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Mr Tor Clark

Job: Principal Lecturer in Journalism / Teacher Fellow

Faculty: Technology

School/department: Leicester Media School

Research group(s): Media Discourse Group (MDG), Leicester Centre for Journalism

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 207 8810

E: tclark@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/lcj

 

Personal profile

Tor Clark is Principal Lecturer in Journalism at DMU. He has been a journalist since the 1980s, spending the first part of his career in newspapers, working his way up from Reporter to Editor. He edited two regional newspapers and also specialised as a political journalist.

He joined DMU in 2004 to set up the University’s popular and respected Journalism degree programmes, including the flagship BA (Single Honours) Journalism Programme, accredited by the industry’s training authority, the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) since 2009.

Tor is a DMU Teacher Fellow, an award recognising his innovation and leadership in the field of learning and teaching, and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award three times.

He regularly writes and broadcasts about Journalism and Politics. Tor is co-editor of the forthcoming Last Words? How can journalism survive the decline of print? To be published in early 2017 by Abramis Academic Publishing.

Two of Tor’s journal articles are also due to be published in 2017, the first about the current state of the UK regional press, his main academic interest, and the second about the problems and solutions involved in teaching Politics to Journalism students, written with his teaching colleague Alistair Jones, Principal Lecturer in Politics at DMU.

Tor regularly contributes book chapters to the Abramis-published ‘hackademic’ series of books, edited by John Mair. He is also a regular contributor to BBC Leicester, on issues around the media, journalism, politics and democracy. In 2015 and 2010 he was part of the station’s all-night UK General Election coverage team.

His PhD examines the relationship between the declining UK regional press and local government and argues there is an alarming ‘local democratic deficit’ is being created at the heart of UK communities.

In March 2014 Tor was appointed DMU’s first Associate Director of Learning and Teaching on an 18-month secondment, working for the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) as part of the university’s senior staff team in the Department of Executive, Governance and Legal Services.

On returning full-time to the Faculty of Technology in September 2015, Tor was appointed chair of its Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee. In this role he led the establishment of School-level learning and teaching committees, an initiative which has since been rolled out across the university. He is currently leading the development of personal tutoring in the faculty.

Tor’s main teaching areas are Political Journalism, which he teaches on DMU’s industry accredited BA and MA Programmes, the History of Journalism, Practical Journalism, UK National and Local Government and the UK Regional Media. He also teaches on DMU’s new Channel 4 MA in Investigative Journalism and supervises BA and MA dissertation students in a range of topics related to his own academic interests.

His main interests are all aspects of UK journalism, especially regional media, political journalism, the ethics and regulation of journalism and journalism education. He has most recently written about the impact of the Leveson Report on the UK regional press, the history and prospects of the UK regional media, national and regional media coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and a constituency and political profile of the Corby By-election.

Outside journalism Tor’s main interests are specifically UK, but also US and European political history. His MA dissertation focused on the use of political allegory in the original series of the seminal sci-fi TV series Star Trek, about which he has given guest lectures at other institutions.

He has also written for Total Politics magazine, about political history, elections and current political issues, and for the Leicester Mercury, contributing columns on aspects of Journalism and the media.

Tor’s Teacher Fellowship project looked at improving the effectiveness and impact of the teaching of politics to Journalism students and has been disseminated via conferences and publication.

He was Programme Leader for both DMU’s undergraduate Journalism programmes for ten years and is currently acting as interim Programme Leader for Joint Honours BA Journalism.

Away from the university, Tor has been a school governor of nursery, primary and secondary schools and of a sixth form college. He is currently a co-opted governor of Oakham Church of England Primary School in Rutland, specialising in academisation options. He has been a councillor on Oakham Town Council and a member of Rutland County Council’s Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny Panel.

In 2004 he led the team which submitted a successful bid for £300,000 to the Heritage Lottery Fund to conserve the unique 300-year-old newspaper archive of the newspaper he edited at the time, the Rutland & Stamford Mercury, and was founding chair of the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust. Having left the Trust to allow his successor as editor to take over as chair, he has recently rejoined the Trust as a trustee.

Research group affiliations

Leicester Centre for Journalism
Media Discourse Group
The Association for Journalism Education (UK)

Publications and outputs 

Click here to view a full listing of Tor Clark's publications and outputs. 

