A LEADING expert in broadcasting and media policy is to produce a major report for a top British foundation on how better journalism can be delivered in the digital age.
Blair Jenkins, who recently chaired the Scottish Broadcasting Commission, has been appointed as a Fellow of the Carnegie UK Trust and will conduct a six-month review across the UK.
His initial report is expected to focus on ethical standards in news, the increasing importance of local media and the training of journalists.
Jenkins, who was made an OBE last year for services to broadcasting, will also work in collaboration with Carnegie institutions in the USA and look at US initiatives in journalism education.
He is a former head of News and Current Affairs at both BBC Scotland and Scottish Television, and was also director of Broadcasting at STV.
Blair Jenkins said the Carnegie project was very timely, with much of the UK media landscape changing rapidly and with the prospect of major new legislation in the next few years.
He said: “There are lots of important and connected issues around new technology and how the UK communications sector will develop, what role there is for local media and what the regulatory environment is going to be.
“Against that shifting background, we have to strengthen our journalism and recognise its importance to a healthy democracy – including of course robust investigative reporting.”
Carnegie UK Trust chief executive, Martyn Evans, says the study is a core part of the Trust’s work programme to inform policy on knowledge and culture.
He said: “The work will also take forward recommendations of an independent commission set up by the Carnegie UK Trust that sought a far greater role for civil society in ensuring objective newsgathering.
“The Commission saw a clear connection between access to independent local media and the ability of communities in a democracy to hold their decision-makers to account.
“At the moment, we know what all the problems and threats are for newsgathering – we just don’t seem to have solutions. I am very pleased that Blair has agreed to take this work forward.”
Notes to Editors
For more information contact John Macgill at the Carnegie UK Trust: 07711 548 672
The Carnegie UK Trust works to improve the lives of people throughout the UK and Ireland, by changing minds through influencing policy, and by changing lives through innovative practice and partnership work.
We are one of over twenty foundations worldwide endowed by Scots American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk
The Making Good Society report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society is at http://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/publications
Blair Jenkins is one of the most experienced figures in Scottish media. He has been director of Broadcasting at Scottish Television and head of News and Current Affairs at both STV and BBC Scotland. From 1998 to 2003, he was chair of BAFTA Scotland and he has also been a member of the Royal Television Society’s steering group on current affairs.
Blair started his career at the Evening Express in Aberdeen and was Young Journalist of the Year in the Scottish Press Awards before joining BBC News in London in 1980. He moved to Scottish Television in 1986 and became head of News and Current Affairs in 1990.
Four years later, he joined the main board of STV as director of Broadcasting and he was also a member of the Broadcasting Board of the ITV network.
He was head of News and Current Affairs at BBC Scotland from 2000 to 2006.
In 2008 he chaired the independent Scottish Broadcasting Commission set up by the Scottish Government to make recommendations on the future of the industry, and from September 2010 – January 2011 he chaired the Scottish Digital Network Panel which examined funding models for the proposed new Scottish public service broadcaster.
In June 2010, Blair was appointed an OBE for services to broadcasting. He is Visiting Professor of Journalism at Strathclyde University and a governor of Glasgow School of Art.
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Contact: John MacGill
Phone: 07711 548 672