Jon Snow gives a guest lecture at UCLan

This is a guest post by UCLan journalism student Nigel Barlow. He blogs at Thoughts of Nigel and you can follow him on twitter @nigelbarlow. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can Get Involved.

Jon Snow gave a guest lecture at the University of Central Lancashire

Jon Snow gave a guest lecture at the University of Central Lancashire

At the third attempt Jon Snow spoke to a packed theatre of journalism students at the University of Central Lancashire on Thursday 19th March.

Met by a rousing cheer as he entered, he spoke about how his appetite for news was fostered by a meeting with Harold MacMillan at an early age when the former Conservative Prime Minister had more important things on his mind (such as his wife’s affair with Bob Boothby)

Snow radiated an great enthusiasm for the journalism profession as he outlined his early days working for commercial radio and for ITN. One of the early stories that he covered was the IRA’s bombing campaign in 1970’s London making use of what for journalists today would be primitive technology.

Journalism backed by the onset of technology was at the cusp of a golden age and today’s journalism students were well placed to take advantage of the opportunities.

He also had some advice for the students. Journalists he said, should not simply want to tell the story they should want to change the world. He also questioned whether it was enough simply to leave university with a journalism degree without having an experience of another subject.”Knowledge of how to play the latest computer game was not enough”

However, asked about today’s industry he said that good writing will still differentiate the good journalist from the rest of the pack, “good journalism will not be based on an ability to electronically edit. “

Whilst adding that the problems of who will pay for the content will be found. The news industry has always reinvented the business model. People will pay for quality.

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UCLan carbon success hampered by lack of joined up transport thinking

This is a guest post from Martin Brown. He is a blogger on the built environment at isite and can be found on twitter @martinbrown. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can get involved.
A recent article in the Guardian focused on UCLan’s excellent performance in obtaining the Carbon Trust Standard – only one of six universities nationally to do so.

Interestingly Paul Morris, director of facilities management at UCLan, sees transport, as the challenging, sticky issue:

He said: “We do have a university travel plan, and fewer staff travel to work on their own in their vehicles, but it’s difficult for people to get here because public transport alternatives are so poor.”
Though the University lobbies the local council for improvements, he explains, problems with the interchange between rail and bus timetables, for example, discourage students and staff from using them. This means transport is a factor in UCLan’s carbon performance that is proving particularly difficult to improve upon.

UCLan Journalism Leaders Forum report: Peston at Preston

This is a guest post by UCLan journalism student Nigel Barlow. He blogs at Thoughts of Nigel and you can follow him on twitter @nigelbarlow. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can Get Involved.

Robert Peston joined a debate at UCLan on the media's handling of the recession

Robert Peston joined a debate at UCLan on the media's handling of the recession

The BBC’s Robert Peston blames the people that were paid high salaries to regulate the city for the current financial crisis.

Peston was speaking by web link at last night’s Journalism Leaders Forum at UCLan which brought together a panel of local business writers to talk about the credit crunch and the media.

Peston though didn’t entirely exonerate the press. “Once the crisis was over”, he said, “the media have got some searching questions to ask themselves.”

He was talking ahead of an appearance today in front of a house of Commons select committee which has been set up to investigate the media’s handling of the crisis.

Peston himself has been at the centre of some of the controversy. Accused recently in an early day motion in the Commons of painting a gloomy picture of the UK, he was also criticised for leaking market sensitive information on his BBC blog.

There was a general consensus that the media had taken their eye off the ball in the run up to last autumn’s bank bail outs. Part of the problem was the lack of qualified business journalists. Reporters had too easily fallen for the spin of the PR agencies.

The general public though were as much to blame and the head of UCLan’s journalism department, Mike Ward, questioned whether once the economy started to pick up whether people would be as interested in economic matters?

Was it therefore the case that the media saw it coming but nobody was listening?

Watch the panel’s debate about the media’s handling of the credit crunch (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Connect to watch it all)