Programme highlights revealed for Journalism Skills Conference 2014

The Times chief investigative reporter Andrew Norfolk will share his thoughts on reporting the disturbing Rotherham child abuse scandal when he speaks at the NCTJ’s annual Journalism Skills Conference in Sheffield next month.

Andrew’s sustained investigation into the sexual grooming of young girls was instrumental in bringing about the recent independent inquiry report that identified 1,400 victims in Rotherham and condemned the authorities’ failure to protect them.

It has become the biggest local government story of the year, prompting high-level resignations in local government and dominating the Yorkshire media agenda for weeks on end. Could reporters have made sense of it without the rigorous training that comes from NCTJ public affairs and media law? Andrew Norfolk thinks not. He’ll be joined for our conference panel discussion by the Rotherham Advertiser editor Andrew Mosley, whose reporting team cleared the decks to report the scandal for weeks on end.

The NCTJ’s annual conference on Thursday, 27 and Friday, 28 November in Sheffield will provide an opportunity for the journalism industry and education sectors to network and discuss the skills and training of the journalists of the future.

The first day, hosted by the University of Sheffield, will include sessions on: editorial priorities for the digital age; taking stock of the digital-first multimedia skillset; and the changing face of photojournalism.

The second day, hosted by Sheffield College, will feature sessions on: ethics; diversifying sports journalism; safe reporting and international journalism; and what the Rotherham scandal tells us about core reporting skills.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Stuart Campbell, chief photographer, Mercury Press Agency
  • Alex Evans, multimedia reporter, Sheffield Star
  • Alison Gow, digital innovation editor, Trinity Mirror
  • Martha Kelner, sports journalist, Mail on Sunday
  • Paul Kerley, producer, BBC News website
  • David Marsh, editor, Guardian Style
  • James Mitchinson, editor, Sheffield Star
  • Andrew Mosley, editor, Rotherham Advertiser
  • Andrew Norfolk, chief investigative reporter, The Times
  • Janine Self, vice-chair, Sports Journalists’ Association
  • Gary Shipton, editor-in-chief, Sussex Newspapers
  • Tim Smith, acting head of regional and local programmes BBC Yorkshire
  • Neil White, editor-in-chief, Derby Telegraph and Burton Mail

The sessions will be chaired by Amanda Ball, media law lecturer at Nottingham Trent University and NCTJ principal examiner; Andy Cairns, executive editor, Sky Sports News; Peter Cole, Emeritus professor of journalism, University of Sheffield; Mark Hanna, senior lecturer in journalism studies and NCTJ chief examiner for media law and regulation, University of Sheffield; David Holmes, lecturer in journalism studies, University of Sheffield; Marie Kinsey, joint head of journalism studies, University of Sheffield; and Jane Parr, head of press photography, Sheffield College.

An awards dinner will be held at Sheffield City Hall on 27 November. The Awards for Excellence sponsored by NFL UK, including course performance awards and the chairman’s award, will also be presented on the Thursday evening.

To book your place at the conference, please register on the NCTJ website.

For more information on the programme, read our Training Matters blog on HoldtheFrontPage.