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Google extends journalism partnership with North West university


The Google News Initiative is to sponsor 15 scholarship places for the University of Central Lancashire’s next Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme.

It’s the 4th consecutive year that the tech giant has backed the 30-week programme, which has been designed to shape the generation of diverse news media leaders.
Since its launch, 60 media professionals from 12 different countries have completed the programme.

“We hope the next cohort of participants will benefit from studying with UCLan and contribute towards the growing alumni of industry professionals who have completed the course,” said Matt Cooke, Head of Google News Lab.

“We’re grateful to the expert trainers and mentors who’ve made this possible. We look forward to seeing the university build for the future and provide opportunities for journalists from across the industry.”

Graduates of the programme include Andrew Kilmurray, editor of St Helens Star, Wirral Globe and Leigh Journal; Amina Bedjaoui-Chaouche, editor at Radio Algeria; Rhiannon Davies, founder of Greater Govanhill Community Magazine in Scotland; Guthrie Munyuki, editor-in-chief of Daily News in Zimbabwe; and Laura Elvin, head of news at UK agency SWNS.

“This investment allow us to continue the important work of fostering the diverse leadership our news industry needs now more than ever,” added Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan and Director of the scholarship programme.

“Together with the industry experts who have helped develop and deliver the programme, our graduates and participants form a strong network that extends beyond the course. This network that now includes forward-thinking news media professionals from 15 countries provides a valuable forum for sharing ideas, best practices, and challenges. We are grateful for the Google News Initiative’s support in helping us build a more inclusive and equitable
Participants are paired with senior industry mentors from organisations such as FT Strategies, WAN-IFRA and Reach Plc to enable them to widen their network and learn from experts in their field.

“UCLan has been training journalists since 1962 and has always ensured that its teaching reflects this fast-paced and ever-changing industry,” explained Professor Peter Lloyd, Dean of the School of Arts and Media at UCLan.

“We are delighted to receive this continued backing from the Google News Initiative. It is key industry partnerships like this that help us remain so successful and this is reflected in our Guardian Good University Guide 2023 League Table ranking of number one in the North West and still amongst the very best in the  UK.”

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