Final Year and MA results


The final year and MA results are now displayed in Gillingham Reception and will be a available on SDS at 4pm this afternoon.

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Independence without scrutiny?


Sales of Scottish newspapers have fallen steeply in recent years leading to job losses and a new democratic deficit. Debate has started about independence and the future of the union, but are there enough journalists to cover it and enough readers to take it seriously? The Independent on Sunday asked me to write about it. There is interest in Edinburgh. Feel free to participate in the debate.   

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A council, a Freedom of Information request...and zombies?


Any first years stuck revising for local government?

One worried member of the public is single-handedly trying to make Public Affairs appeal to everyone, with a wonderfully ingenious Freedom of Information request.

Leicester City Council admitted it was not ready for a potential zombie invasion after he/she voiced concerns that provisions to deal with any attack were poor.

I can see the new sign now: "Leicester. Home of the undead. (Twinned with Essex)"

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The BBC and Salford


British Journalism Review asked me to argue the case against the BBC's decision to move half of network television spending and 40% of radio to Salford. They invited me to oppose Mark Thompson's argument that forcing staff and resources out of the capital will improve programmes. In fact I repudiate the DG's claim that the Salford move has anything to do with standards or quality. Read my essay  debate, disagree. 

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Easier does not mean better


 Times Higher Education asked me to write about the new opportunities presented to aspiring authors by digital publishing technology. It has never been easier or cheaper to publish a book or article. Just about anyone can do it. And sometimes it feels as though just about anybody is doing it. Should we care? My answer is that books and articles are almost always better when professional editors commission and produce them. What do you think? 

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Last night's Panorama: a great example of the good investigative journalism can do


Panorama on Tuesday May 31st was a stunning example of good investigative journalism. Using a hidden camera, an undercover reporter exposed horrifying abuse at a privately-run home for adults with learning difficulties. It was shocking, uncomfortable viewing. As a result, the company that runs the home - and many others - has suspended 13 employees. Police have arrested four. Watch it on i-player.

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Visit of Simon Hughes


Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Coalition Advocate for Access to Higher Education, visited the Centre for Journalism on Friday 20 May. Mr Hughes arrived late but stayed long enough to promote his views on the future of higher education. Journalism students took detailed notes and recorded his comments on film. We all learned how good senior politicians are at sticking to safe territory, and that journalists must prepare well and question boldly to move them from it. Be polite, but never defer. They are, after all, elected as our servants not our masters. Debate around these topics features in the previous thread.  

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Visit of Simon Hughes MP


Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, will visit the Centre for Journalism today in his role as the coalition's Advocate for Access to Education. Mr Hughes will meet students in the postgraduate newsroom at 3.30 pm. This is an excellent opportunity to ask a leading opinion former questions about the future of higher education. Please come. Democracy requires that active citizens participate in events such as these.   

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Paul Francis - Best in the country!


Yet another success for a CfJ lecturer, this time in the Regional Press Awards!

Paul Francis, Political Editor of the Kent Messenger and our NCTJ Local Government lecturer, has been named the UK's weekly newspaper journalist of the year. Congratulations Paul!

Only the best for us, eh?

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Deciding the future of the UK


Following the SNP's astonishing victory in last week's Scottish Parliamentary election I was determined to raise the question of who has the authority to consent to the break up of the United Kingdom. Alex Salmond insists that this is a question for Scottish voters only. I think he is wrong. Union was the consequence of consent  by both sovereign nations. I believe voters throughout the UK should be consulted before it is broken up. The Mail on Sunday invited me to write about it. You can read my column here.  Then the Today Programme invited me to debate the topic. Listen here

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