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‘Hard to imagine my working life without them’ – how tech tools open up the world for rural working


The connectivity of broadband coupled with online communication tools has certainly changed my working life. No more the commuter slog into a Manchester city centre office – instead my office can be anywhere I choose (most often rural North Yorkshire or travelling) and my colleagues are distributed across the UK and as far afield as Cape Town.

Of course, I’m by no means unusual in making that shift. Working with a worldwide outlook seems to be a growing trend, capitalising on broadband availability and connectivity tools which make video conferencing and team working across geographies a reality.

I caught up with media trainer Justin Kings, a former radio editor who, for the past six years, has travelled across Europe and the Middle East helping broadcasters better understand social media. For the past 18 months he has lectured as part of a social media Masters programme for an American Journalism School.

Here he gives Prolific North readers a glimpse into his working week, reaching worldwide with the help of four planes and lots of broadband from his home in rural Northumberland.

You can also catch him on Twitter @newsleader – no matter where you are. This is his week.


Newcastle Airport has become my friend over the years.
It provides a vital link for me and it is been great to see it grow even in a fairly short time. With daily flights to New York now taking off I have certainly got an eye on America for future business development.

Today my final destination is Geneva, home of the world’s largest association of broadcasters, the EBU. I lead social media training for its learning and development arm, the Eurovision Academy of which I am a Faculty Member.


Sports Editors from national public service media in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Poland, Slovenia and Switzerland are today taking part in a Master Class I have developed about social media and sports broadcasting.

In 6 years I have worked with more than 1,000 TV, radio and online colleagues from across Europe.


Back home and it is a busy day on Skype.
It is now almost hard to imagine time before communication tools such as this and very hard to imagine my working life without them.

I am currently acting as a mentor for a small group of independent content producers in Northern Ireland and this morning I am checking in with one of them to discuss her draft social media strategy.

Later this afternoon I am Skyping with a digital manager for a company in Australia who is interested in a discussion.

My dining room is my TV studio!
It is here I recently recorded 10 lectures in social media and news for the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications’ on-line Masters degree course in social.

Today I am preparing for a live lecture to be delivered next week. I use Adobe Connect to link up live with my students. The time difference makes it an extra surreal experience, as the lecture starts at 6pm EST, that’s 11pm BST.

No working week is ever the same for me. I love the flexibility of choosing when to work when I am at home and, as it’s a sunny day, I am out this morning enjoying the coast nearby.

This evening I will catch up on emails and I have a sociable Skype call scheduled with a fellow trainer. He has become a friend and in fact we have even developed courses together. He has just returned from a conference in Kuala Lumpar and I am curious to find out how it went. If we email each other the first line is usually, “Where in the world are you today?”

* How has technology changed your working world? Let us know in the comments below or drop me a line to

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