Tag Archives: leeds university

Two online journalism research opportunities

If you’re interested in researching online journalism full time there are a couple of opportunities available at the moment:

The first is a fully-funded PhD in ‘Developing a new model for local news provision and addressing the democratic deficit in the digital economy‘.

It’s a 3-year award funded by the European Social Fund which “provides for payment of tuition fees, together with a maintenance stipend set at £13,688 per annum (expected to increase annually). The research student will be based  at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University, in partnership with the Media Standards Trust.  Deadline: August 26th, 2010.

More at http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/jomec/resources/kessphdscholarshipcardiff.pdf (PDF)

The second is a job opportunity at the University of Leeds for Research Associate in Internet Journalism (fixed-term)

This is a part-time PhD studentship linked to a 50% FTE Teaching Assistantship. Pay is at University Grade 6 (£24,273 – £28,983 p.a. pro rata) plus annual stipend of £6,300; PhD fees will be paid by the Institute. For more information contact Professor David Hesmondhalgh, via email to d.j.hesmondhalgh (at) leeds.ac.uk. Application form and job details from http://hr.leeds.ac.uk/jobs/.

More details on the Seismic Shock police visit. Still worrying.

Following yesterday’s post on the visit paid by two West Yorkshire police officers to an anonymous blogger, the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones has done some digging and spoken to the blogger in question, who explains:

“Someone had traced my IP address to Leeds University and the police had spoken to the university and retrieved some files of mine, none of which contained anything which I hadn’t made public. The police then relayed a message from the head of ICT department that I shouldn’t be using university property in such ways.”

Rory’s piece continues:

The officers asked him to take down his blog, which was at that time being written partly on a university computer, and he agreed to do so. “Why?” I asked him. “I did it because I felt intimidated,” he said. “I felt had to co-operate with the police.”

So why did the police or Leeds University get involved in this argument? The university offered no comment, except to say that the person who knew about this issue was away on holiday.

This is the most worrying piece of the puzzle for me.

  • Firstly, that – apparently on the basis of a complaint – the police should request computer files from a university.
  • And secondly, that the university should comply.

I’m waiting for a response from West Yorkshire Police and Leeds University for further details – particularly on how the police handle harassment complaints like this (and what the nature of the complaint was), and the university’s policy for handing over student data. This may well be a storm in a teacup, but there are valid questions here that need to be answered.

A roundup of other reports on the story can be found here.

UPDATE: I’ve now received a reply from West Yorkshire Police who appear to be merely repeating what they already told Index on Censorship: “As a result of a report of harassment, which was referred to us by Surrey Police, two officers from West Yorkshire Police visited the author of the blog concerned. The feelings of the complainant were relayed to the author who voluntarily removed the blog. No formal action was taken.”

I’ve repeated my questions about how they handle harassment complaints and requests for data more generally.