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Sports journalism under microscope at media industry forum

BBC sports editor Mihir Bose will be one of the guest panellists at the Journalism Leaders Forum in Preston.

Mihir will be joined tomorrow at the University of Central Lancashire by Manchester United communications director Phil Townsend and Northcliffe Media’s content strategy director Robert Hardie.

The eighth forum, hosted by the university’s journalism department, is entitled “Spoiled Sports: Will the digital media finish off sports reporting as a credible form of journalism?”

The panel will be chaired by former BBC sports presenter Charlie Lambert who now runs UCLan’s sports journalism programme.

He said: “Journalists who cover top-level sport are facing a real challenge.

“Teams and organisations are so powerful and so wealthy that they want to control everything that is said or written about them.

“And while there has always been that element of friction between the reporter and the reported, sports organisations now have their own media platforms from which to reach their public without involving the traditional journalist at all.

“How sports journalists deal with this phenomenon is a key issue which will impact on the credibility of their profession.

“Never have so many people around the globe wanted to watch, listen and read about sport.

“Yet never has it been so difficult for sports journalists to get to the heart of the story.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, starts at 5:15pm with a networking reception followed by the 90-minute panel discussion at 6pm.

The discussion can also be seen via a live webcast.

For more information and to confirm attendance e-mail djwilliams@uclan.ac.uk.

  • In a separate event earlier in the day, the Digital Editors’ Network is meeting at UCLan to discuss maximising the potential of sport on media websites.

    Simon Wharton, managing director of online marketing agency PushON Ltd, will start the discussion on how media websites can best use search engines.

    Mark Comerford, new media lecturer at Stockholm University, will debate the future for newspaper websites using his perspective from Scandinavia where he helped create the first daily online newspaper, www.aftonbladet.se.

    The meeting starts at 1pm and will be attended by UCLan journalism staff and website managers from across the industry.

    Places for the free event are likely to be limited so e-mail organiser Nick Turner on nturner@cngroup.co.uk to get full event details and book a place.

    More information on the network can be found at the network’s blog.