Superb line-up of speakers to debate major issues facing journalism today at Journalism Skills Conference 2017

With terrorism never far from the headlines in 2017, this year’s NCTJ Journalism Skills Conference will address some of the issues faced by journalists – including inexperienced trainees and students – covering these traumatic events.

The conference will also provide an unmissable opportunity to debate other key issues facing journalism today, including taking advantage of social media rather than letting it take advantage of you, and the growing importance of newsrooms reflecting the diversity of their audiences.

Delegates will also be able to watch and take part in panel discussions on combating fake news and why young people will still read newspapers if the content is right.

Co-hosted by Sky UK and Kingston University, the conference will take place in London on Thursday, 23 and Friday, 24 November.

The NCTJ has brought together a superb collection of speakers and panellists to debate these major issues facing journalism in the UK in 2017. The speakers range from big hitters of national print journalism to driving forces behind the digital news revolution at BuzzFeed, UNILAD and VICE who will explain why editorial excellence is key for their digital expansion.

Lucy Manning, special correspondent for BBC News, will chair a discussion on lessons from reporting disasters and terrorism. Lucy will be joined by Matthew Bell, news editor, Sun on Sunday, Neil Darbyshire, assistant editor, Daily Mail, Harrison Jones, trainee, University of Sheffield, and James Toney, managing editor, News Associates.

The panel will share their own experiences, as well as discussing the risks to physical and mental health faced by journalists covering terrorism and disasters, the pastoral support needed during and after, and ethical issues.

Mark Alford, head of digital at Sky News, will chair a session on how journalists can make the most of social media, working successfully with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat as part of their newsroom’s output. Mark will be joined by Jane Bradley, investigative reporter, BuzzFeed News, Ben Hayward, editorial manager, UNILAD; and Olly Osborne, head of social media (Europe), VICE.

Diversity in journalism will be put under the microscope by Faisal Islam, political editor at Sky News, who will be joined by Hussein Kesvani, columnist, VICE, and Adebola Lamuye, an apprentice at the Evening Standard. This panel will discuss why having journalists from all parts of the country and different ethnic and social backgrounds adds authority and authenticity to news coverage.

On the second day, conference delegates will listen to and participate in a discussion surrounding the importance of accuracy, objectivity and ethics in journalism, chaired by Brian Cathcart, professor of journalism at Kingston University. Brian will be joined by Belinda Goldsmith, editor-in-chief, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Christina Nicolotti Squires, head of content, Sky News.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Belinda said: “Accuracy, independence and impartiality are at the heart of everything we do at the Thomson Reuters Foundation so I’m delighted to be taking part in a discussion about these vital elements of journalism.”

Print journalism will then come under the radar, with Ian McGregor, editor emeritus of The Telegraph, chairing a discussion on how print journalism is still prospering in a digital age.

Ted Young, editor, Metro, and Emma Youle, investigations journalist, Archant, will join Ian in the discussion, sharing the secrets of persuading young people to read newspapers, and how investigative reporting is still thriving in some local print media.

Delegates will then be able to participate in breakout sessions on specialist journalism areas: magazine journalism; sports journalism; and business and finance journalism. Google News Lab will also present a workshop on filtering out fake news with source verification.

Residential delegates will stay at the Doubletree by Hilton at Kingston-upon-Thames and on the night of the 23rd enjoy the annual NCTJ Awards for Excellence gala dinner at Hampton Court Palace.

The top-performing apprentices, students, trainees and accredited course providers will be recognised at the awards ceremony and gala dinner. The glittering evening showcases journalism’s stars of the future and thanks to the generosity of the Financial Times, headline awards sponsor, and a record-breaking number of entries, promises to be a night to remember.

Joanne Butcher, NCTJ chief executive said: “Our event partners, Sky and Kingston University, have come up with a brilliant blend of topical subjects for people in the media and training sectors to come together to explore and debate. The combination of these working sessions with our award celebrations make this an event not to be missed by those interested in the latest developments in journalism skills and new talent.”

Conference tickets can be purchased here. Please note, the Awards for Excellence gala dinner is now completely sold out.