Key research outputs

Mair, J., Clark, T., Fowler, N., Snoddy, R., and Tait, R., (2017 forthcoming) Last Words? How can journalism survive the decline of print? Abramis Academic Publishing: Suffolk
Clark, T. (2017 forthcoming) Missing the Biggest Story - The UK Regional Press After Leveson, Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies
Clark, T., and Jones, A., (2017 forthcoming) Not What They Want, But What They Need: Teaching Politics to Journalism Students, Teaching Public Administration
Clark, T., (2013) ‘Can Local Newspapers Survive in a Digital Age?’ in Mair, J., Keeble, RL, and Fowler, N., (2013) What Do We Mean By Local? The Rise, Fall – and Possible Rise Again – of Local Journalism, Suffolk: Abramis Publishing
Clark, T., (2013) ‘Four Reasons to be Cheerful for the Regionals’ in Mair, J., (2013) After Leveson. Suffolk: Abramis Publishing
Clark, T., (2012) ‘The Demand will Remain, but what about the Supply?’ in Mair, J., Fowler, N., & Reeves, I. (2012) What Do We Mean By Local? Grass-Roots Journalism – Its Death and Rebirth. Suffolk: Abramis Publishing
Clark, T., (2012) ‘All Journalism is not the same: A case study’ in Journalism Education, the online journal of the UK Association for Journalism Education, available at http://journalism-education.org
Clark, T., (2012) ‘Corby By-election Preview’ in Total Politics, issue 51, September 2012, London: Biteback Media
Clark, T., (2010) 'Are MPs age-limited?' (are our leading politicians getting younger, and what are the implications for our democracy if they are?) Total Politics issue 28, October 2010: Biteback Media
Clark, T., (2010) 'The other party leaders' (UK political party leaders all but forgotten by the media and the public) Total Politics issue 27, September 2010: Biteback Media

Research interests/expertise

Most aspects of journalism and politics, plus learning, teaching and the student experience

Specifically, UK regional media; political journalism; history of journalism; UK national and local government; political history; elections; journalism education and training

Areas of teaching

Political Journalism
History of Journalism
Sociology of Journalism
Practical Journalism
Investigative Journalism
UK National and Local Government
The UK Regional Media, British Politics and Media

Qualifications

MA in Mass Communications (University of Leicester, 2007)
Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education (De Montfort University, 2007)
BA (Hons) Politics and History (University of Lancaster, 1988)
National Certificate Examination, including 100 words per minute shorthand, (National Council for the Training of Journalists, 1992)

Courses taught

Honours and awards

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, awarded 2015
DMU Teacher Fellowship awarded 2011
DMU Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award 2007, 2008 and 2013
Welland Valley Newspapers Publishing Centre of the Year Award, 2004, 2000 and 1999
Emap Regional Newspapers Community Campaign of the Year Ward, 1991

Membership of external committees

Trustee, Stamford Mercury Archive Trust – current
Co-opted governor, Oakham Church of England Primary School Governing Body – current
Academy Director, Casterton Business and Enterprise College, 2015-16
Academy Director, Rutland County (sixth form) College, 2015-16
Vice-chair, Ryhall Primary School Interim, Executive Board, 2013-14
Parent governor, then vice-chair, Oakham Church of England Primary School Governing Body, 2006-2013
Parent governor representative, Rutland County Council Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel, 2009-2012
Councillor, Oakham South East, Oakham Town Council, 2010-11
Governor, Meadowdale Primary School (Market Harborough), 2001

Membership of professional associations and societies

DMU delegate to Association for Journalism Education, since 2004
Member of NCTJ Undergraduate HE Programme Leaders’ Forum, since 2009
Member of NCTJ Public Affairs tutors’ workshop/seminar forum, since 2009

Professional licences and certificates

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2015Fully qualified journalist, holder of the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ National Certificate Examination, passed April 1992.

