Dr François Nel
Reader [Associate Professor] in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Spurred on by his international experience in journalism, François researches the individual choices and environmental factors that impact on the performance of news media organisations across the world – and then delivers actionable insights that enable entrepreneurial individuals, innovative organisations and forward-thinking policy actors make positive changes.
Named a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2013, François in that year also became the first digital media specialist to be named a Fellow of the European Entrepreneurship Educators Programme (3EP). As such, he is amongst a select group of 25 UK academics and one of only 75 in Europe to have been awarded the prestigious 3EP Fellowship which aims to support and develop enterprise education.
He is based in the School of Arts and Media where he teaches across a range of practical and theoretical journalism courses, as well as supervising PhD studies on topics related to innovation and sustainability. He is a member of the Media Innovation Studio team who created and delivers the pioneering Journalism Innovation and Leadership Programme.
Formerly a Visiting Research Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, he is a founding partner in the Innovation Research Group and on the leadership team of the UCLan Research Centre for Digital Life.
François likes to think of himself a boundary spanner between academia and industry, which is why he co-founded the Digital Editors Network (UK) and probably also why, in 2007, he was the first academic invited to join the World Editors Forum of the WAN-IFRA, the World Association of News Publishers. François continues to work with WAN-IFRA as editor of the World Press Trends and the Outlook reports.
He has initiated several ongoing studies into the sustainability of the news media, as well as the role the industry plays in the social and economic development of communities in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030 agenda. He is the author of two books for Oxford University Press and more than 40 book chapters, journal articles, papers and industry reports that have appeared in, amongst others, Journalism Practice, Journalism Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, the Nordic Journal of Media Management and the Newspaper Research Journal.
I am an associated editor of the Journal of Media Management and Entrepreneurship.
François was born in Zimbabwe, educated in the US, South Africa and the UK, where he earned his PhD in Journalism from City, University of London. He continues to work globally from his base in Manchester. He takes his Brompton bike with him wherever he can.