LECTURING : WINCHESTER

 

RICHARD EVANS,

Senior producer, Sky News


The attitude of the students is absolutely phenomenal. The students I saw would fit into a newsroom as soon as they graduate. The way the course is run doesn’t happen in every university, it isn’t commonplace.  The teamwork that I witnessed during my visit was phenomenal.

In 2008 Chris moved to the University of Winchester in order to take over and improve a recently launched BA journalism; and also to set up a new MA journalism programme and a research agenda.

Assisted by an exceptional teaching team including Brian Thornton (ex Newsnight) and Angus Scott (Al-Jazeera) Chris once again lead far-reaching changes welcomed by students the industry alike. These changes were based on a major shift towards an American-style approach of basing as much of the teaching as possible around live or as-live output available to the public. The result was the launch of Winchester News Online (WINOL) which was a development of the work Chris had begun at Westminster (as WNOL – the award-winning Westminster News Online).

The BJTC noted in their inspection report:

“The new course leader Chris Horrie had only recently arrived in Winchester at the time of the last visit – but he has now made significant changes in the structure of the course, which are reflected elsewhere in this document – and it now represents very much the kind of multi media, multi platform course which the BJTC envisages meeting the needs of training journalists for the digitally converged present and future. …

“Online is now at the heart of this new multi platform course structure and is fully integrated into every aspect of the course. Here, at least, the University is setting standards which other better equipped and longer established would do well to emulate.

“I’ve spent a lot of time on various recent visits looking at what is being delivered online, and it works wonderfully well. Not surprising, given the substantial experience Chris Horrie gained setting up a similar system at Westminster….

“The transformation which has taken place within the space of less than a year is remarkable by any standards – and we have seen some struggling or new courses pull themselves together in a similarly remarkable fashion – but nothing quite as complete as has happened here.”

The quality of the student work at Winchester was attested by the extraordinary of national and international awards and prizes won by the courses or buy the students.

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Sam Woodhouse

BBC Elections Editor


The student election programme I saw is proper journalism and it is the same as the BBC is doing and it is as good as anything the BBC is doing.