Sunderland hosts Journalism Skills Conference

An exciting line-up of media professionals working at the cutting edge of new and innovative journalism techniques has been revealed for this year’s Journalism Skills Conference.

The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) flagship event brings together educators and employers from across the UK to discuss the latest developments in the industry, and journalism education and training.

The two-day conference will this year take place on Thursday, 28 and Friday, 29 November at the University of Sunderland.

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The Awards for Excellence ceremony will take place on the evening of the 28 November at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, presented by Sky Sports Premier League presenter David Jones and sponsored by The Independent. Attendees will have the opportunity to take a tour of the stadium, as well as participating in a Q&A with Kevin Maguire, associate editor of the Daily Mirror and Visiting Professor at Sunderland, during a drinks reception.

Lee Hall, Head of School of Media and Communications at the University of Sunderland, will welcome attendees to the prestigious event. He said: “It's a real honour and feather in the cap of our University to be hosting the NCTJ's Journalism Skills Conference, which brings together leading media thinkers and practitioners from across the UK.

“There has never been a better time to study and debate the media, thanks to the disruption to traditional news models and the extraordinary news agenda we are witnessing.

“This conference will have a real Sunderland flavour, with graduates of our highly-rated courses speaking and our outstanding staff hosting key discussions.”

He added: “I'm also delighted that we will be showcasing the Kate Adie archives, held by our librarians and containing some real treasures from her frontline reporting.”

Luke Bidwell, content and communications executive for cricket at Lancashire Cricket Club, and Joe Nicholson, digital sports specialist at the Sunderland Echo, are among the latest names confirmed to explore the future of sport journalism in a digital age at the conference.

Abbie Scott, deputy managing editor at the Financial Times, will chair a panel discussion on keeping resilient and understanding personal safety, including looking after mental health, safeguarding and online trolls.

Abbie will be joined by Andy Commins, staff photographer at the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, Adam Crafton, reporter for The Athletic, Amy Fenton, chief reporter at The Mail, and Elizabeth Pears, news editor at BuzzFeed.

Other panel discussions will look at social and mobile video journalism, the power of podcasting, and the changing jobs landscape for NCTJ graduates.

The conference will also give an insight into how the Community News Project and its reporters are making an impact in their newsrooms and neighbourhoods.

Click here for the full line up.

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