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Broadcaster turned academic set to host international conference inspiring students from across the globe to unite in collaboration

Katherine Blair

A Senior Professional Practice Fellow and Broadcast Journalism Programme Leader at Leeds Trinity University (@LeedsTrinity) is organising a global conference on broadcast and digital collaborations in higher education.

Leeds Trinity academic Katherine Blair is partnering with colleagues from universities in Canada, the US and China to deliver Global Broadcast Collaboration (GBC) 2021; a global conference which aims to examine international student collaborative broadcasts.

The conference will also showcase how digital media and technology can facilitate international collaboration and provide a platform for students to share different perspectives on global issues.

Taking place from Monday 29 to Tuesday 30 November, the two-day GBC 2021 conference will be streamed live from Ryerson University in Toronto, and will examine the benefits, challenges and future of international collaborative higher education initiatives, using student projects featuring Leeds Trinity students as an example of best practice.

Prior to working at Leeds Trinity, Katherine was a broadcast journalist for 20 years, working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as a television presenter and reporter, before moving to the UK and continuing her career at ITV Yorkshire as a news editor, producer and director. Now as a Senior Professional Practice Fellow, Katherine is responsible for developing international opportunities for Broadcast Journalism students, including study abroad, international bootcamps, and collaborative online learning projects established from her partnership with GBC 2021.

The first day of the conference will focus on two international projects which Katherine and Leeds Trinity students participated in as part of Global Campus Studio, a consortium of 15 universities working collaboratively to produce news broadcasts.

The projects include the Global News Relay; a series of newscasts produced by students and hosted in Hong Kong, with this year’s theme focused on the impact of the pandemic on people in different countries, and most recently, Food for Thought; a series of seven shows exploring different aspects of food shortages, trends and farming. Last year, the Let’s Talk Racism programmes, a series exploring different aspects of racism, was co-hosted by Broadcast Journalism students at Leeds Trinity alongside students in Canada, the Netherlands, the US, China and South Africa.

The second day will feature sessions on mobile journalism, a workshop from Google on international broadcasting, a hologram demonstration and how to make digital projects inclusive and sustainable.

Katherine said: “Our international partnership with Global Campus Studio means students get a great experience and they learn from other students who are at the same stage as them. They also learn how to communicate with people from different cultures and how to overcome communication barriers, to make things work for everyone.

“These are such valuable skills, that go well beyond filming, editing and journalism. These are key skills that will help make them global citizens, and I’m looking forward to continuing our work with the consortium.”

Marion Coomey, Executive Producer of Global Campus Studio and Professor at Ryerson University, said:

“The international shows we produce every year through Global Campus Studio give students the chance to interact with other students from around the world to learn different perspectives on the same topic. My goal in this partnership has been to provide students with the opportunity to participate in an ambitious international television production, but also to help them understand ways in which people their age in the rest of the world think about issues that concern young people no matter where they live.”

The Global Broadcast Collaboration 2021 conference is free to attend and takes places virtually on Monday 29 to Tuesday 30 November via Zoom.

For more information and to register, visit the Global Campus website.

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