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October 22, 2013

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» Award winning graduates put Tenovus in the limelight

TWO graduates of the former University of Glamorgan have helped steer a well-known Welsh charity to scoop two Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) awards. Tenovus, Wales’ leading cancer charity, won a gold and silver at the CIPR PRide Awards, … Continue reading

October 5, 2012

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» Controversial presenter vilified on social media

FEW news stories generate the kind of emotional response we’ve seen this week following the disappearance of young April Jones. The 5-year-old from Machynlleth went missing from near her home on Monday evening. As is becoming the norm, the news … Continue reading

August 15, 2012

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» Good reasons to study journalism

Journalism is changing so fast, it’s hard to keep up.  Every week new social media tools are promoted on journalism.co.uk which add to the ways journalists can communicate with their audiences.  But we know that not all those who take journalism at … Continue reading

May 21, 2012

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» Using social media to gather 50-year-old smallpox stories

A four-month long experiment in the use of social media to gather people’s memories about the 1962 smallpox outbreak in Wales comes to an end today. Tracking the events of 50 years ago – often day by day – the … Continue reading

November 14, 2010

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» Not forgetting….

 Post-grad students Meg Rule and Andrew Collins reported on the remembrance service at Llandaff in the latest output of our busy MA journalism/radio courses.

A few weeks ago, they and their colleagues also played a key role in live blogging the debate about Cardiff’s historic buildings and mentioning it here gives me the excuse to say a belated thanks to Ed Walker of Wales Online for putting the opportunity their way.

But there’s more, in what’s been a busy month in our corner of the Atrium…undergraduate Samantha Christodoulatos guest-blogged for the Guardian on Black History Month and earned a link to her own blog here.

Creative Writing graduate Donna Louise Bishop, who studied journalism modules a while back at Glamorgan, got in touch to say she’s now a full time reporter in Norfolk and one of her first pieces in that role is here.

Another name from the past, James Winters, a Glamorgan journalism graduate who went on to post-grad study at Edinburgh, has been spotted contributing to a blog about genetics and he has his own blog here.

More recent journalism graduate Liz Rawlins is now working as a Health Communications Officer after some post-graduation adventures including voluntary radio work in Ghana which she blogged about back then.

What else? We’ve got some exciting speakers coming to the Atrium. There’s Martin Shipton, of the Western Mail. And there’s an RTS/Skillset session with John Denton – the BBC’s managing editor, TV platforms – on ‘Breaking Into Television’.

And finally… this blog has changed its name, to embrace new contributions from colleagues on the media/cultural studies side of our division. A warm welcome to them.

March 25, 2010

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» Conservation, beavers and do-it-yourself journalism on the web

Back in 2006 I travelled to Canada to record material for a radio programme I wanted to make about a pioneer of conservation called Eric Collier. He published a book in 1959 called Three Against the Wilderness, which depicted the life he led with his wife and young son in the wilds of British Columbia in the 30s and 40s. It made quite an impact at the time and was chosen as book of the month by one of the big subscription book clubs. What interested me particularly was the way Collier had realised that man’s destruction of the natural environment has far-reaching consequences. He was one of the first to reintroduce an animal into an area where it had been driven to extinction – in this case the beaver. In doing so, he allowed nature’s water-worker to restore the landscape to what it had been before man destroyed it.

I was sure that broadcasters would be interested – especially as I had tracked down Collier’s son, Veasy, who was part of the whole project in the ‘wilderness’.  Sadly, my enthusiasm for beavers and conservation was not shared by radio stations in Britain or Canada.  That’s the risk of undertaking a project ‘on spec’.

But thanks to the web, all is not lost.  I have now made the results of my research – complete with audio – available to anyone in the world who’s interested via the internet.  It’s been an interesting experiment in web-casting.  Though I will never get the financial return I had hoped for, at least I have the satisfaction of telling my story.

It’s all available at www.ericcollier.org.uk

February 25, 2010

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» TEN TIPS FROM THE TOP

A group of third-year and post-graduate students from the University of Glamorgan recently visited London. They went to the House of Commons, the Daily Telegraph, the BBC World Service and BBC Television Centre. Here are ten memorable points made by the people they were fortunate enough to meet:

I’m still thinking about how I can keep a competitive edge – Huw Edwards, BBC TV News

The new generation of journalists need basic news knowledge but also need to know about social networking, blogging, podcasts and search-engine optimisation – Urmee Khan, Digital Media Correspondent, Daily Telegraph

Hand-held appliances are changing the whole approach of the World Service to programming – Simon Derry, BBC World Service Trust

I rely on Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds – Urmee Khan, Daily Telegraph

TV is being viewed on mobile phones in Africa by people who cannot afford terrestrial or satellite television – Joseph Warungu, Head of African News & Current Affairs, BBC World Service

The MPs’ expenses story shows that newspapers are still at the cutting edge of journalism – George Newkey-Burden, Daily Telegraph

It’s all about story-telling – Kerensa Jennings, BBC College of Journalism

Any time you invest in improving your (English) language skills is time which will reap great benefits – Huw Edwards, BBC TV News

The core skills don’t change, but new media are constantly changing – Kevin Marsh, BBC College of Journalism

