Tag Archives: Journalism

SoE conference branded overwhelming success by PR driving force Magstar

Behind every event there is always a team running things in the background, often without attendees even realising.

And at the annual Society of Editors Conference 2016, this was no different. Running and managing the event was back in the hands of the Magstar team, who were established in Cambridge back in 2001.

It’s been a busy couple of days in Carlisle and the work gone into maintaining the event, which saw over 200 people pass through the doors of the Halston hotel, has been unbelievable.

And Olivia Disley-Stevens, who is the Event Coordinator at Magstar has been impressed by just how well the event has gone yet again.

She said: “We’re a small team and we all chip in together but this year, the event has gone extremely well.

“We’ve had great help from everyone at the hotel, the delegates and the editors. We’re looking forward to next year and we always want to be bigger and better than the year before,” she added.

Magstar have now assisted the Society for over ten years now and there is a happy, healthy and productive relationship blossoming between the two parties, something Disley-Steven’s thinks is vital to the continued success of the event.

“We’ve worked with the Society for over ten years now and we work with them on their marketing and website as well.

“There’s now a friendship between us and the Society and it’s a nice thing to be able to do year-after-year and I thoroughly believe this relationship will carry on,” she said.

By Hayden Atkins


Digital Opportunities in Modern Journalism

In the final session of the day, talk turned to crowd-funding and citizen journalism in ‘Digital Opportunities’.

Alison Gow, Digital Innovations Editor at Trinity Mirror Regionals opened with a presentation on emerging opportunities for journalists.

The role of developers and journalists working together is becoming more common, an opportunity to “produce unique, engaging and compelling content that stands on its own.”

With technology advancing so fast, she said that “the shift happens very fast – we just have to be ready for it”. It represents an opportunity to bring more people into the world of journalism, and increases interactivity.

Ms Gow said new technology is always worth testing for journalistic use. Media commentator Ray Snoddy, chairing the meeting, wondered whether there is a danger of moving too fast. Ms Gow said: “There is always the danger of the shiny. You have to try something in a test situation – if it works, it’s worth doing more often.”

Kathryn Geels, Programme Manager, Destination Local, spoke passionately about hyperlocal journalism.  “People want to know what’s happening at the end of their street or where they work,” she said.

She spoke about utilising technology to help those reporting on hyper-local matters and voiced her hope national media will integrate with them on a bigger scale. “There needs to be a recognition that a lot of hyper-local publishers are journalists,” she said.

Journalist and author Peter Jukes spoke about his experience live tweeting the phone hacking trials and explained how crowd-funding helped him cover the costs of his work.

Jukes is an advocate of citizen journalism and the sourcing of information from the public to back up official sources. He said he would put out a tweet and “people kept correcting me”. “It doesn’t substitute private sources… it doesn’t replace it, but it does compliment it.”


By Poppy Jeffery

NCTJ Kim Fletcher talks about continuous personal development

Donald Martin, Editor in Chief of D C Thomson newspapers, opened the session on continuous personal development today.

He told conference delegates:  “We are in a state of constant change” adding that when it comes to preparing for these changes there are no easy answers and no fixed solution.

The main speaker was Kim Fletcher, chairman of the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ). He said the organisation has adapted its qualifications by restructuring the diploma and raising accreditation standards.

He said the NCTJ has seen a huge demand in training for digital journalism, adding that although the ways in which news is reported is constantly changing,  “one thing that doesn’t change is the view that people want to read stuff.”

The biggest problem for Journalism is the lack of development training in the industry for more senior staff. Fletcher said:  “We are still really bad as an industry at doing anything after that trainee point. We found the majority of journalists, 63%, feel there are new or additional skills they need if they are going to be more efficient.”

Fletcher’s final message was a clear call for help in shaping the future of training:  “Join the debate and let’s see how we can change this,” he said.

Donald Martin backed the speech, saying editors are expected to run a company with no extra training.

The pair were asked how they would deliver this training. Fletcher said: “We haven’t got that far, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the NCTJ.” He added the NCTJ would like to be involved because it knows more about the industry than some outside organisations do.

He was clear that even though some universities do not provide good quality Journalism courses, he is “very reluctant to make NCTJ a policing organisation.”