A highly experienced practitioner, lecturer and research academic, who has taught successfully across every level of the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Journalism. Paul has consistently received excellent feedback for the quality of his work as an educator from students, line managers and external examiners.
During his time at Brunel University Paul ensured the programme was continually improved and pedagogically innovative.
Key achievements include:
- Designing a new module JR3001 Online Entrepreneurism and substantially revising others including JR5501 Video Journalism, JR5519 Issues and Placements, JR5517 Global News Analysis, JR5506 International Institutions and JR1600 Audio Journalism modules.
- Working Brunel’s Head of External Relations, Andrew Ward, on a range of activities including securing funding for a third annual edition of the magazine Launchpad, which is based on innovation in Brunel. This is delivered within a MA magazine option module. Last year’s was incorporated into the Innovation Hub launch and saw the Launchpad editor deliver an excellent speech in front of guests.
Paul’s commitment to enhancing student experience is demonstrated by his efforts to link teaching and research. He teaches on at least four modules a year and provides extra informal sessions on investigative journalism for interested students. Committed to student engage he works with each student with a view to getting work experience opportunities with appropriate editors and journalists from his contacts.
As a practitioner Paul has always been concerned with replicating as closely as possible the workplace environment for students, so they are prepared on graduation for the industry.
While at Brunel, in 2011 he proposed and developed the module Online Entrepreneurism to reflect changing industry practices. This is a career-facing module designed for final year students. The unit comprises of range of skill acquisition, reflection and career preparation, mirroring the changing nature of a news industry with a great deal more freelance and online employment. A key point of the module is to encourage students to think creatively as entrepreneurs – a skill that is increasingly valued in the fast changing world of journalism. The module it gives freedom for creativity. Students are shown how to create their own business opportunities, whether freelance, proactive employee or journalism entrepreneur. They learn key technology skills including website and app building skills. The module assessment includes presentation skills – now vital at job interviews and many other work situations.
Data Journalism has in the last several years become a major new development in the industry. Data journalism and data visualisation skills are prized and well paid.
Current perceived as the UK’s first data journalist Paul learned to programme as a student. He has incorporated a range of data introduction talks and guest speaker slots into the MA delivery. Many news outlets especially investigative bureaus are incorporating computer scientists into their news desk, like the Bureau and the US based Pro Publica.
Engagement with practitioners
On the MA International Journalism Paul has developed two of the modules so that instead of being pure taught session by one lecturer the students are given the opportunity to meet and discuss course content directly with leading members of the profession.
Paul is a reflexive practitioner and takes the view that his greatest value as an academic is to reflect on 30 years as a practitioner and bring that experience to bear in his teaching.
Paul often approaches research into intelligence agency and news media relations as a critical realist and draw upon Foucault’s concepts, which works well with reflexive practice. His PhD by publication draws heavily on his experience as a practitioner.
Citizenship, Collegiality and Management
At Brunel Paul was responsible for programme structure, setting the budget and organising the staffing and the full time team, one 0.6 fte and six visiting lecturers.
Paul has mentored colleagues through their PGSE certificate equivalents.