New Journalism lecturer broadcasts the news of a £5 million investment in facilities
The University of Wolverhampton has invested £5 million to bring industry standard facilities to its new Screen School – and a new high-profile lecturer for its Multimedia Journalism degree course is all set to broadcast the improvements.
Gareth Owen, previously working at ITV Central News, has joined the University’s School of Art and is teaching Multimedia Journalism degree students in the new Screen School based at its City Campus in Wolverhampton.
The new Screen School is aimed at boosting skills in the digital arts and media industries, offering a range of courses including Computer Games Design, Film and Television Production, Animation, Multimedia Journalism and Media.
The new industry standard facilities include a green-screen, three-camera TV studio with an adjoining production gallery. There is also a new radio studio which reflects the layout of BBC local stations. News readers have access to a second bulletin studio and the technical kit and software will enable the replication of the workflows of national news journalists and the running orders of professional news programmes.
Gareth’s broadcasting career began on a weekly indie music radio show in Mid Wales. After graduating from Cardiff University with a History degree, he wanted a more stable job and offered to present the station’s local news bulletins.
He later completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism and was offered a bursary to work on ITV’s Central News from its Nottingham studio.
Gareth’s first major story as a senior reporter was the disappearance of Madeline McCann in 2007 when he spent three weeks reporting on developments from Portugal. His ITV career has taken him through a range of roles including Presenter, Political Correspondent, Sport Correspondent, Producer, News Editor, Planning Editor and Features Editor, working on both regional and national news programmes and on Champions League and FA Cup coverage.
Politics has been a big feature of Gareth’s time at ITV. He has interviewed every serving Prime Minister going back to Tony Blair, produced a monthly political panel programme in Westminster, and led ITV Central’s coverage of three General Elections and the EU Referendum. In 2018 he led a small team to Gold Coast in Australia to cover the Commonwealth Games for the English regions.
He said: “During lockdown I realised that I was approaching the halfway point of my working life. From a reporting perspective I had achieved much of what I set out to, so I decided now was the time to contribute to journalism in a different way.
“Journalism is under threat from a range of different forces, but – at the same time - there has never been greater need for strong, talented journalists. It’s also important that journalists come from a range of different backgrounds, with different perspectives. I want to give more people the tools to succeed in this industry.
“I feel enormously privileged to have travelled to incredible places and to have met fascinating people through journalism. Now I want to use my experience to give others the same chance.
“Too many young people, especially in areas like the Midlands, think that a job in journalism is out of reach. I want to do my part to make sure barriers are broken down and that a new generation of diverse talent can deliver the sort of journalism reporting society needs to thrive.
“Journalism students began training on the equipment last week, and by the end of this month they will have produced their first live news programmes in upgraded studios with industry-standard equipment, under real-life pressures and deadlines.
“I have no doubt that, with these facilities, I can give students the best journalism experience; a safe but realistic environment to practice and develop skills both in front of camera and behind it.”
Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days. There will also be the chance for visitors to practise reading the news in the new studio!
For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.