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Transforming the digital economy

29 September 2010

A new chair in Digital Economy is being launched by Cardiff University, to bring together a programme of work ranging from the future of digital media to the role being played by digital communications in re-shaping public services.

Ian Hargreaves, Professor of Journalism at Cardiff for over a decade, and who has held a number of senior positions in journalism, regulation and business communications will take up the new chair on October 1 2010.

Spanning the University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and Cardiff Business School, the chair will link the two disciplines, giving a major boost to research in each.

Speaking about the appointment, Dr David Grant, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: "We are delighted that Ian has decided to base the next phase of his career firmly in Cardiff University. I know that he will add value across a number of research areas and further strengthen the University’s relationship with governmental and other policy-making institutions."

Professor Hargreaves joined Cardiff in 1999, and has held a number of roles outside of academia including Editor of the Independent; Director of BBC News and Current Affairs; and Director of Strategic Communications at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Earlier this year, he completed a review of creative industries in Wales for the Welsh Assembly Government.

Professor George Boyne, Dean of Cardiff Business School, said: "Professor Hargreaves’ research on this important issue for private and public organisations will link closely with our existing strengths in areas such as the Welsh economy, sustainability, and local and regional government."

Professor Justin Lewis, Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, added: "Journalism’s future depends upon the emergence of new financial models and Ian will bring great experience and energy to our efforts to understand what is going on and to help design solutions."

Professor Hargreaves said: "Digital communications platforms are re-shaping not only journalism and the media, but the way that modern economies work. This is particularly true in education and it will be increasingly true in health. I am greatly looking forward to opening a new chapter in my work at Cardiff University."



1. Ian Hargreaves was Director of the Centre for Journalism Studies, Cardiff University, which teaches practical journalism to post-graduate students, from 1999 to 2003. As a Professor of Journalism since 1999 to the present, he has undertaken a number of research projects in fields ranging from the future of journalism to science and journalism.

Prior to 1999, he held senior positions in UK journalism, including Deputy Editor of the Financial Times; Editor of the Independent, Editor of the New Statesman and Director of BBC news and Current Affairs.

Since 2003, he has retained a strong link with the University whilst pursuing other interests. His most recent roles outside academic life have been Director of Strategic Communications at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Senior Partner of Ofcom, the media and communications regulator.

He will take up his new chair with effect from October 1. On that day, he is due to address a conference "Creativity in Hard Times" at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, organised by the Institute for Welsh Affairs, the Arts Council for Wales and Cardiff School of Art and Design.

2. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

3. For further information:

Victoria Dando or Laura Davies

Public Relations

Cardiff University / Cardiff Business School

Tel: 02920 879074 / 875132