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28th July 2011, 9:10am
“Inspirational” journalism professor wins top teaching award
Prof Richard Keeble Professor Richard Lance Keeble, Acting Head of the Lincoln School of Journalism (LSJ), has become the first academic while at the University of Lincoln to win a National Teaching Fellowship – the most prestigious award for teachers in higher education.

The respected journalism professor will be honoured with the top award by the Higher Education Academy at a ceremony at Middle Temple Hall, London, on 5 October.

A familiar name for thousands of journalism students, Prof Keeble has played a central role in the development of journalism teaching in higher education, writing and editing 20 books. His Newspapers Handbook (now in its fourth edition, Routledge) is regarded as the seminal textbook on reporting skills. The acclaimed investigative journalist John Pilger said of it: “The author clearly has a passion for informed, honest and humane journalism.”

He is well known to other media luminaries too, with Dorothy Byrne, head of Channel Four News and Current Affairs, also commenting: “Richard is a major figure in the debate about journalism in the UK. His innovative thinking and academic excellence forms the foundation of his inspirational teaching.”

An authority on journalism ethics, Prof Keeble has been in great demand in recent weeks by reporters from all corners of the globe to give his expert opinion on the News of the World.

Professor John Tulloch, Head of the LSJ, commented: "This award is richly deserved. Richard is a hugely experienced and inspirational teacher of journalism. In particular, he has pioneered the teaching of media ethics and human rights in the journalism curriculum – two subjects that the industry badly needs to address, as the current scandal over phone hacking shows. Richard’s work helps to build a better journalism. The LSJ is proud of him.”

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, added: “I am delighted that Richard has been recognised as a National Teaching Fellow. It demonstrates his considerable contribution to teaching excellence in journalism, not only at Lincoln but his wider engagement and influence.”

As well as joining the roll-call of top teachers from many different disciplines, such as Geography, Law, Music, Sport, Psychiatry, English, Medicine and Economics, Prof Keeble will be awarded a prize of £10,000 for professional development. Only 55 teachers and learning support staff across England and Wales will be recognised this year.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of the HEA, said: “The dedication of the 55 new Fellows is to be applauded and provides further evidence of the high quality innovative practices that students paying fees will increasingly expect to experience in higher education.”

Prof Keeble commented: “Throughout my career I have been lucky to work alongside many wonderful colleagues in both the academy and journalism. I would like to thank them all, sincerely, for their support.”

After studying modern history at Keble College, Oxford University, Prof Keeble worked on the Nottingham Guardian Journal and Cambridge Evening News before becoming director of the International Journalism MA at City University, London, in 1984. On 1 April 2003 he became Professor of Journalism at Lincoln.

He has taught in all the main journalism subject areas – both practical and theoretical. He has also throughout his career sought to integrate his research interests into his teaching. Thus, at Lincoln, he has launched modules on Peace and Conflict Reporting, Ethics, a new MA on War and International Human Rights and a new BA in investigative reporting.

Along with Professor Tulloch, he has advanced the study of literary journalism: in particular the reporting of George Orwell and Robert Fisk. He has also done much to promote the critical engagement with the industry inviting top journalists such as John Pilger, Phillip Knightley, Bridget Kendall and Dorothy Byrne to give talks to his students.

His 20 written and edited texts cover a broad range of topics: for instance, communication ethics, the coverage of the Afghan War, the reporting of the Arab Spring and the links between Fleet Street journalists and the intelligence services.

He is a director of the Institute of Communication Ethics and joint editor of its quarterly journal, Ethical Space. And he has given talks in many countries including Australia, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, India, Malta, Montenegro, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United States.

Professor Mike Neary, Dean of Teaching and Learning who was himself awarded an NTF at Warwick, said: “Richard has been at the forefront of developing progressive teaching and learning practices at the University of Lincoln. Key to Richard’s contribution has been to recognise the importance of ethics and progressive politics to pedagogical practice more generally; and to find ways to embed these core aspects for teaching and learning across the student experience.”

Tune into Siren FM at 10.10 and 13.10 today to hear an interview with Prof Keeble:

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