I am a university lecturer and former journalist. I have an accumulated ten years of full time experience teaching at higher education level, specialising in communication and journalism. Recently, much of that time has been spent conducting senior level duties, including course leadership and degree design. I’ve also had a successful, twenty year career as technology journalist for magazines, broadsheet newspapers and websites – some of this running concurrently with academic roles. I have two MA degrees, one in Communication Design and another in Creative Writing.
Sept 1986 to June 1989:
B.A. (hons.) Communication Studies – Coventry Polytechnic, Class: 2.1
September 1991 to Dec 1992:
M.A. in Communication Design (Graphic Design for Interactive Media) Manchester Metropolitan University
September 2008 to Jan 2011:
M.A. in Creative Writing – University of Manchester
January 2011 – present
Senior Lecturer in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University
Full time from January 2011 – January 2013
Part time from January 2013 – September 2015
Full time from September 2015 – present
Course Leader, BSc Photographic Journalism (January 2011 – January 2013)
Refocused and rewrote the award in 2012. Also contributed modules to BSc Broadcast Media Technologies and BA Journalism during the refocus exercise.
Course Leader, BA Journalism (September 2015 – present)
Module leader (January 2011 – present) responsible for teaching, design, material production and delivery through lectures and workshops of:
BSc Photographic Journalism
Introduction to Digital Journalism
Journalism Principles and Practice
Also dissertation supervisor for MSc Journalism and BA Public Relations
September 1996 – present:
Freelance Technology Journalist.
Publications contributed to include:
- Computer Arts
- .net Magazine
- PC Format
- PC Plus
- The Guardian
Corporate clients have included:
- Royal Bank of Scotland
- Hewlett Packard
- Three Mobile
Much of my written work is about the web and communication technologies. A strong academic background makes me particularly suited to writing investigative or speculative features that analyse the culture and rituals of Internet use, emerging technologies and the process of designing interfaces for human-computer interaction. I also produce web authoring tutorials, opinion editorial and reviews.
The fee for consumer and corporate publications can be negotiated on an ad hoc basis
September 1993 to June 1997:
Lecturer in Communication Studies, Edge Hill University College, BA Communication Studies.
• Module Co-ordinator COM 205: Communication, Culture and Technology.
• Module Co-ordinator COM 206: Studying New Media.
• Module Co-ordinator COM 207: Critical Media Theory
• Module Co-ordinator COM 209: Digital Media Production.
• Module Co-ordinator COM 102: Mass Communication.
1st Year Co-ordinator, Communication Studies.
3rd Year Dissertation Tutor
World Wide Web and Internet Design Consultancy Co-ordinator
Took part in refocus of degree
50 WPM Touch Typing.
High level of competence with Macintosh (OS X) and PC (DOS and Windows 9*/NT/2K/XP/Vista/7/8/10) application environments including;
- Word processing, Office and DTP packages.
- Cloud services
- Graphics and imaging packages (Photoshop, Illustrator in particular).
- Audio manipulation software including sound samplers, mixers, midi sequencing and trackers.
- Expertise with web authoring tools, including Adobe Dreamweaver.
- UNIX skills to administrator level, including familiarity with Web server configuration.
- Data manipulation with spread sheets and databases.
After two decades on the Net, I also have a familiarity with a variety of protocols and applications including P2P tools, virtual environments, chat applications, Telnet, FTP, Usenet, mailing lists, email, social media and web authoring tools.
Selected publications and citations:
All Your Internet Problems Solved, Future, June 2002
Complete Flash MX Handbook, Future, June 2003
2007 Microsoft Office Based Systems, Future, 2007
A History of Search: From Archie to Google, Ask, 2007
Adobe Edge: Visual Blueprint for Designing Rich HTML Applications, Wiley, 2012
Articles and Papers
(I published an average of 100 articles a year between 1996 and 2014 as a journalist, and in business and academic contexts. This is a short indicative selection)
The Mirrored Screen: An Enquiry into Domestic Interactive Multimedia, Manchester Metropolitan University, December 1992
“When Worlds Collide: Postmodernity, Cultural Studies and Science Fiction”, University of Hull, November 1995
It’s All in the Memes, The Guardian, 2000
The Web, the Way it Was, The Guardian, 2001
Having an Online Identity Crisis, .net, 2002
Being There: Graphical Multi-User Dimensions, Internet Today, 2002
The Great Mobile Swindle: A Report on Anti-Competitive Practice in the UK Mobile Sector, Three, 2008
The Speculation Game: Is it Ever Worth Working for Free? .net, 2010
How Long Has Twitter Got?, TechRadar, 2010
The iPad Goes to College, Macworld, 2011
I Predict a Riot: The Attack on Social Media, PC Plus, 2011
The University of California’s Solar Breakthroughs, Slate, 2013
Food Hacking and the Future of Hunger, Contributoria, 2014
Kelli S Burns, “Celeb 2.0: How Social Media Foster out Fascination with Popular Culture”, Greenwood, 2006
Reuters, Reuter’s Handbook of Journalism, Reuters 2008
John Gunders, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Memes, Alpha 2010
Marc Cheong, Vincent Lee Dissecting Twitter: A Review on Current Microblogging Research and Lessons from Related Fields in Sociology to Computing in Social Networks, Springer Vienna 2010
Rena Bivens, Digital currents: How technology and the public are shaping TV news, University of Toronto, 2014
- First Web page published circa October 1992. Approx. 200 Web servers in the world.
- Publication of post-graduate dissertation – “The Mirrored Screen: Interface Design for Domestic Interactive Multimedia Systems”, December 1992.
- Designed and taught UK’s first undergraduate level modules in New Media Theory, commencing September 1993.
- First graphic Web Page published, circa March – April 1994 (optimised for Mosaic!).
- Designed and taught UK’s first undergraduate level modules in Digital Media Design and Production (including Web design), commencing September 1994 . Started using Web to disseminate teaching materials.
- Appointed Media Judge for the 1995 Global Multimedia Challenge at the International Youth Skill Olympics in Paris.
- First peer-reviewed academic publication: “When Worlds Collide: Postmodernity, Cultural Studies and Science Fiction”, November 1995
- First commercial publication, issue 2 of Computer Arts, August 1996.
- Left employment as a University Lecturer to take up journalism full-time, June 1997.
- Designed and built first web presence for Somerfield Stores, June 1998.
- Publication of first book, All Your Internet Problems Solved, Future, June 2002
- “Mr. Twain” blog at nerve.com goes viral, 2006-2008
- Returned to post-graduate education, September 2008
- Appointed Senior Lecturer in digital journalism, Leeds Metropolitan University, January 2011
- Awarded MA in Creative Writing, January 2011
- Named as one of Robert Scoble’s 250 Technology Thought Leaders 2011
- Lead refocus of BSc in Photographic Journalism Leeds Met 2012
- Contributed module outlines to refocused BA Journalism and BSc BMT Leeds Met 2012
- Appointed Course Leader BA Journalism, September 2015