Industry heavyweights to debate future of quality journalism at Journalism Skills Conference 2009

The editor of The Scotsman and the head of training at the BBC College of Journalism are among the leading figures making up a Question Time debate panel at the Journalism Skills Conference 2009.

John McLellan, editor of The Scotsman, and Alex Girlis, head of training at the BBC College of Journalism, will join Tom Happold, head of multimedia at The Guardian, Gordon Macmillan, head of news with STV, and Margaret Strayton, group editorial manager, Newsquest, on the Question Time panel for a lively debate on the future of quality journalism.

BBC Scotland presenter Aasmah Mir will chair the panel and direct questions from an audience of editors, senior journalists and journalism trainers. Aasmah fronts BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland and is well-known to listeners of Radio 5 live.

The Question Time debate will take place on the first day of the Journalism Skills Conference at BBC Scotland’s Pacific Quay headquarters and will be followed by tours of the £188m centre which was opened in 2007 as one of the most modern, state-of-the-art, digital broadcasting facilities in the world.

Following the tour delegates will stay on at Pacific Quay for the conference reception, dinner and presentation of awards to the top performing and most improved NCTJ accredited courses. The Chairman’s Award for services to journalism training will also be presented.

The following day the conference will move to Hampden Park, Scotland’s national stadium and the athletics venue for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

At Hampden Park delegates will be invited to contribute to interactive sessions focussing on media trends, the gold standard for training and the future structure and content of qualifications for multimedia journalists.

The conference is open to everyone involved in journalism recruitment, education and training and the discussions at the conference will play a large role in determining the future shape of NCTJ qualifications.

Delegate places for the conference are being booked up fast and to avoid missing out on a place book your place today.