Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lessons from the front: Convergence at Nordjyske Medier

Leaders are expected to look around corners, as it were, and to tell us what they see there.

The Journalism Leaders Programme team believe that sometimes the best way to map out a way forward is by looking back – at our own experiences and those of others. That’s why our course includes original, cutting-edge cases that spark lively discussions and provide lessons that participants can put into practice in their professional lives.

A key case for the Principles of Journalism module, which is offered this January, looks at the Danish company Nordjyske Medier. Described by Martha Stone of Ifra/Newsplex as the best example of a converged media organisation in the world, the group's leadership decided in 2001 to stop talking about the challenges of a digitial age. Instead, they set out to transform an unremarkable regional newspaper into a multimedia organisation that produces radio, TV, online and print media from a single converged newsroom.

We wanted to find out more about what they were doing, how they'd gone about it - and what they'd learned in the process.

So, late this summer John Drury, a Sony Award-winning TV producer who teaches in our department, headed off to North Jutland. John spent two days at Nordjyske Medier taping interviews with managing director Per Lyngby and a variety of other role players from across the organisational chart. We’ve analysed the company data, compared it to other research and pulled together a case with valuable insights for those who are keen – and courageous enough – to lead journalism in the Digital Age.

You can watch* a short preview of the video case study HERE.

Of course, we are most interested in knowing what you think. So please post your comments here or send them to

Online applications are currently being processed for the Winter 2005-6 intake to the innovative Journalism Leaders Programme offered by the University of Central Lancashire's Department of Journalism. François Nel, the programme course leader, is happy to answer any questions:

* These videos require Real Player software, which can be downloaded for free here.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Researching the training needs of editors

Guy Berger , professor of journalism at Rhodes University, has been working on ways to help editors do better for some time now. His 1998 research paper, with Peter du Toit, “Exploring training needs of editors in the countries of Southern African Development Community (SADC)” still warrants a look-see (follow links to research>leadership).

More recently, the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) published the results of a commissioned study, “Managerial competencies among first-line news managers in South Africa's mainstream media newsrooms” , which included both qualitative and quantitative approaches and a very well-constructed sample.

To help inform the Journalism Leaders Programme at UCLan, we did a little bit of research ourselves. While I’m still working on a conference paper that will report the full results, there’re a few tidbits in a piece on our website and in another one that ran in the UK Press Gazette .

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What for?

What's this blog for, you ask? Simply this: To gather research and information about journalism leaders for those who care, which are likely to be other researchers, students, journalists - and, perhaps, even those who lead them.

Why? The answer to this one has a few more angles. For one, I lead the new Journalism Leaders Programme at the Lancashire Business School in Preston, UK, and am keen to create a public depository of related research documents, both those that are freely available and those that are access-protected.

Another reason for this effort is that I'm also researching journalism leadership and change to inform our course and my teaching, certainly. But I'm also working on of my doctorate in journalism education at City University, London. In that capacity, I'm also keen to create a network of journalism scholars - or would-be scholars, like me - who are keen to swap ideas.

Like with other forms of journalism, this blog's success depends on the extent to which we all share. So, go ahead, send me a note at and let's get this depository - and discussion - going.