Johnston in link-up with university

Johnston Press has joined up with the University of Central
Lancashire (UCLan) to create a new chair in digital journalism as part
of a three-year partnership.

The £200,000 deal could culminate in
the creation of an institute of digital journalism at the university.
The partnership also aims to inform students on the full range of
journalism courses, including the new digital journalism production
degree.

Funded by Johnston, the chair will be in place by January
2006 and will investigate multimedia reporting, technology in the
newsroom and various methods of distribution of content. UCLan will
also fund a research assistant to help the chair draw up a research
strategy.

Mike Ward, head of the department of journalism, said
by the end of the decade it is forecasted that there will be up to 1.5
billion computers linked up to broadband and 2.5 billion mobile phones
will have more processing power than current PCs.

“This will
undoubtedly have major implications for journalists and publishers
alike,” said Ward. “UCLan’s partnership with Johnston Press presents us
with a unique opportunity to investigate, challenge and inform
development and debate in digital applications.

“Together we will produce materials for teaching, knowledge transfer and further research.”

Johnston
Press chief executive Tim Bowdler added: “Johnston Press is delighted
to partner with the department of journalism and to give added impetus
to its already well-recognised commitment to exploring new forms of
factual content creation, production and dissemination.”

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