Geoff Elliott admits he’ll be “very quickly learning about academe” when he takes on his latest challenge.
“It’s not a world I know much about really,” admitted the the former editor of The News, Portsmouth, who has been appointed head of journalism at the University of Central Lancashire.
But he is “delighted” at the prospect of helping to develop the next generation of journalists and hopes to emulate the achievements of his predecessor, Peter Cole, who is moving to Sheffield University as head of journalism in place of Donald Trelford.
“It will be a great pleasure to be involved with people who want to be journalists,” said Mr Elliott (55).
“I’ve always been very keen on personal development and although I’ve never been a teacher, I think a lot of editing is about tutoring and teaching and developing people.”
He will head a staff of 25 teaching 750 students on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses.
His 38-year career in began on his home-town paper, the Coventry Evening Telegraph, as a trainee reporter. He rose through the ranks to become deputy editor at 27 and left in 1979 to edit the Kent Messenger. He returned to Coventry in 1981 and was editor for almost 10 years before joining The News, Portsmouth, as editor in 1990. He was sacked last year after the paper was taken over by Johnston Press.
He has served on the Press Council, the Editors’ Code Committee, the Press Complaints Commission and the DA Notices (formerly D Notices) Committee and is a past chairman of the Guild of Editors’ parliamntary and legal committee and a past president of both the Guild and its successor, the Society of Editors.
He is married to Lyn, a head teacher and has a son, Nick, and a daughter, Jo, deputy news editor of the Bristol Evening Post.
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