It’s a small world

There is something of a thread running through events relating to journalism at the University of Glamorgan over the past couple of weeks.

Dr Toby Murcott came over today from my colleagues’ Centre for Astronomy and Science Education http://difference.weblog.glam.ac.uk/users/about/15  to talk to our journalism degree students about his brand of journalism – as science correspondent for The Times.

The same students are regularly treated to pearls of wisdom from another Times writer – Tony Rees, who reports on Welsh football for that newspaper and others. He is now teaching journalism at Glamorgan, after studying here some time ago under Prof Meic Stephens, who retired this year.

Prof Stephens also taught Julia Bosnyak, a recent graduate, who has just secured herself a newspaper traineeship. Congratulations to Julia, who will be returning to Wales to work as a reporter.

Wales itself was the subject of some fascinating lectures at the launch of Glamorgan’s Centre for the Study of Media in Small Nations, the brainchild of Dr David Barlow, who helps provide the theoretical underpinning of our practical journalism degree. Read about the centre at http://news.glam.ac.uk/news/2006/nov/23/small-nations/

Further afield – and I’m not sure if this thread will stretch across the Atlantic – this lecturer’s pet research topic of big nation (American) journalism was the focus of a launch lecture at the new Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/ . A report can be read on the website of Press Gazette at http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/article/201106/goerge_bush_newspapers_journalism_thatcher.

Or, at least, it could be read there when I last looked: Press Gazette has now closed, cutting off a unique supply of news about and for journalism. OK, so the Guardian et al cover media issues – but who, apart from Press Gazette, would run a high-brow piece from an Oxford lecture alongside reports from the real world of underpaid and overworked hacks at the coalfaces outside London? A small world just got smaller.

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5 Responses to It’s a small world

  1. Sue says:

    What calumny! As a former Western Mail sub of some years standing (and a few curled up under a desk), I can state categorically that I never wore a grey cardigan.

  2. Mark says:

    Hey Rob,

    It’s good to see that past students of the journalism modules – as they were then, we didn’t have any of this fancy degree-type stuff – are doing well for themselves.

    I do have to say that I believe Professor Meic Stephens played a large part in getting me up to the standard to allow me to get an assistant editor job straight out of university.

    After a year of that I have been drawn back to the University of Glamorgan where I am an Information and Documentation Publish for the e-Support team. It is while I am here that I hope to get some more writing credits to my name and make the leap to freelance writer/editor/web editor.

    I suppose this is really a thank you to both Professor Stephens and Rob Campbell. I’m sure with the help of both of you, Glamorgan graduates will continue to make waves in the writing industry.

    Mark Chatterley

  3. Mark says:

    Hey Rob,

    It’s good to see that past students of the journalism modules – as they were then, we didn’t have any of this fancy degree-type stuff – are doing well for themselves.

    I do have to say that I believe Professor Meic Stephens played a large part in getting me up to the standard to allow me to get an assistant editor job straight out of university.

    After a year of that I have been drawn back to the University of Glamorgan where I am an Information and Documentation Publish for the e-Support team. It is while I am here that I hope to get some more writing credits to my name and make the leap to freelance writer/editor/web editor.

    I suppose this is really a thank you to both Professor Stephens and Rob Campbell. I’m sure with the help of both of you, Glamorgan graduates will continue to make waves in the writing industry.

    Mark Chatterley

  4. Rob Andrews says:

    Word has it a resurrection is in the offing.
    Or there’s always teh internets 🙂

  5. rob campbell says:

    Thanks to Rob Andrews for pointing out that Press Gazette is coming back. But as for the suggestion that we could just get coverage from the internet instead.. isn’t that what is/was killing PG and everything else printed on paper? Buy the hard stuff, Rob! Save the dinosaurs! Anyway, BBC Radio Wales phoned me up this week for a comment about Trinity Mirror, a big newspaper owner around these parts which is ‘reviewing its business’ – presumably deciding which bits to sell. (By the way, funny how nobody asks you for a comment when you are a journalist, but once you work at a university you become comment-fodder). I reminded them that the Daily Mail group recently tried selling off its regional papers and couldn’t get a decent buyer, or even an indecent one. I sincerely hope that the Western Mail etc can find a sugar daddy where others have failed, if it turns out it needs one. A colleague on another paper later told me that selling off regional papers at the moment is like trying to flog a car without an MoT, which seems unfair but I wish I’d thought of it on the radio. He also said that subeditors on his paper are being given internet training as the company diverts more resources onto the web. Better late than never. In too many cases, regional newspapers have accepted that content (ie stories) still needs to be written by professional journalists, but have been happy to let it be processed onto web pages by non-journalists – what my mate calls the techy boys in ponytails – rather than the grey-cardiganned pedants called subeditors. The result has been some diabolically bad regional newspaper web sites, worse even than the newspapers. But all is not lost: subs are back; Press Gazette is back; it’s just like old times. Maybe people will start buying newspapers again too.

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