Menu

Newsroom innovation mentorship programme

As the pandemic has reduced opportunities to meet and share knowledge with senior peers, Journalism.co.uk decided to launch a mentoring programme that will pair experienced industry professionals with local and regional journalists in the UK who are passionate about innovation in their newsroom.

The objective is to create relationships and provide space to exchange actionable ideas about innovation. Areas of expertise span audience engagement, use of AI-powered tools, data-informed editorial strategy, working with social media audiences, and many others.

The programme is supported by United Robots and Utopia Analytics.

How it works:

Mentees have at least five years of experience in the media sector and are working on - or want to implement - a new idea in their newsroom. Mentors are selected from our network of industry contacts.

Logistics:

Mentors and mentees will have one online call every month for six months. The calls should take around 1 hour and they should cover:

  • challenges the mentee is facing with their project(s)
  • assessing any progress that has been made and providing feedback
  • agreeing on realistic actions to take before the next meeting
  • setting a date and time for the next conversation to manage everyone’s expectations
  • absolute confidentiality and safe, non-judgemental conversations

Guidelines for the mentors:

  • set expectations and boundaries: you are not expected to get someone’s job done but to provide feedback, advice and encouragement
  • be honest about your own successes and failures your mentee can learn from
  • share any resources, knowledge and opportunities that can help your mentee achieve their objectives
  • keep track of your mentee’s progress


Guidelines for the mentees:

  • make sure you have a clear idea of what you are looking to achieve before each meeting
  • honour your commitments - if you promise to get something done, please get it done
  • be honest about your progress and obstacles you encounter so your mentor can give you the right advice
  • keep in touch with your mentor and fellow mentees


The deadline for applications has been extended until Sunday 4 September 2021 at 23:59 BST

Relationships developed during a mentorship programme often evolve into lasting friendships. The main idea is to keep conversations about newsroom innovations going, look out for each other and improve the way we serve our audiences.

Our mentors

Jessica Best

Audience engagement and revenue consultant

Jessica is a journalist, editor, researcher, and media strategist. She has previously worked at the South Wales Argus, WalesOnline, MirrorOnline, micropayments platform Blendle, and member-supported journalism platform The Correspondent. She currently works with the Membership Puzzle Project and consults for newsrooms as they develop audience revenue initiatives.

What Jessica can help you with: Organisational strategy/newsroom management, audience engagement or growth, membership and crowdfunding

Shirish Kulkarni

Community organiser, The Bureau Local

Shirish is an award-winning investigative journalist, researcher and mental health trainer with 25 years’ experience working in all of the UK’s major broadcast newsrooms.

He now combines research on innovative forms of news storytelling and AI, with his work as a community organiser at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

What Shirish can help you with: Using AI in the newsroom, innovative storytelling techniques, workforce issues (mental wellbeing, diversity and inclusion)

Caroline Scott

Google News Lab teaching fellow, Google

Caroline works with news organisations and journalists in the UK and Ireland. The News Lab is a team within the Google News Initiative whose mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to drive innovation in news. Caroline's mentorship will provide help in a range of tools that will help with researching and verifying information, as well as visualising data in exciting ways.

What Caroline can help you with: Digital transformation for print publications, innovative storytelling techniques, fact-checking and productivity tools

Peter Stewart

Journalist (BBC) and author

A journalist and broadcaster with 30 years’ experience in BBC and commercial radio, Peter is the author of several books on audio and video presentation and production and was part of the BBC Training department (now ‘Academy’). He has received two awards for radio/video production and has presented and trained at events in Europe and the US.

What Peter can help you with: Podcasting or audio storytelling, mobile journalism, social media strategy, news reading and script reading skills

Cecilia Campbell

Chief marketing officer, United Robots

Cecilia Campbell is a Swedish media journalist with more than 20 years' experience reporting on the news publishing industry internationally. She is the CMO of Swedish start-up United Robots, based in Malmö. Her work at United Robots includes advising publishers on how to free up reporter time through automation of routine reporting. Previously she worked for WAN-IFRA, running workshops and writing reports around reader revenues.

What Cecilia can help you with: Using artificial intelligence in the newsroom, work with robot reporters

Caithlin Mercer

associate director, Journalism Fellowship programme, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Before joining the Reuters Institute, Caithlin was UK managing editor at Yahoo! where she spearheaded audio innovation, creating eight new podcasts across News, Sport, Entertainment and Finance verticals that drove a combined 1.7m listens. She also worked for The National in Abu Dhabi and GLAMOUR magazine in South Africa.

What Caithlin can help you with: Podcasting/audio storytelling, organisational strategy/newsroom management, digital transformation for print publications

Catalina Albeanu

digital editor, DoR

Catalina Albeanu is digital editor at DoR, a non-profit media organisation based in Romania. DoR publishes narrative journalism with the aim to empower its community, to help it be more empathic, and to point it towards solutions. Catalina joined DoR in 2018 to help with the transition to digital membership and now works on editorial production, looking for new formats for telling DoR stories.

What Catalina can help you with: Audience engagement/audience growth, digital transformation for print publications, innovative storytelling techniques

Ståle de Lange Kofoed

associate director, The Norwegian Institute of Journalism

Ståle teaches online information retrieval, investigative journalism and media innovation. Before joining NIJ, he worked as an editor and reporter for several national media companies in Norway. He is the author of two books about digital journalism and visual storytelling. Ståle recently completed a year-long master programme in innovation studies.

What Stale can help you with: Organisational strategy/newsroom management, innovative storytelling techniques, innovation processes and methodology, investigative journalism

Megan Lucero

director, The Bureau Local, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Megan is the director of the Bureau Local, an award-winning newsroom and a people-powered, grassroots reporting network that is part of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the largest non-profit investigative news organisation in the UK. The Bureau Local is pioneering a new way to do community-led, collaborative, public interest journalism that can support local news in the UK.

What Megan can help you with: Organisational strategy/newsroom management, workforce issues (mental wellbeing, diversity and inclusion)

John Crowley

Editor and consultant

John Crowley has taken on digital and managerial roles for The Daily Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and The Irish Post among others. As a freelancer he is well versed with distributed working, writing and commissioning content around business, tech, newsroom management, burnout and disinformation. He also advises companies around the ever-changing digital media landscape, pitching journalists and audience insights.

What John can help you with:

Organisational strategy/newsroom management, digital transformation for print publications, workforce issues like mental wellbeing, diversity and inclusion

This programme is supported by:

United Robots AB is a Swedish technology company working in automated editorial content. The company leverages structured data to provide publishers with automatically generated content about sports, real estate, traffic, weather, local businesses and the stock market.

Utopia Analytics is a Finnish company that enables automated moderation of reader comments and cuts down the publishing delay. Inappropriate behaviour, bullying, hate speech, discrimination, sexual harassment and spam are filtered out 24/7 so teams can focus on moderation policy management.

Freelancers for hire

image description
Tips for freelance journalists

Learn how to keep the wolf from your door

image description
Wiki glossaries

A-Z lists of online style tips and terms

Advertise here: Contact
John Thompson