Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication

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Ian Bucknell awarded an Association for Journalism Education bursary

July 27th, 2017

Ian Bucknell, Senior Teaching Fellow in Journalism at the University of Leeds, has been awarded a ÂŁ1,500 bursary from the Association for Journalism Education for digital journalism research.

Little is written about the underlying challenge of developing best practice in digital journalism, when the applications and devices that are the stimulus for this new form of output, continually evolve and, in some cases, quickly expire. Text books on the subject reflect rather than resolve the dilemma, they offer teaching solutions that are often tied to particular platforms or apps that may be out of fashion or even obsolete within a couple of years of publication.

One of the greatest challenges faced by teachers of journalism in higher education is keeping up with the digital skills desired by industry. How can lecturers serve the needs of the digital industry, when industry itself is yet to define what those needs are?

Ian Bucknell will explore this paradox with qualitative research based on a series of in-depth interviews with senior digital editors from the BBC, Sky News, the Press Association, Vice, Global Radio, Johnston Press and The Guardian. This sample draws on a cross-section of news providers characteristic of the UK industry (broadcast TV/radio, online, press, news agencies, net native, local, national, and global) and matches the varied opportunities open to our graduates. Complementary quantitative data will be gleaned from a study of these organisations’ online job advertisements.

This new research will draw upon the expertise of industry leaders to identify best practice and editorial policies relating to digital journalism practices such as social storytelling, mobile video production and live blogging. It will not only define the difficulties faced by those who teach digital journalism, but will seek to find a way forward by identifying common themes, pervasive digital skillsets and proven approaches to social storytelling that transcend individual networks. Ultimately, it will consider how academics can best prepare graduates for industry despite the uncertainties and contradictions around policy and best practice.

The research will be completed and published by June 2018.

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