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UCLan lecturer joins world media organisation

Dr François Nel takes on challenge of finding trends within worldwide media

A lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has taken up the invitation from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) to tackle one of the most ambitious tasks in news media research: discovering World Press Trends (WPT).

Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan, has accepted the challenge of analysing the work of media outlets from across the world to find unique and outstanding trends.

Published by WAN-IFRA since 1989, WPT is the leading source of newspaper data and trends globally. The data is drawn from the WAN-IFRA's members associations of 66 different countries as well as from several data partners. These include Chartbeat, Ipsos and Zenith.

“I’m thrilled by the challenge," says François, whose relationship with WAN-IFRA goes back to 2005 when he became the first academic to be named an executive member of the World Editors’ Forum.

I’ve been asking senior figures in the industry to tell us ‘what are the questions to which this data might offer answers?’ and the replies have been pouring in.

He has also been studying the strategic priorities of newsroom executives and he is the lead author of the World News Publishers Outlook report. The WPT project offers some unique opportunities.

With regards to WPT, François said: "With the analytical expertise of Dr Coral Milburn-Curtis, we intend to do some advanced statistical analysis to draw insights from this huge and unique data set. This will allow us to gain a better understanding of the relationship between factors (affecting media worldwide), such as press freedom and internet penetration on the news consumption.

“All the changes we would like to make to the World Press Trends report will take time to implement. But, for now, we're excited to present our first report at 9.30am on Friday, 8 June, at the 70th World News Media Congress in Portugal.”

Full details on WTP can be found here


Dr François Nel

Chris Coughlin | 04 June 2018