Conference attendance

Association for Journalism Education (AJE) conference, Coventry University London campus, June 2016, DMU delegate
Association for Journalism Education (AJE) conference, Greenwich University, June 2015, presented academic paper and DMU delegate
The Policy Network of the Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) conference on Local and regional journalism after Leveson, Chester University, November 2014
Association for Journalism Education (AJE) conference, London Metropolitan University, June 2011, DMU delegate
Organiser of AJE 2010 June seminar. Staged at DMU, hosted by DMU Journalism.
AJE Conference, City University, London, June 2009, DMU delegate
AJE Seminar, Birmingham City University, January 2009, DMU delegate
AJE Conference, Sheffield University, September 2008, DMU delegate
National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Public Affairs Forum, Local Government Association, London, September 2011, DMU delegate
NCTJ Public Affairs qualification markers’ meeting, Sheffield University, November 2015, DMU delegate
NCTJ Public Affairs qualification markers’ meeting, London, September 2013, DMU delegate
NCTJ Public Affairs qualification markers’ meeting, Sheffield University, May 2012, DMU delegate
NCTJ Public Affairs qualification markers’ meeting, Nottingham Trent University, May 2011, DMU delegate
NCTJ HE Course Leaders’ Forum, October 2009, DMU delegate
Interviewee/Assessor NCTJ national examinations (held at DMU)
DMU delegate to Future of Journalism (international) Conference, Cardiff, Sept 09
DMU delegate to Future of Newspapers (international) Conference, Cardiff, Sept 07

Other forms of public presentation

Broadcasting
BBC Radio Leicester, political commentator 2015 General Election, including live election count broadcast, May 8, March-May 2015
BBC Radio Leicester, regular commentator on media, journalism and politics, for Jonathan Lampon (Lunchtime Show), Ben Jackson (Breakfast Show), Martin Ballard (Drivetime)
BBC Radio Leicester, local and mayoral elections, Westminster by-election and AV referendum results coverage, political commentator, broadcast 12pm-10pm, May 6, 2011
BBC Radio Leicester, General Election results coverage, political commentator, broadcast 12am-6am, May 7, 2010
BBC Radio Leicester, General Election campaign coverage, constituency expert Rutland and Melton constituency, April/May 2010
BBC Radio Leicester, preview of Election Question Time event staged at DMU, hosted by me, preview piece on Drivetime Show, April 2010BBC Radio Leicester, 2-3pm, July 19, 2011, special guest on Jonathan Lampon Lunchtime Show.

Website articles

Telegraph Expenses coverage – Leicester Review of Journalism, June 2009
The Sun drops Labour - Leicester Review of Journalism, October 2009
Johnston’s Website Gamble - Leicester Review of Journalism, December 2009

Consultancy work

External Examiner, BA Journalism, Worcester University (2008-2011)
External Academic Consultant, Leeds Trinity University College, audit of Journalism courses (aka revalidation), undergrad and postgrad. (June 08-Nov 09)

Professional esteem indicators

Founder, on Editorial panel and Reviews Editor: Journalism Education, the international, peer-reviewed journal of the UK Association for Journalism Education http://journalism-education.org

Case studies

BBC Radio Leicester, political commentator 2015 General Election, including live election count broadcast, 10pm-8am May 8, 2015
BBC Radio Leicester, very regular commentator on media, journalism and politics, for Breakfast, Mid-Morning, Drivetime and Saturday morning shows, about once per month depending on current issues
BBC Radio Leicester, local and mayoral elections, Westminster by-election and AV referendum results coverage, political commentator, broadcast 12pm-10pm, May 6, 2011
BBC Radio Leicester, General Election results coverage, political commentator, broadcast 12am-6am, May 7, 2010, and General Election campaign coverage constituency expert, Rutland and Melton constituency, April/May 2010

Newspaper columns

Leicester Mercury, many First Person columns 2010-2016

Magazine articles

‘Corby By-election Preview’ in Total Politics, issue 51, September 2012, London: Biteback Media
'Are MPs age-limited?' (are our leading politicians getting younger, and what are the implications for our democracy if they are?) Total Politics issue 28, October 2010: Biteback Media
'The other party leaders' (UK political party leaders all but forgotten by the media and the public) Total Politics issue 27, September 2010: Biteback Media
'It is deja vu from 92' (parallels between 1992 and forthcoming 2010 general elections) Total Politics issue 21, March 2010: Biteback Media

Website articles

'Relaxation of cross-media ownership rules would be disastrous for regional press' (discussion of worrying future for local journalism's coverage of local politics stemming from Parliamentary forum attended in March) published March 29, 2010, by Press Gazette, http://blogs.pressgazette.co.uk/wire/6332
Telegraph Expenses coverage – Leicester Review of Journalism, June 2009
The Sun drops Labour - Leicester Review of Journalism, October 2009
Johnston’s Website Gamble - Leicester Review of Journalism, December 2009

Tor Clark

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