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Charlie Beckett appointed director of POLIS at LSE

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'A new forum to debate how journalism can survive the 21st century'

Charlie Beckett, programme editor for Channel 4 News at ITN in London, has been appointed director of POLIS - the new research, teaching and discussion forum about journalism and society launched this year by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the University of the Arts/London College of Communications (LCC).

The then Home Secretary Charles Clarke MP gave the POLIS inaugural lecture at LSE in April, shortly before he resigned, when he blasted the "pernicious and even dangerous poison now slipping into at least some parts of this media view of the world."

POLIS promises to have more high profile lecturers for the News We Deserve lecture series that continues this autumn. It will also have public seminars on issues such as Reporting War and Reporting Sport where leading journalists will debate how issues are reported with the people they report on. POLIS will also run a series of private media industry workshops on The Future Of News which aims to allow key journalists and executives to discuss how their organisations can survive the challenges of new technology and new social forces. And POLIS will hold Off The Record sessions where controversial public figures can go face to face in confidence with the journalists that cover their subject.

Before editing at Channel 4 News, Charlie Beckett spent ten years working across a range of BBC news and current affairs programmes. He began his career as a local journalist in south London before joining London Weekend Television. He was a Reuters Fellow at Green College Oxford, researching digitalisation and the developing world, and has won various awards for film-making and programme editing.

Charlie Beckett said: "POLIS will be a place for strong views, such as the Clarke lecture, but also the place where the debate about news and the media and society can go a whole lot further. At the moment there isn't a proper place where journalists and the people they deal with can discuss the media in a frank and intelligent way.

"We will provide the research and the setting where the media, the public and academics can come together. And the POLIS Director's Weblog (www.charliebeckett.org|) will provide an online forum where we can keep the conversation going."

POLIS will also be offering postgraduate teaching and short term courses based at LCC, including a jointly taught master's programme geared towards mid-career UK and international journalists. There are plans for a POLIS International Journalism Summer School.

"As someone coming straight from a leading newsroom role, I want to make sure POLIS is really in touch with how the international news media agenda is shaping up for journalists" Beckett added. "Journalism is entering an exciting time of fundamental change - there is both huge potential and huge risks for those of us who believe that good journalism is vital for healthy societies. POLIS will be the place where those changes are analysed and debated. POLIS will be an open forum and to make that a reality I will be writing a blog where our work and my views on journalism are open to comment."

Charlie Beckett is available for interview about POLIS and about general journalism issues.

Catch up with the POLIS Director's blog at www.charliebeckett.org|




For more on POLIS, see http://www.lse.ac.uk/Polis| 

A POLIS advisory board has been formed comprising: Will Wyatt (ex BBC, President of the Royal Television Society), Chair; Philip Gould (Baron Gould of Brookwood), Clive Jones (ITV News), Bronwyn Curtis (Bloomberg), Anne Lapping (Brook Lapping), Sir Peter Stothard (former editor of the Times and now of the TLS) and Michael Oreskes (International Herald

Press cuttings

On the move (28 July 06)
Charlie Beckett, programme editor for Channel 4 News has been appointed director of POLIS, a new forum to discuss journalism's future in the 21st century. It was launched this year by LSE and the University of the Arts/London College of Communications. 

The Guardian
Forum to discuss journalism's survival!
Charlie Beckett, programme editor for Channel 4 News, has been appointed director of POLIS. It's a forum, launched earlier this year by the London School of Economics and the London College of Communications, to debate how journalism can survive the 21st century.


posted 7 July 2006