C4 and De Montfort Univ. Leicester launch Investigative Journalism MA

Channel 4 has teamed up with De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to launch a new Investigative Journalism MA.

This unique MA programme will equip graduates with the journalistic and investigative skills needed for hard-hitting current affairs journalism.

The course, which is endorsed by and developed with Channel 4, will cover areas including techniques of in-depth research, including handling complex data, understanding financial information, working undercover, financial information , using freedom of information, the law, compliance and safety, alongside filming and editing. Students will learn how to identify, pitch, research and film investigative stories.

It will equip graduates with the technical skills, resourcefulness and newsgathering expertise necessary to produce quality, hard-hitting investigative documentaries and reports.

Channel 4 is renowned for its news and current affairs broadcasting and its dedication to producing content which digs deeper into the stories affecting people around the world. Its award-winning Dispatches programme has recently highlighted a wide range of issues in investigations such as Politicians for Hire and Escape from ISIS.

DMU’s National Council for the Training of Journalists-accredited Leicester Centre for Journalism has established a strong track record in launching graduates into the highly competitive world of journalism for the past 20 years. DMU graduates work for a range of broadcasters including the BBC, Sky, as well as news agencies and national magazines, regional newspapers and top PR agencies.

Dorothy Byrne, Head of Channel 4 News and Current Affairs and Visiting Professor in Media Discourse at DMU, said: “Channel 4 is committed to training the next generation of investigative journalists. Our current Investigative Journalism Training Scheme provides training in investigative skills to working television journalists with more experience.
“This collaboration with DMU takes our commitment a stage further providing a very high quality MA with teaching provided by professionals who are themselves television journalists of the highest calibre. It’s vital for the future of investigative television journalism that we train up a new generation and widen the pool of talent to include people from diverse backgrounds.

“Quite a number of people have general television making skills, but lack the sort of specialist knowledge required.”

Andy Collop, Deputy Vice Chancellor of DMU, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the Leicester Media School at De Montfort University to work with Channel 4, which has an outstanding and award-winning track record in investigative journalism across their news and current affairs output.

“DMU has a superb history of nurturing and developing talented journalists through its NCTJ-accredited Leicester Centre for Journalism and we are excited to work with Channel 4, which has an outstanding and award-winning track record in investigative journalism across its news and current affairs.”

This new MA programme is planned to begin in September 2016 and will be run through DMU’s Leicester Media School. It is ideally suited to established professionals who wish to develop their skillset or change careers, as well as students progressing from undergraduate study.

Channel 4 is also expanding its partnerships with other higher education institutions, aimed at supporting training across the media and creative industries. Channel 4 is also expanding its collaboration with University College London; where students work within Channel 4’s Audience, Technology and Insight (ATI) department alongside a PhD in data science. Channel 4 also has existing partnerships with Bournemouth University, as part of its graduate programme; the University of Westminster, as part of its Software Developer Programme; and Abertay University, as part of its Dare to be Digital Award. It also contributes regular funding to leading educational and skills-focussed organisations including Creative Skillset, the NFTS, and The Research Centre.

Channel 4 has recently offered to fund six bursaries for the new Creative Industries Executive MBA, launched January by Creative Skillset alongside Ashridge Executive Education and Lord Puttnam’s education company, Atticus Education. As part of Channel 4’s ongoing commitment to increasing diversity and social mobility within the creative industries, it will fund two bursaries per year over a three-year period. The bursaries will enable those who otherwise would not be able to fund their own placement to participate in the Creative Industries Executive MBA at Ashridge. This follows Channel 4’s recent announcement that it is contributing £1.5m to the National Film and Television School – with £1m funding a new expansion of the school’s building in Buckinghamshire, and a further £500,000 establishing a bursary to fund students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds to attend.

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