The relationship between an MP and the press is sacrosanct – Elfyn Llwyd MP

» Ten Tips from the Top

A group of third-year and post-graduate students from the University of Glamorgan recently visited London.  They went to the House of Commons, the Daily Telegraph, the BBC World Service and BBC Television Centre.  Here are ten memorable points made by the people they were fortunate enough to meet:

 ‘I’m still thinking about how I can keep a competitive edge’ – Huw Edwards, BBC TV News

‘The new generation of journalists need basic news knowledge but also need to know about social networking, blogging,  podcasts and search-engine optimisation’ – Urmee Khan, Digital Media Correspondent, Daily Telegraph

‘Hand-held appliances are changing the whole approach of the World Service to programming’ – Simon Derry, BBC World Service Trust

‘I rely on Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds’ – Urmee Khan, Daily Telegraph

‘TV is being viewed on mobile phones in Africa by people who cannot afford terrestrial or satellite television’ – Joseph Warungu, Head of African News & Current Affairs, BBC World Service

‘The MPs’ expenses story shows that newspapers are still at the cutting edge of journalism’ – George Newkey-Burden, Daily Telegraph

‘It’s all about story-telling’ – Kerensa Jennings, BBC College of Journalism

 ‘Any time you invest in improving your (English) language skills is time which will reap great benefits’ – Huw Edwards, BBC TV News

‘The core skills don’t change, but new media are constantly changing’ – Kevin Marsh, BBC College of Journalism

‘The relationship between an MP and the press is sacrosanct’ – Elfyn Llwyd MP

February 4, 2010

Journalism News
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» Less than two months to decide the future of news in Wales

Hopes for a continuing – and improved – news service on ITV Wales depend on the speed with which a choice can be made between the three consortia bidding for the contract.

The chairman of the panel set up by the Government to choose between them admitted in Cardiff today (3 Feb) that they would have to make a decision by the end of March if there was to be any chance of finalising a contract before a General Election in May.

The Conservatives have made it clear they are opposed to the plan for pilots in Wales, Scotland and the North-East of England to replace the current ITV news service. If they win the election, all bets are off.

A one-hour session at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay this afternoon was the full extent of public participation in the selection process. Apart from a group of students from Cardiff University – and one from Glamorgan – the public appeared to be represented by interested parties from the Cardiff media world.

Gordon Main of Pembrokeshire TV – an experiment in local web-based journalism (who’ll be speaking here at the Atrium next month) – complained that the whole process of bidding and selection had been carried out without a real public debate.

All three bidders – in their pitches – promised a new start for journalism in Wales if they were successful, which was no surprise as the panel have made it clear they don’t want ‘business as usual’.

All three talked about ‘citizen journalism’ and offered people the chance to tell their own stories in one way or another. When pushed, they appeared to concede that it had more to do with a two-way relationship between the production company and the public than with turning citizens into journalists. People will be encouraged to contribute their stories, videos and pictures and, in return, the news provider will make its publicly-funded output freely available to local websites, bloggers and other non-commercial outlets. They were pressed hard on the need to fund real journalism rather than feed off enthusiastic amateurs.

The web, of course, featured large in all three plans. While the main evening TV news would be the ‘showcase’ (in the words of one of the bidders), the website would be central in all three plans (the UTV-led consortium’s site is already live at www.waleslive.tv).

So what’s the real choice? The biggest beast is Taliesin, which has ITN, the current ITV Wales news staff and what Clive Jones called ‘the Grand Alliance’ of media companies from across Wales (in TV, radio and many local newspapers) along with no fewer than four universities (www.taliesinnews.co.uk). He promised ‘the first comprehensive alternative to the BBC across every platform’ with ‘100 platforms’ to tell stories. The word heavyweight doesn’t do it justice – this is a truly big beast and that may be its weakness. It sounds as though it would be bigger than the BBC, raising the fear that it will limit the range of journalism on offer rather than promoting diversity. (At an earlier session, hosted by Ofcom, one of Taliesin’s potential partners had spoken of the benefit of more ‘consistency’ in the news – which would save people the trouble of having to choose between different versions of a story!) When questioned, both Clive Jones and Spencer Feeney, editor of the Swansea Evening Post (a member of his consortium) denied that all its outlets would be pushing the same story. Jones was the only one to promise investigative journalism.

The idea that a company from Ulster should be qualified to run the news service in Wales may not immediately ring true. But UTV’s news service is acknowledged to be good and beats the BBC hands-down. They own Welsh radio stations Swansea Sound and The Wave and they’ve teamed up with North Wales Newspapers in what comes to look like a strong bid. They stole a march on the competition with their own publicity van broadcasting the message in words and pictures outside the Millennium Centre.

Llanelli-based Tinopolis presented a very confident pitch, based on the wide experience of a Welsh-based company which has become (through acquisitions) ‘the biggest independent supplier of public service programming’ in Britain (www.tinopolis.com). Of the three, this was the bid which seemed to have its finger most on the pulse of the changing world of communications and the blogosphere; if that’s what the panel are looking for, this could be the one to watch. Rather than a heavyweight consortium, they’re selling this as a network of bloggers, local websites and professional journalists passing information in both directions. Their weakness must be their lack of experience in news.

There was a nice moment when a student tweeter asked each of the bidders to sum up the unique character of his pitch (ideally in 140 characters). Two pleaded commercial confidentiality. Ron Jones of Tinopolis highlighted his idea of an ‘open-source’ network, giving a helping hand to other new media to get off the ground.

James Stewart.