Journalism Skills Conference live blog

By Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas and Luke Winstanle

0945: Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ welcomes all delegates and students to the second day of the Journalism Skills Conference.

0948: Heather Smith, local college principal, welcomes national journalists to the city and commemorates 45 years of association between the NCTJ and the college. Sheffield College will be relocating journalism training in the city from Norton College to new multi-million pound facilities at Hillsborough in 2015.

0951: Discussion on the managing of ethics in the post-Leveson newsroom begins, chaired by Mark Hanna of the University of Sheffield. After Leveson, emphasis on teaching ethics has been increased from what was already “a significant amount”.


Peter Lowe, managing editor, Sky News
Gary  Shipton, deputy chairman, Johnston Press editorial team
Doug Wills, managing editor, Evening StandardThe Independent, The Independent on Sunday and the i

1000: Gary Shipton. Johnston Press has carried out a full consultation with all its publications over the implications of being signatory to IPSO. “At the heart of all ethics is accuracy”. Reporters can still engage readers with stories in the face of new regulation.

1009: Doug Wills. The Independent has not felt obliged to sign to IPSO as it has abided by its principles for many years. “One thing that has changed is the perception of what journalism is about”.  Public trust in journalists is at a historic low – in a YouGov poll, just 2% of those surveyed felt they could trust those who write for red-top tabloid newspapers in the light of the phone hacking scandal, and IPSO could play a major role in rectifying this. “We spend all the time telling the best stories but we have not told our own story.”

1019: Peter Lowe. The post-Leveson environment has seen the whole of journalism think more conscientiously. “A bigger issue than Leveson is how you deal with Twitter and social networks”. The posting of often graphic or inaccurate material is beyond the reach of current regulators, and maintaining journalistic standards in a digital age will continue to be a challenge.

1030: Questions from delegates.

Gary Shipton refutes suggestions that Johnston Press prioritises profit over ethics. The fact that there is “no political agenda” for its publications to follow gives it more integrity. The regional press is the “most trusted” by the public.

Doug Wills does not believe that news outlets have a tendency to purposefully misrepresent facts. All stories at the places he has worked have been “rigorously” looked at.

Political reporting at a time of crisis – chronicling the Rotherham scandal

1045: Amanda Ball, of Nottingham Trent University, introduces guest speakers Andrew Mosley of the Rotherham Advertiser and Andrew Norfolk of The Times.

1047: Discussion on the chronicling of the Rotherham scandal begins, Andrew Norfolk talks of his struggles as a young reporter and the skills needed to succeed in the field.

1053: Andrew Norfolk. Some of the most important lessons came from the NCTJ, to which he owes “a massive debt of thanks.”

1059: Andrew Norfolk. Speaking on the Rotherham Scandal, to give one reporter four years to work on one story is completely unheard of.

1101: Andrew Norfolk. When a story such as the scandal in Rotherham lands on your doorstep it’s important to approach it in the correct way.

1108: Andrew Mosley. The Rotherham Advertiser was told to leave the grooming problem alone.

1110: Andrew Mosley. It (Andrew Norfolk’s work) opened a lot of doors for the newspaper and the town.

1112: Andrew Mosley. All 23 council members denied any knowledge of a meeting that took place in 2006 to discuss the grooming problems during the recent investigation.

1118: Andrew Mosley. We had to take into consideration the feelings of the victims, something which was perhaps overlooked by the media.

1120: Questions from the delegates.

Watch a report on the conference sessions produced by Sheffield College students here.