UCLan names first cohort of Google-backed journalism leadership programme

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

The University of Central Lancashire has announced the first 15 people to take part in its new Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme, supported by the Google News Initiative.

The 30-week, part-time, postgraduate course has been designed by a team of academics and industry leaders, with the intention of fostering the next generation of diverse news media leaders and innovators. 

The class of 2021 live in Australia, England, Fiji, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Sweden and Zimbabwe. They work for public broadcasters, magazines, newspapers, news agencies, digital native outlets, and other news-related organisations. 

“Though their personal contexts and professional challenges might at first appear very different, there is much the cohort have in common,” said Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan and director of the scholarship programme.  

“Prime amongst those is their shared passion for the role journalism can play in the health and wealth of communities - and the desire to step up to be the leaders and innovators our industry needs to push through this difficult time and to thrive.   

“We have little doubt that they’ll learn a great deal from each other over the course of this programme, alongside their engagement with their tutors and mentors. We can’t wait to get started.” 

The Google News Initiative has provided funding for scholarships and to facilitate the associated mentoring programme, as well as connections to cutting-edge thinking and practice across the news ecosystem. 

“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 will offer mid-career opportunities to candidates from across the country. We’re excited to see it launch,” added Matt Cooke, Head of Partnerships and Training at the GNI.

The programme begins at the end of the month, featuring live lectures, discussions, and small-group coaching and mentoring by industry leaders many of whom are UCLan alumni.  

Amongst those are Alison Gow [pictured], President of the Society of Editors and Audience and Content Director North West at Reach and Joanna Gearey, Head of Curation at Twitter.

The Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme Class of 2021 are:  

·        Olivia Crellin a producer, reporter and documentary maker currently working for BBC World News. She’s also the founder of media diversity social enterprise PressPad. 

·        Rosi Doviverata is Managing Editor Digital and Readership Development at the Fiji Sun, the biggest daily newspaper in the Pacific Islands.  

·        Naeemah Dudan is the News Editor at Hashtag Our Stories, which publishes daily videos about people positively changing their world.  

·        Catherine Edwards is an award-winning journalist and Europe Editor at The Local / @TheLocalEurope  

·        Katherine Gallo is an experienced Digital Content Lead for Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Australia's multicultural and multilingual public broadcaster. 

·        Christopher Goko is Editor of the Financial Gazette, Zimbabwe’s financial and business newspaper, which updated daily online and published in print each Thursday.  

·        Andrew Kilmurray is editor of the award-winning weekly newspaper, St Helens Star, and sister title, Leigh Journal.  

·        Marcela Kunova is a journalist and Editor at Journalism.co.uk. 

·        Una Murphy is Publisher and Co-founder of VIEWdigital, an independent community media social enterprise in Northern Ireland, which specialises in social affairs journalism in VIEW magazine and on the VIEWdigital.org website. 

·        Guthrie Munyuki is the Editor of the Daily News, Zimbabwe's largest circulating private daily. 

·        Onke Ngcuka is a multimedia journalist and producer at Reuters, South Africa.  

·        Kamila Rymajdo is a freelance writer for Vice, i-D, Dazed, Mixmag and DJ Mag. 

·        Hama Saburi is Chief Operating Officer of Zimbabwe (ANZ), the independent publishher of the Daily News and the Financial Gazette.  

·        Jennifer Simpson is Content & News Editor @leponline & @The_Gazette and exam marker @NCTJ_news 

·        John Simmonds is a sales and marketing consultant working with social impact and purpose-led magazine publishers such as Positive News, a pioneer of constructive journalism.