Future of the media in focus as industry leaders head to Sunderland conference

St Peters Campus, Sunderland University
St Peters Campus, Sunderland University
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THE changing world of the media will be discussed as the industry’s leading lights head to Wearside for a conference on digital media.

The Acamedia conference, which has attracted leading entrepreneurs, academics and prominent figures from the media world takes place tomorrow.

It will be hosted by Steve Hewlett, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show and visiting professor of Journalism and Broadcast policy at the University of Salford.

The conference will address the upheaval media is undergoing by asking what the changes mean to those about to start a career in the business, and what media educators and the industry need to do to attract and keep the best talent.

Graeme Thompson, dean of arts, design and media at the University of Sunderland, which is organising the event, said the conference would look at challenges and opportunities

He added: “Acamedia will delve into the extraordinary changes the media industries are undergoing – from television and film to digital content and services, to publishing – and then look at how media teaching needs to adapt to reflect these fundamental shifts.

“We’ll hear from content creators and commissioners, entrepreneurs, innovators, academics and education professionals who will help us look at how these changes impact on higher education and media industries, and what this should mean for the people who fuel the creative ideas and services of the future.

“The unique mix of speakers should allow us to fully explore the fast-changing media landscape and how educators need to respond to the changes.

“Acamedia will debate the challenges facing the industry and look at what skills and talents will be needed to take the industry forward.” Speakers will include Lord David Puttnam, responsible for drafting the recent amended bill in the House of Lords which enabled a new Royal Charter for Press Regulation to be developed with the support of all three main parties.

Paul Napier, group editorial development director of Johnston Press, the owner of the Echo, and Lee Hall, the paper’s former digital editor, will also take part.

Jim Farmery, director of business investment at Creative England, which is investing millions of pounds in the creative industries, will appear, along with Christine Bellamy, of the BBC’s future media and technology team, who will give an insight into the technological developments in Media City in Salford and London.

More information about the inaugural conference, which the university hopes will become an annual event, can be found at www.acamedia-conference.co.uk.