Review of The Future of Journalism with Tom Watson MP

Michelle Hodgson, Tom Watson MP and the panel

An audience of around 70 students and members of the public gathered to hear a panel including Tom Watson MP debate The Future of Journalism on 29 November – the same day the findings of the Leveson Inquiry were released.

The event was held at the University of Huddersfield and set up by Michelle Hodgson of Key Words and put into action through the innovative Ideas Incubator programme set up by HCAN.

Joining Tom Watson MP on the panel were: Roy Wright, the Editor of the Huddersfield Examiner; Dr Stephen Dorril, a Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the University of Huddersfield; Adam Christie, Vice-President of the NUJ; and Dawn-Maria France, Editor of Yorkshire Women’s Life.

Audience questions covered subjects ranging from the regulation of the press to the importance of social media on news reporting and whether newspapers will survive in paper form or risk being replaced by online content.

The event was introduced by HCAN chair Carole Pattison and Michelle Hodgson chaired the panel. It was filmed by students to be posted on the university website and audience members also added to the debate live on Twitter using the hashtag #FoJ. The Examiner ran two articles by Michelle in the run up to the event and two news stories, one reporting the day after the event.

Michelle and the HCAN team were especially grateful to Tom Watson MP for honouring his commitment to appear on the panel on what was an eventful and historic day – not only was Leveson reporting on press standards, but there were also three by-elections taking place. After the debate, Tom Watson signed copies of the book he co-authored with Martin Hickman – Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain – which had been released in paperback that day.

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