Colleges in bid to host institute of journalism

Oxford University is in talks to start a national institute of journalism.

Financial
Times journalist John Lloyd told Press Gazette that several academic
bodies are interested in hosting the body, which would examine
journalistic standards and hold the profession to account. But he said
Oxford is furthest forward with its plans.

Queen Mary College and
the London School of Economics are also said to be interested in
running the institute – which Lloyd said would be more like a
think-tank than an academic department.

He said: “The news media
have a lot of power and they should be held to account – one way of
doing that is creating a policy institute which campaigns, holds public
debates and does the sort of things that think tanks do.”

Lloyd
is the author of What the Media are Doing to Our Politics , a book
which suggested modern journalism creates a warped and damaging
portrayal of political life.

In it he called for more analysis and debate about the way journalism reports the world.

Lloyd
has been in talks with universities to push forward the institute plan
and said they have the advantage of being independent of business and
politics.

“Universities are looking for different ways of
studying contemporary events and a number of them are creating what are
closer to think-tanks than university departments”, he said.

Lloyd
said funding for the institute would have to be independent of
government and could come from charitable trusts such as Roundtree and
Thomson, from individuals or corporations.

He said: “It would be long term. It would be about how journalism describes society.”

The institute could set standards for journalistic practice and act as a forum for debate between journalists and politicians.

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