she said.

The IMS annual report is available to download and more information about the UCLan Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme is available online.