Journalism Skills Conference speakers to focus on the digital skills revolution transforming journalism

The NCTJ’s annual skills conference is to feature a stellar line-up of guest speakers from all sectors of the media to discuss the digital skills revolution and a range of topical issues in journalism.

Co-hosted by Highbury College and the University of Portsmouth, the conference is taking place in Portsmouth on Thursday, 24 and Friday, 25 November.

Highlights include two masterclasses on video and investigative journalism, sessions on new journalism products and skills, strategies and skills for 24-hour journalism, digital reporting in the courts, copyright chaos, ethics and accreditation.

In the first of two conference masterclasses, Dougal Shaw will be describing new ways to make sharable video content for social media and giving his thoughts on the digital revolution in news. Dougal, who was one of the first of a new breed of video journalists emerging in modern digital news, was a founding video journalist at the BBC’s Video Innovation Lab and is now a video innovation journalist with BBC business news.

The other masterclass will be delivered by multi award-winning investigative journalist Mark Williams-Thomas. Mark is a former police detective who has extensive experience of working at the centre of high profile investigations, specialising in child protection and major crime.

Mark’s recent programmes have included going undercover in Cambodia to expose child sex trafficking, exposing the scale of drugs and violence in UK jails and covering the work of front line police and children's services in Hertfordshire.  He has undertaken a number of high profile exclusive interviews including with Stuart Hazell who murdered schoolgirl Tia Sharp, with the ex-wife of jailed child sex offender Max Clifford, and with Oscar Pistorius prior to his conviction.

As the NCTJ launches its online multiple-choice regulation test which runs alongside the broadcast regulation exam, ethics will be the focus of the first conference session. Debating the issues will be Niall Duffy, IPSO’s director of external affairs, Alex Crook from M&Y News Agency and Richard Frediani, senior programme editor at ITV News.

Mark Waldron, editor of The News, Portsmouth will steer the debate about new products and skills with speakers including James Baggott, chief executive officer of the Baize Group and Sarah Cheverton, editor-in-chief of Star & Crescent.

Speakers contributing to the session on strategies and skills for 24-hour journalism include Martin Belam, the Guardian’s social and new formats editor, and Brogan Kay-Jessop, a social media journalist at Sky Sports.

Editors looking into their crystal balls to predict future skills include Laura Adams, editorial director of Archant London, Herts and Cambs, Mike Gilson, editor of the Argus, and Mark Payton, editorial director of Haymarket Consumer.

Media law expert, Tony Jaffa, and court and crime reporter at The News, Ben Fishwick will be debating the topical legal pitfalls of digital reporting from court and copyright.

Delegates will be keen to participate in the important debate about the future shape of the NCTJ’s accreditation scheme following radical changes made to the structure and content of the Diploma in Journalism. Andy Cairns, executive editor of Sky Sports News and chairman of the NCTJ’s accreditation board, will introduce the session and Neil White, the NCTJ’s editorial consultant, will present some of the key messages about accreditation from employers, heads of journalism and students.

Winners of the 2016 NCTJ Awards for Excellence will be announced at the gala dinner by John Pienaar, deputy political editor of BBC News. Taking place at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, dinner guests will arrive by chartered ferry and have the opportunity to tour HMS Alliance. NCTJ chairman, Kim Fletcher, will present his annual award to a special person who has made an outstanding contribution to journalism training and education.

For more details and to book please click here.