Denis O'Brien to Headline Journalism Conference at NUI Galway

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Denis O Brien, Chairman of Digicel Group and founder of Communicorp Group, which owns and manages a portfolio of media and broadcasting-related companies in Ireland and seven other European countries, will be the keynote speaker at NUI Galway on Friday, 2 October at the NUI Galway - Connacht Tribune Centenary Conference 'Journalism in the Future: The Changes and Challenges'. Mr O'Brien is one of Ireland's leading entrepreneurs with extensive investments across several sectors including international telecoms, radio, media, property, aircraft leasing, golf and other leisure interests. Great interest is expected in his keynote address on Media -The Future in light of O'Brien's views on the media sector in recent times. Other speakers at the conference include Roy Greenslade, Professor of Journalism at City University London and a media commentator since 1992, most notably for The Guardian. He also writes a column for the London Evening Standard. He has been a journalist for 41 years and has worked for many of Britain's national newspapers. Speaker Pat Loughrey is Director of BBC Nations and Regions, with overall responsibility for the BBC s television, radio and online programmes and services in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the 12 English Regions. Since the Donegal native took on this role in 2000, he has presided over an era of unprecedented growth for the BBC outside London, including a £50m annual increase in expanded local output in all parts of the UK and the introduction of the BBC s first Open Centres and digital buses. Mr Loughrey is also currently a visiting Professor of Journalism at the University of Ulster. Professor John Horgan, the Press Council of Ireland's inaugural Press Ombudsman will also speak at the event as will journalist and author Niall O'Dowd. Founder of IrishCentral.com as well as of Irish America Magazine and the Irish Voice Newspaper in New York, Niall O'Dowd is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University Journalism School. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, commented: "This is a very interesting and turbulent time in the newspaper and print media industry globally, so this conference is especially timely. The insights of the distinguished panellists and keynote speaker will be of considerable interest to the business and media interests nationally". NUI Galway offers a popular Masters in Journalism and over the years graduates and students of the programme have been winners of various national awards for young journalists. President Browne added: "To mark the 100th anniversary of The Connacht Tribune newspaper and to celebrate the partnership between NUI Galway and The Connacht Tribune in journalism education it is fitting that the University host this event. We in NUI Galway value our relationship with the newspaper. Many of our students and graduates have gone on to work at The Connacht Tribune, forging important journalistic careers. Award-winning journalism graduates from this University like Harry McGee and Conor Pope have cut their teeth at The Connacht Tribune, many highly respected journalists began their careers with the Tribune". Dave O'Connell, Group Editor of the The Connacht Tribune expressed his delight with the University hosting such a prestigious event: "We at The Connacht Tribune are delighted to be involved with NUI Galway, there's great synergy between the two institutions and we are particularly grateful that the University see fit to honour us in our centenary year". Full programme and registration details are available for viewing at www.conference.ie. Places are limited and are on a first come first served basis.
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