Big names make first visit to advise journalism department

Members of the Advisory Board visit a newsroom at 9 Mappin Street

Members of a prestigious new Advisory Board for the Department of Journalism Studies have made their first visit to 9 Mappin Street, viewing the facilities and seeing students at work.

The board – which includes high-profile figures from the media industry and research community – was convened by the department's new Professional Chair in Journalism, former Press Association editor Jonathan Grun.

Its members will advise Journalism Studies on its teaching, research, contribution to society and overall direction and objectives in the light of rapid changes in the media industry – with a view to retaining the department's status as number 1 in the UK.

First-hand glimpse

Although its first meeting is not due until June, several board members decided to prepare for their roles by travelling to the department on 14 March to get a first-hand glimpse of journalism teaching in action.

The visitors were Radio Times editor Ben Preston; Reuters institute researcher Lara Fielden; Chris Elliott, readers' editor at The Guardian; Dorothy Byrne, Channel 4's head of news and current affairs; Tom Gibbons, professor of law at the University of Manchester; and former Guardian journalist Peter Cole, the department's emeritus professor and former head.


Founding members of the Advisory Board

Dorothy Byrne, head of Channel 4 news and current affairs
Professor Peter Cole, emeritus professor, Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield
Chris Elliott, readers’ editor, The Guardian
Margaret Emsley, head of news, ITV Yorkshire
Lara Fielden, research associate, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
Tom Gibbons, professor of law, University of Manchester
Alison Gow, digital innovation editor, Trinity Mirror Regionals
Neal Mann, editor, WSJ
Clive Marshall, chief executive, PA Group
James Mitchinson, editor, The Yorkshire Post
Ben Preston, editorial director, Radio Times
Dan Walker, BBC presenter
Oliver Wright, political editor, The Independent

Dan Walker


Professor Marie Kinsey, joint head of the Department of Journalism Studies, said: "The creation of an Advisory Board has been a long-standing ambition in the department and we're delighted that such an illustrious group of people have agreed to join.

"The board will help us stay plugged into all aspects of journalism at a time when the industry is changing at breakneck speed."

The board's full membership also includes high-achieving alumni of the department in Neal Mann of the Wall Street Journal and Dan Walker, who earlier this month became the new face of BBC Breakfast.

The board will help us stay plugged into all aspects of journalism at a time when the industry is changing at breakneck speed

Professor Marie Kinsey
Joint head of department

Vital guidance

Jonathan Grun said: "Sheffield is very highly regarded by students and the media industry – it is the only journalism department in the top five of every league table.

"The media landscape is shifting and we want to ensure that the department continues to lead the way. Our Advisory Board will be providing vital guidance on what is happening now and will be helping us prepare for what may happen next."