27th September 2005




The newspaper editor who campaigned to secure the release of a man wrongly convicted of murder will open a new series of lectures by journalists at the University of Lincoln next week.


Don Hale, whose investigation and campaign while he was editor of the Matlock Mercury led to the release of Stephen Downing, will talk to students and members of the public about investigative reporting and the local press.


Downing spent more than 27 years in jail for the murder of typist Wendy Sewell in a Bakewell graveyard in 1973.

In 2001, after a long campaign in the face of many obstacles including threats of legal action from the police, Stephen Downing's conviction was overturned and he was released.


Don Hale went on to win a host of major awards including Journalist of the Year from What the Papers Say and The Observerís Man of the Year.


He is currently associate editor of the North Wales Newspaper Group.


Don Hale's talk on Monday 3rd October will be the first in this year's 'Journalists Speak Out on Journalism' series presented by the Lincoln School of Journalism.


The talk will be given at 6pm in the Cargill Lecture Theatre in the main academic building at Brayford Pool. All talks in the series are open to the public and there is no charge for admission.


"We hope our students and members of the public will enjoy the extraordinary range of eminent speakers invited for this semester," said Professor Richard Keeble, who organises the lectures. "Itís a real perk of studying at the University of Lincoln."


Other speakers in the weekly series include journalist turned politician Martin Bell, Dorothy Byrne, head of Channel 4 News, and The Sunís finance editor Ian King.



For more information contact:

Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042†††††††††††††††††††††††† jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

Visit our news web pages:††††† www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/latestnews.htm