Great North News Secures Backing of Durham University

From: Great North News
Published: Wed Mar 03 2010

Great North News - the ITN - led consortium bidding for the news pilot in the North East and Borders region - is pleased to announce that it has secured the support of Durham University.

The alliance comprises Northern Echo publishers Newsquest Media Group and Sunderland Echo publishers Johnston Press, radio stations Metro, TFM and CFM, as well as the University of Sunderland who will work with leading news provider ITN and the staff who provide the current ITV service to offer a radical local news service for the area.

Alongside the University of Sunderland, the backing of Durham University will further strengthen the consortium’s academic links, giving students the opportunity to contribute content and to benefit from expert training in video and production.

John Hardie, CEO of ITN said: "We’re pleased to have an academic institution of the calibre of Durham University supporting our bid. Through collaboration with both Durham and our consortium partner the University of Sunderland, we will be able to offer students in the region a solid foundation in multimedia news production and help to grow the next generation of journalists."

Michael Lavery, Director of Communications at Durham University, said: "We are delighted to back the Great North News bid to deliver informative, engaging and dynamic news coverage. The consortium shares our vision for thought-provoking and pithy engagement with the public through an increasing number of media channels. Together, we look forward to contributing to a bright future for visual media in the North East.

"Durham University is one of Europe's leading research-led universities with world-class research and teaching expertise across a number of academic disciplines and prevalent social issues. Our research findings and renowned experts regularly enhance national and international news coverage on the issues of the day from global stories of natural disasters, climate change or world politics, to national and regional issues including healthcare, education, economy enterprise, environment, energy, culture and sport."

Great North News has also launched its new dedicated website which focuses on a brand new vision which puts news at the centre of a conversation with the local people, bringing the North into focus like never before.

The website offers the public a genuine opportunity to have their say and play a part in shaping the future news service. Users are invited to interact and can give their views using the Tell Pam & Ian click through, a confidential direct link to the team designing the bid.

The site also showcases a promotional video to give viewers a flavour of the multimedia service the alliance envisions, as well as detailed information on each of the consortium partners. It is just one of a number of ways in which Great North News is engaging with the public to find out what they want from their news service.

For more information, go to:

Notes to Editors:

• A sample of Durham University's news output can be found at its online Media Room:

• The University is also the custodian of a breathtaking estate, both at Durham City and at its Queen's Campus in Stockton which provides a breadth of venues and backdrops for filmmakers and visual media practitioners. Assets include Durham Castle and the World Heritage Site of Palace Green, the Botanic Garden, leading edge research laboratories, beautiful stretches of green space and riverbanks, and the arts and sports facilities across the city.
Company: Great North News
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