Libel laws need reform - Simon Singh


Libel laws are stifling the media’s ability to address public concerns was the message put to students yesterday in an open lecture by Simon Singh.

In the hour long lecture at the Canterbury campus, the acclaimed scientific author and journalist talked about all aspects of the media, from the good, to the bad and ugly.

He said: “How can you have a journalist raising a legitimate concern then finding themselves sued for libel?”

“We think we live in a free country but our libel laws are some of the strictest in the world”.

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Sky Sports News summer placement


Sky Sports News is offering a fantastic opportunity for summer work placements for undergraduate and postgraduate students with a passion for sport. There are details here on the NCTJ's web site.

Note that applicants would need to have reached 100wpm shorthand in time for the placement.

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Frost on interviews


It should be worth tuning in to BBC4 tonight for the first in a short series of documentaries about the television interview. It's presented by David Frost, who looks at the history of this very particular format and talks to some of its great practitioners.

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Centre for Sports Studies' Investigation of views towards disabled athletes


Many of you agreed to help Brenda Atuona with her study. Only a couple of you have booked slots. Brenda and I would appreciate it greatly if you would please book one now. Below is a link which will allow you to choose a suitable time and date to participate during the period between Wednesday 14 March 2012 and Friday 23 March 2012. Please select your preference. 

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Bus booked for Simon Singh lecture on science and the media


A minibus capable of seating ten students will depart from the Gillingham Building at 16.30 to take students from the Centre to hear Dr Simon Singh, the award winning broadcaster and writer, explore the way in which journalists report science on Wednesday 14 March at 6pm. The open lecture[1], titled Science and the Media - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, will take place at Woolf College Lecture Theatre on the  Canterbury Campus[2]. Dr. Singh will argue that as science impacts on society more than ever before, it is crucial that media reporting is accurate, insightful and informative, rather than distorted, scaremongering and sensationalist. 

The bus will return from Canterbury to Medway at 19.30. Students are welcome to use it to travel in one direction or both. First come, first served. The first three names below have got seats...there is room for seven more.  

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PCC to close


In case any of you have missed it, the Press Complaints Commission met on Wednesday to confirm that it will fast-track its closure to provide a "clean break" for the industry. There are a some striking similarities to the FA's decision to axe Fabio Capello: it comes at a crucial time, there will be a long debate over the qualities a successor requires, and there is no hope of a quick permanent solution.

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Sky News comes to the CfJ


Students at the Centre for Journalism received a master class from the associate editor at Sky News today.

John McAndrew spent an hour with journalism students giving an insight into the industry and talking about how risk taking, technology and a journalist’s courage all play a part in making Sky News’ coverage stand out above the other broadcasters.

McAndrew knows what he is talking about, he worked for the BBC for over 12 years and came up with the idea for ‘The Daily Politics’ show before moving to Sky where he proceeded to edit the leaders debate during the general election in 2010. He is now the associate editor, and is responsible for the quality of Sky News’ journalism.

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Fisk faces backlash for criticising war reporters


Robert Fisk has attacked coverage of events in Syria, saying 'There's something faintly colonialist about all this'. He claims:

- That the "heroic myth" of the war correspondent has pervaded the public's consciousness to such an extent that journalists sent to cover conflicts now regard themselves as more important than the people on whom they are reporting.

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CfJ contributions galore in the British Journalism Review


Centre for Journalism students and staff have practically taken over the current issue of the British Journalism Review, one of the most prestigious journals in the field. It features a piece by broadcast journalism lecturer Richard Pendry on the training of journalists in the former Soviet state of Georgia, and bylined contributions from no fewer than four of our students in a piece about the future of the industry. Congratulations to postgrad Laura Garcia, and to undergrads Alister Houghton, Tania Steere and Sam Thompson for having their pieces published.

The issue also includes a terrific piece by Sky News's Alex Crawford, who gave the Bob Friend Memorial Lecture at the centre last month.

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Guardian's three little pigs advert: an instant classic


I've just seen the Guardian's new TV advert for the first time. It's superb.


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