Tag Archives: The Guardian

Blackburn Lecture On Journalism And The Internet

I did some teaching at Blackburn College’s University Centre just before Christmas, including this lecture which I gave to a group of first and second year students.

It’s a quick introduction to some of the current themes surrounding the current state of journalism. I thought it was important to emphasise to the students that, although newspapers are generally in decline, there are many factors at work and it’s not just “because of the internet”. I also wanted to stress that the skills they are learning on their course will be useful to them regardless of what they end up doing, whether it’s working for a traditional media company, in some related industry such as PR, or doing their own thing.

Here’s the full presentation.

Guardian Article On Charles Brett

Charles Brett’s headstone in Harpurhey Cemetery.

I’ve had an article published on the Guardian site about Charles Brett, the first Manchester police officer to be killed on duty. He was shot dead on 18 September 1867, as a group of Fenians sprung two of their leaders from a police van on Hyde Road. By coincidence, it was exactly 145 years to the day before the recent murders of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes in Mottram.

Although the three men hanged for his murder are well remembered as the ‘Manchester Martyrs’, Brett’s story is much less well-known, so I thought I’d tell it. My research included a visit to Harpurhey Cemetery in the pouring rain to find his headstone, and a look through some of the old Manchester Guardian reports of the time.

You can read the article at the Guardian Northerner here.

Whit Friday Articles On Brighouse And Rastrick

Brighouse and Rastrick in action on Whit Friday 2011.

I’ve had a couple of articles published this week looking ahead to the Whit Friday brass band contests, and focusing on the current national champions of Brighouse and Rastrick.

Here’s my piece for the Northerner section of The Guardian, and I also put together a different version for Saddleworth News.

sex shop ucuz satan yer

sex shop ucuz satan yer

Leeds MA International Journalism Course, Lecture 4

My latest lecture to my international MA students at the University of Leeds was about hyperlocal news. It’s something I know a good bit about, having set up and run Saddleworth News for a couple of years, so hopefully I was able to give them an interesting perspective on this area of the media.

I explained to them that, while I learned a lot from running Saddleworth News, I was unable to find an answer to the problem of how to make journalism, and in particular websites featuring local journalism, pay. But then if I’d found that secret, something tells me I don’t think I’d have been there today giving a lecture!

Here’s the presentation: http://prezi.com/ckqvhfsdym7y/ma-lecture-4-university-of-leeds/

I’ve got one more lecture to give after Easter, and I’ve been doing a series of eight practical sessions teaching them practical journalism skills too. I’ve also been doing more teaching with the first year Broadcast Journalism undergrads, and I’ve got them all to find a local site in their hometowns to discuss in seminars later in the week, so it’ll be interesting to get their views on the value or otherwise of hyperlocal.

Leeds MA International Journalism Course, Lecture 3

After a week during which my MA students had a lecture from someone else, it was back to me today for the third in my series of talks. The session ran through several related points on a similar theme. I covered online communities, experiments in open journalism including the latest relaunch by The Guardian of their efforts in this area, new ways of working for journalists, and how journalists themselves are facing increased scrutiny from members of the public using the internet.

Here’s the presentation: http://prezi.com/w6grnzs43jlm/ma-lecture-3-university-of-leeds/

I spoke a bit about how, sometimes, individuals with a particular interest or specialism can offer better coverage of a certain issue or event than the mainstream media, and how the ease of setting up your own blog nowadays makes this task a bit easier. A classic example from recent months is the Rangers Tax Case blog, which is worth looking at whether you’re interested in Scottish football or not. The author wrote a very interesting piece for The Guardian about how his coverage had rather shown up the established newspapers in Scotland.

Leeds MA International Journalism Course, Lecture 2

Today was the second of the five lectures I’m giving to MA students on the International Journalism course at the University of Leeds. It was on the theme of how more information is now freely available than ever before, and looked at ways in which journalists use this information for news stories and other purposes.

You can take a look at the presentation here: http://prezi.com/ko03xsk9mfco/ma-lecture-2-university-of-leeds/

Inevitably, it was a bit of a canter through lots of different but related issues, including filming of public meetings, open data, data-driven journalism, various Freedom of Information laws, and online whistleblowing of the kind made famous by Wikileaks. I fell back a few times on stories I’d done for Saddleworth News using various pieces of data, I’m not sure whether the students from around the world were particularly fascinated to know about road crashes on the A62, but I hope I got the general points across.

Leeds MA International Journalism Course, Lecture 1

Today I gave the first of five lectures to MA International Journalism students at the University of Leeds. I’m also taking them for eight practical sessions, and it’s all part of a module aimed at giving them multimedia journalism skills, to go with some of the more academic work they’re doing in other modules.

The students are from several different countries, so I decided to use the first of the formal lectures to give them a bit of background on a few of the major challenges and possibilities facing journalism. I’m a journalist and not really an academic, so it was more of a personal perspective on some key issues rather than an in-depth critical analysis, but hopefully it’ll help put the practical skills I’m teaching them into a bit of context.

You can have a look at the presentation here: http://prezi.com/kgmt_p-4zioc/ma-lecture-1-university-of-leeds/

The Forgotten Story Of Lancashire’s American Football Ace

Mike in action against the Atlanta Falcons in 1972. (picture: Mike Walker)

I’ve had an article published on the Guardian’s Northerner site today, which you can read here. It’s all about the man in the picture, Mike Walker, a bricklayer from Lancashire who ended up kicking in the NFL for the New England Patriots, after winning a competition and making it through the team’s training camp in the early 1970s.

It took a while to track Mike down to a town near Boston, where he still lives, but I enjoyed doing a bit of old-fashioned detective work. We had a good chat on the phone last week and there was a lot more I could have included in the article. But as it was aimed more at a non-sport audience, I had to leave out some aspects which would have been interesting only to NFL fans. A bit frustrating, but you always have to think of your audience.

If you haven’t come across it before, The Northerner site in general is well worth reading. It’s a slightly hidden-away part of the Guardian’s website, but there are lots of interesting articles and links on there. There’s also a Twitter feed here.