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Lecturer renames degree course in bid for ‘more mobile’ journalists

paul-bradshawA journalism lecturer has changed his degree course’s name in a bid to help future journalists become “more mobile” on their patches.

Birmingham City University’s Paul Bradshaw, left, says would-be journalists need to be helped to “invent the language of the web”, rather than just learn how to write for different platforms.

Paul has decided to change the name of the university’s ‘online journalism’ MA to make it a course in ‘multiplatform and mobile journalism’.

He explained his decision in a piece for the Online Journalism Blog, which he runs.

Wrote Paul: “In the pre-multiplatform era trainee journalists were taught how to write on one platform and in a limited number of formats that had existed for decades. That approach, in the language of the web, ‘doesn’t scale’.

“Once you move from one platform to dozens, and when new features and new platforms are added to the list every year, you need a different approach.

“Students don’t just need to know how to ‘write for Twitter’, they need to know how to adapt when a new feature like Twitter Moments is launched, or a new chat platform like Snapchat emerges as a key player.

“And it is pointless only learning how to create studio programming when online audiences demonstrate a preference for different forms of video online.”

Paul told HTFP: “I think we’ve still not solved the problem of mixed newsrooms, and I’m really interested in seeing what happens when we focus more on how we organise ourselves as journalists.

“I also think we’re not as mobile as we would like to be. Moving out of city centre offices and being increasingly desk-based is not ideal, and I’m interested in how we can be more mobile and operate more within our communities, rather than being outside them.”


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  • December 9, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Sounds to me like he has the right idea. If there’s one thing that frustrates me about my job, it’s being out of town and desk-based. And that’s on a local weekly.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    How refreshing to read about someone who understands the digital journalism landscape on these pages

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  • December 10, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    I enjoy reading the Online Journalism Blog and wanted to thank Paul for that. I run a hyperlical and have no problems attracting readership but earning money from it is one of life’s mysteries.

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