The BBC and local journalism

Can the BBC save local reporting? It thinks it can and its offer is likely to be welcomed by government and commercial news providers. I think the corporation is being selfish. The Independent gave me a chance to explain why .  

Examples of achievement - an urgent appeal

In the Centre for Journalism we are intensely proud of our commitment to convergent, multimedia journalism. Several of the academic staff can write with pens and crayons. However, we have noticed that our celebration of student successes during work placements has, so far, been dominated by work published in newspapers. We love print, but we also adore audio, video and online text and we would like to celebrate your online work as enthusiastically as we have the printed stuff. I know several of you have have had film, sound and text published on KM websites PLEASE post links in response to this message. We want to showcase your talents. Help us.

Dover Mercury splash

Although without the same modesty as Kelsey Williams and Alex Fisk last week who recorded significant breakthroughs with a brilliant front page splash and video report respectively, I thought I'd post because we've all been encouraged to post our successes. 

A minor historic breakthrough - reporting family courts

Yesterday was a significant day in the history of journalism as family courts in England and Wales opened their doors to journalists for the first time. They did not open the doors wide. In some cases they opened them only slightly and slammed them closed as if panicking at the prospect of openness. There is a long way to go before cases involving children taken into care, adoption, divorce, emergency protection orders etc. can be reported comprehensively.

Urgent telephone message

telephoneAn important message has emerged from my recent discussions with Kent Messenger Group editors, news editors and reporters. Centre for Journalism students are wonderful and very talented. The KM Group is delighted to have you, but there is always room for improvement and in this case it involves use of the telephone.

Too many of you remain reluctant to make and receive 'phone calls. Some have even tried to contact interviewees by e-mail. Others have allowed telephones to ring in newsrooms without answering them. This is unprofessional. 

First splash for Centre for Journalism

Gravesend MessengerFirst year student Kelsey Williams has landed the Centre for Journalism's first front-page splash. On work experience at the Gravesend Messenger, Kelsey filed a story about a fatal freight train incident that leads the paper's current edition.

An emotional roller coaster ride courtesy of Media Guardian


Today's Media Guardian seems designed to provoke the sort of mood swings normally associated with manic depression.

Luckhurst confesses


Tormented to the brink of sobriety by the atmosphere of gloom and redundancy pervading our beloved news industry, my friends at the Independent asked me to justify creating a degree in journalism. "How can you subject those brilliant, delightful, inspiring young people to academic rigour, editorial conferences and shorthand when job prospects look less healthy than the Zimbabwe Dollar?" they asked.

The future of regional journalism

Last night I chaired a debate at the Frontline Club on the future of regional journalism, with panellists Roy Greenslade (The Guardian), Keith Sutton (former editor of the Carlisle News & Star, Jon Slattery (former deputy editor of Press Gazette and William Yarker (media director of Deloitte).

Cameron to the Rescue?


Conservative leader David Cameron has promised to relax cross-media ownership rules if his party wins the General Election. Some in the industry promote this as a partial solution to the crisis in local journalism. A less generous view is that the Conservative Party is courting popularity with local media owners (Political party woos money and votes shocker, man detained!).