Media leaders join to share insights on audience engagement and sustainability

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Divine Dube and Joanna Cummings, who are chairing two of the JILeaders FORUM panels

Industry leaders will come together for an afternoon of robust discussion about how news media balance their dual goals of generating profit and achieving a deep connection with audiences as they strive for sustainability.

Taking place on Tuesday, 14th May, the afternoon event is organised by the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme, supported by Google News Initiative (GNI), FT Strategies, International Media Support, Chrysalis Transformations and Media Lab, Jordan.

Panellists will share strategies on leveraging existing assets for scalable growth, consider paths of innovation reshaping the news media landscape, and discuss optimising core capabilities for a competitive edge.

The JILeaders Forum, entitled Sustainable Growth: Balancing Profit and Purpose in News Media, will feature speakers from a range of diverse backgrounds and locations including South Africa, Jordan and the UK.

They include Kayla Alexander, Head of Audience Development at Netwerk24 in South Africa, Lynn Anderson Clarke, CEO of The Know, which has UK and US editions, and Wael Attili, Founder of Kharabeesh in Jordan.

Introduced by Dr François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCLan’s and Leader of the university’s Journalism Innovation & Leadership Programme, the event will feature three panels:

  • Working out what works: How to build a sustainable newsroom
  • Creating the future: Illuminate the paths of innovation reshaping the news media landscape
  • You’ve built an audience, now what? How to increase engagement

The event has been put together by the current participants of UCLan’s Journalism Innovation and Leadership programme, three of whom will lead the discussions. They are Divine Dube, CEO of The Citizen Bulletin in Zimbabwe; Joanna Cummings, Editorial Director of The Grub Street Journal; and Huw Marshall, Project Leader of Talking Wales.

Dr François Nel said: “To be sustainable, news organisations need dexterous leaders who can maximise current efforts for short-term gains while also exploring new opportunities and planning for the future. This forum offers a chance to learn from those excelling in balancing these demands.”

Joanna Cummings said: “The three people on our panel are all doing great work on boosting audience engagement – crucial for everyone at such a challenging time in our industry.

“We’re looking forward to discussing their insights, stories and advice on how others can learn from their impactful innovations.”

The JILeaders Programme, which is supported by the Google News Initiative (GNI), FT Strategies, International Media Support, Chrysalis Transformations and The Media Lab, Jordan, is a 30-week part-time, postgraduate certificate course designed by a team of academics and innovative industry leaders.

JILeaders FORUM: Sustainable Growth: Balancing Profit and Purpose in News Media takes place from 1-3.30pm BST on Tuesday 14th May, online and in person at the Media Innovation Studio on UCLan’s Preston Campus. Register here

More information about UCLan’s Journalism Innovation and Leadership Postgraduate Diploma, MA and PhD programmes.