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New Google scheme aims to make working local journalists ‘digital leaders’

FrancoisA new Google project will see working journalists study to become “digital leaders and innovators” on a new university course.

The University of Central Lancashire has teamed up with Google to offer up to scholarships to journalists for a new postgraduate certificate in journalism innovation and leadership.

The programme is targeted at industry professionals wanting to take the lead in developing modern, digital newsrooms, with guidance from experts working for the Society of Editors, the Digital Editors Network, and WAN-IFRA, the World Association of News Publishers, amongst others.

Successful applicants will have their course fees covered by the scholarship and the one-year blended learning course begins in January next year.

Dr François Nel, picture, reader in media innovation at UCLan and the scholarship programme coordinator, said: “Steering a news media organisation has never been easy, but it’s probably never been more challenging that it is today.

“Our revised and renamed programme is an outcome of deep academic-industry partnerships and it fills a pressing need for a practical university-certified course that will equip the next generation of journalism leaders with the competence to innovative – and the innovators with the confidence to lead.

“We are delighted that the support from the Google News Initiative allows us to open up the opportunity to the next generation of diverse news media leaders, particularly those working in the local and regional press.”

The part-time course is delivered with a mixture of online and face-to-face learning and each student is teamed up with an experienced industry leader who will act as a mentor.

Matt Cooke, head of partnerships and training for Google News Initiative, said: “Through the Google News Initiative we’re supporting a new chapter for digital transformation training at UCLan.

“The curriculum being developed is grounded in real industry insights, it builds on emerging technologies and trends, and it will offer mid-career opportunities to candidates from across the country.

“We’re excited to see it launch.”

More information and details on applying for the scheme can be found here.