Senior Journalism lecturer for Coventry University, John Mair and Richard Lance Keeble have put together another book featuring professional journalists discussing certain subjects. This book, entitled The Phone Hacking Scandal: Journalism on Trial? follows the Leveson case on phone hacking in journalism, where many writers and editors are on trail over allegedly tapping celebrities phones to find stories.
The book features work from lecturers from top universities, professional journalists, authors and MA Journalism students from Coventry University and contains over 30 chapters surrounding the case. It will be available in February 2012 and CU Today will be exclusively extracting chapters from the book throughout January as articles to read and learn from, or work to support academic essays.
Furthermore, John Mair is holding an event to showcase the release of the book, with details found below:
Written by Jon Dudley – Editor.
“A really extraordinary spectacle.” is how Channel 4 News Presenter, Jon Snow, started of his talk at what was the 300th Coventry Conversation. But is hackgate really the biggest and most important story at the moment?
The talk started with how the hacking scandal is both terrible and interesting and Jon asked the question as to what it would take for us to question the tabloid journalists in the same way they question others. Jon then stated that: “You wouldn’t actually do it to your worst enemy.” relating to the idea that it is that bad. The idea came across that they don’t care about others and this is why they can get horrible stories. Jon explained: “I have nothing against the tabloid press.” And described how some of the tabloids are successful in bringing enjoyment to people but there has to be a line drawn at what is acceptable.
Coventry was lucky enough to have Mr Sissons speak about some of his life experiences and about his brilliant 45 year career in the Media at a recent Coventry Conversation.
Mr Sissons started the conversation by saying: “I go back to the early days of creative talent.” referring to his upbringing in Liverpool. Mr Sissons was luckily enough to share his Primary School education with John Lennon before moving on to secondary school where he met Paul McCartney and is still friends with him today. George Harrison was also educated at the same secondary school. When describing John Lennon as a boy he said: “He had a mean side to him.” Mr Sissons was then asked what George Harrison was like as a boy and he simply said: “Very very quiet, friendly.” Mr Sissons then explained how Paul McCartney and George Harrison actually met because they used to get the same bus home from school.
Mr Sissons went to Oxford University. He said: “I worked for the Oxford University Newspaper.” as a sports reporter. It was then that he had his first proper interview as Arsenal first team played and beat the Oxford University football team and he managed to get a quick interview with the Arsenal Goalkeeper. Mr Sissons described how he loved doing it and wanted to do more which is why he applied to the Liverpool Echo thinking that his newspaper experience and his Liverpool past meant they had to say yes. He was rejected. Although he was then offered a job with Thompson Newspapers, he rejected it as a better offer had come up.
Written by Alex Maidment – First year student
On the 6th October 2011, Coventry University were lucky enough to play host to the Executive Producer of the recent ‘Our War’ documentary series, Colin Barr. ‘Our War’ is a documentary series about the conflict in Afghanistan and was designed to reach a young audience. It all began from a small bit of footage which was filmed by a soldier a few years back and this footage made the BBC think about how much war footage filmed by the soldiers might be out there.
Colin Barr didn’t come onboard with the idea until the M.O.D had said that they would support the documentary series as without the M.O.D, it would have been far too difficult to get all the information needed. Mr Barr said that the M.O.D were ‘very very very nervous about letting us (the BBC) anywhere near it’ and that the M.O.D then took four months before getting back to them saying that they would support it. He added the M.O.D were ‘Happy with the reception of the series’ and had no editorial role in the making of the series, however they were shown the footage to make sure that there was nothing that could give information out which could tip of the enemy or should not get into the wrong hands.
A lot of the filming was done by helmet cams and these cameras weren’t supplied by the M.O.D or BBC but the soldiers themselves were buying them as around 2006/2007, they became cheap enough to get hold of and many of the soldiers liked being able to record what was going on. Mr Barr said that ‘Everybody’s a director now’ and that soldiers are ‘Filming in greater numbers now’ referring to how the popularity has soared and they all want to show the world what they do. Some videos filmed by soldiers have even ended up on websites like Youtube.
Written by Alex Maidment – First Year Student.
The second in the run of Coventry Conversations was a talk by Steve Cropley; Editor-In-Chief of Autocar magazine. He has been the editor for fifteen years and a road tester for thirty five, and according to John Mair- 40% of jobs in automotive journalism in England are at his behest. Mr Cropley’s talk was mainly based around ways for a journalist to be noticed and stand out in the industry.
The first thing he stressed was how important this time period is for students- jobs are scarce and potential employers look for something special. “If there’s one thing you take from me today- you can forget the rest of what’s coming- this is your moment; retail your youth. Realise what your assets are and retail.” He said. Mr Cropley also commented on the difficulty of getting back on the journalistic path if you take a job outside of the media in-between as an interval. He mentioned that young people aren’t given the respect they deserve from employers and that this is something to just work around.
Written by James Lambert – First Year Student.
Coventry Conversations has returned this academic year with guest speakers Darren Parkin and Jeremy Pollock, prime examples of what can be achieved in a successful media career. Taking place on September 27th 2011, they spoke about how the world of media and journalism is undergoing a significant change, and how they are the people facing the consequences and pressure of this adjustment.
Mr Parkin, editor of the Coventry Telegraph, described the media as entering the “dawn of a new age” as the internet continues to grow as the world’s primary source of information. Media outlets such as the networking site Twitter are taking over as a tool of communication between the media and the public and for journalists this is a revolutionary practice. Events such as the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ were first reported not through television or radio but through twitter, sparking a greater interest and connection between the internet and the media. Darren expressed his interest in this way of reporting, but also felt as if the media was at a crossroads as he explained his dilemma of if he should “sacrifice print for internet hits”. The Coventry Telegraph has faced a reduction in newspaper sales of 7%, the online version of the paper has experienced greater traffic causing the paper to look at the way they report their news.
Written by Lauren Ainscough – First Year Student.