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Thursday 25 February 2021

Senior executives at leading media companies to mentor postgraduate students at UCLan

Top media leaders offer support to new postgraduate Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme

Senior executives with experience at some of the world’s most recognised media brands, including the BBC, Business Day (SA), CNN, Financial Times, Google, S&P 500 Market Intelligence, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Mirror, The Times and Sunday Times and Twitter, are stepping up to mentor participants in the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) new postgraduate Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme, supported by the Google News Initiative (GNI).

Amongst the diverse team of mentors are Joanna Geary, Senior Director of Curation at Twitter and UCLan alumna, and former Executive Editor of the Financial Times Lyndsey Jones.

Lyndsey said: “I'm delighted to be taking part in the Journalism Leaders mentoring scheme. It is so satisfying to help others succeed in their careers and to be a trusted guide to help them develop their ideas. I always see mentoring as a two-way process and look forward to learning off my mentees too, sharing our experiences and knowledge.”

Joanna recently tweeted: “Taking on an exciting new mentoring role this year: journalism.co.uk/news/new-uclan… An early version of this course completely changed my perspective on the news industry and my role in it. I learned so much from @francoisnel and team and I hope I can help pay it forward.”

"It is so satisfying to help others succeed in their careers and to be a trusted guide to help them develop their ideas. I always see mentoring as a two-way process and look forward to learning off my mentees too, sharing our experiences and knowledge."

Former Executive Editor of the Financial Times and Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme mentor Lyndsey Jones

The mentors will engage with the diverse cohort of participants enrolled on the 30-week postgraduate course aimed at fostering the next generation of news media leaders and innovators. Participants live in Australia, England, Fiji, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Sweden and Zimbabwe and work for public broadcasters, magazines, newspapers, news agencies, digital-native outlets, and other news-related organisations.

Dr Francois Nel, Reader In Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan, oversees the mentoring programme. He said: “Our generous panel of mentors underlines again just how committed those at the forefront of today’s industry are to continuous learning - and to fostering the talent our sector needs to survive these difficult times and to thrive.”

Dr Andrew Churchill, Head of the School of Arts and Media at UCLan, said: “Journalism has been taught at Preston since 1962, making it the oldest such university programme in England and that allows our students to tap into an impressive global network of alumni and industry friends, such those who are paying forward to mentor participants in this course.

“These partnerships between pragmatic academics and thoughtful industry professionals are key to why The Guardian University Guide 2021 shows we remain amongst the best. We are ranked No 1 in the North West and amongst the Top 10 in the UK for Journalism, Publishing and Public Relations.”

Matt Cooke, Head of Partnerships and Training at the GNI, said: “Through the Google News Initiative we’re supporting a new chapter for digital transformation training at UCLan. The curriculum being developed is grounded in real industry insights, it builds on emerging technologies and trends, and it offers mid-career opportunities to candidates from across the country. We’re excited to see it launch.”

"Our generous panel of mentors underlines again just how committed those at the forefront of today’s industry are to continuous learning - and to fostering the talent our sector needs to survive these difficult times and to thrive."

Dr Francois Nel, Reader In Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan.

The mentors to the participants in the Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme are:

Alan Hunter, Head of Digital, The Times and Sunday Times.

Alison Gow, Audience and Content Director North West, Reach plc. Publisher of Laudable. President, Society of Editors. She is an alumna of the MA Journalism Leadership at UCLan.

Dmitry Shishkin, Independent digital consultant and Leader in Residence at UCLan. He serves on the Board of the World Editors Forum of the World Association of News Publishers.

Jethro Goko, CEO of Associated Newspaper of Zimbabwe, publishers of the Daily News and Financial Gazette. He is an alumnus of the MA Journalism Leadership at UCLan.

Ian Murray, Executive Director, Society of Editors, UK. Before joining the Society of Editors, he was editor of the Southern Daily Echo and is a former editor-in-chief of Newsquest’s Hampshire titles.

Ian MacGregor, Editor Emeritus at the Telegraph Media Group and Chairman of the Board of the Society of Editors, UK. Previously Editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Telegraph Weekend Editor and Deputy Editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Inga Thordar, Executive Editor of CNN Digital Worldwide, overseeing all international news, sport and programming teams.

Joanna Geary, Senior Director of Curation at Twitter. She has worked at The Guardian, The Times and The Birmingham Post. She is an alumna of the MA Journalism Leadership programme at UCLan.

Lyndsey Jones, former Executive Editor of the Financial Times and author of forthcoming business education book: Going Digital: What it takes to make the change.

Lisa MacLeod, Publishing Consultant for FT Strategies and Leader in Residence at UCLan. Formerly, assistant editor of the Financial Times and Head of Digital for the Tiso Blackstar Group, South Africa, he is Vice-President of the World Association of News Publishers.

Neil Benson, a business consultant specialising in leadership development and business transformation. Formerly group editorial director at Reach plc and interim editorial director at Express Newspapers.

Paddi Clay, an independent consultant with 40 years of experience in news media, reporting, writing, training, mentoring talent and managing people and change. She has held senior roles in broadcast, print and digital newsrooms. She earned an MA in Journalism Leadership, from the UCLan 2012. Her passions are journalism, change and development, and start-up projects.

Sarah Hartley, Program Manager at Google News Initiative. Formerly of The Guardian, Talk About Local and the Manchester Evening News.

Steve Matthewson, London Bureau Chief and Head of Financial Institutions News (Acting) at S&P Global Market Intelligence. Formerly of The Guardian and Business Day (SA). He is an alumnus of the MA Journalism Leadership at UCLan.

For queries about future programmes and further scholarship opportunities, contact the course leader Clare Cooke or mentor programme coordinator Dr François Nel.