MEDIA’S NEXT CHAPTER: Join global experts to address the industry’s key innovation challenge



The Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Google News Initiative (GNI) invite news media decision-makers and thought leaders to participate in an afternoon of in-depth discussions with global experts, addressing the industry’s primary innovation challenge: balancing relevance and environmental responsibility in the era of A.I.

The forum on October 31st, will be hosted by Media24 in Cape Town in association with the University of Stellenbosch.

‘The Media’s Next Chapter: Relevance, A.I. and Impact’ will be opened by Ishmet Davidson, CEO of Media24, and Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation at UCLan, and include speakers from across the African continent as well as Jordan, Turkey and the UK.

Amongst the speakers are Chidi Chinedu of Eco-Nai+, Nigeria’s first dedicated digital geo-journalism platform; Rawan Damen of Jordan-based Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ); and  Hadeel Arja of Frontline in Focus in Turkey, who were all recipients of Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge funding.  Also speaking are Lisa MacLeod, Director of FT Strategies, and Dmitry Skishkin, an expert consultant and evangelist of the User Needs Model, who are also both Leaders in Residence at UCLan. The panels will be chaired by UCLan visiting faculty Jeremy Clifford of the A.I. Collective  and Sarah Hartley of The Northern Eco.  Herman Wasserman, Chair of the Department of Journalism at Stellenbosch University, is the forum rapporteur and will close the discussions. The full programme is available here

Dr Nel underlined that innovation must be a priority for leaders of news organisations seeking to remain relevant and to thrive.

He said: “Leading successful news enterprises has never been easy, but it is arguably now more complex than ever before. In the age of AI, news organisations must prioritise innovation to stay relevant and sustainable.

“We are delighted to convene this forum, which provides a unique opportunity for the news executives participating in our Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme to connect with colleagues from Cape Town and beyond, gain cutting-edge insights, and test their thinking.

“We are grateful for our partners, Media24 and the University of Stellenbosch, and to the Google News Initiative for making this opportunity possible.”

Ishmet Davidson, CEO Media24, said: “Media24 is looking forward to this learning partnership with UCLan and US. Sharing insights with colleagues and experts from across the spectrum is always valuable.

“We look forward to welcoming those who will join us here at the Media24 building in Cape Town or online – everyone who loves the media landscape is welcome.”

The Forum is part of week-long study block of for the Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme Class of 2023 that come from 12 countries across four continents and work in senior roles for a broad range of media organisations, from national broadcasters and news publishers to new digital start-ups and technology companies. 

 More information about the forum or the part-time, distance-learning postgraduate programme, contact the course team at or visit the JILeaders section of the website.