The Board


Our two boards are made up of leading industry and training experts – all working together to ensure students of BJTC-accredited courses receive the best training possible. 

Ralph Bernard CBE, heads up our Executive Board, which manages the key aspects of running the BJTC. It also oversees the Journalism and Accreditation Board, chaired by Diane Kemp.


The J&A concentrates on the detail of the accreditation process, adapting it as needed, to reflect ever-evolving industry practice. 

After every accreditation visit, the J&A reviews the panels’ reports before they are sent to the Executive Board for a final decision. This ensures consistency and transparency across all our courses.

Ralph Bernard CBE

Chairman

Ralph Bernard’s career has spanned over 35 years beginning as a newspaper journalist in London before moving into commercial radio at Sheffield’s Radio Hallam and then at Hereward Radio in Peterborough. He launched Wiltshire Radio in 1982, as Programme Director, becoming Managing Director in 1983. He served as Chief Executive of GWR Group from 1987 to 2001 and then as Executive Chairman at GCAP.

His ground-breaking networked documentaries including the award-winning dramatised investigative documentary series, “Dying for a Drink”. A theme of another series, the dramatised “Down to Earth” which investigated the coal mining industry, led to Bernard’s production of “Dust” a hit sell-out play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which toured in 2012.

He is Chairman of Central School of Ballet and is a Trustee or Director of a number of not-for-profit organisations, particularly involving the performing arts.

In September 2012 he stepped down as Chairman of Classic FM on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. Classic FM was created after Ralph led the bid for the licence in 1991. He was Classic FM’s chief executive for 11 years.

He was responsible for the first merger in commercial radio which ultimately created GWR Group, Britain’s largest radio company. He led GWR Group for over 25 years stepping down as Chief Executive in 2008.

He was appointed a Fellow of the Radio Academy in 1998, he won the Sony Radio Gold Award in 2000 for his contribution to the industry and in the 2002 Jubilee Honours Ralph received a CBE for services to broadcasting.

Ralph Bernard is a currently a trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the British Lung Foundation.

Ralph is married with four children and four grand-children. He has completed 10 London marathons, running to raise funds for the British Lung Foundation and is due to run again in 2014. He is a keen 5-a-side footballer and in quieter moments he collects copies of Wisden, the cricketing year book.

Kate Ironside

Deputy Chair, Executive & Journalism & Accreditation Board

Kate Ironside was a journalist for 26 years before moving full time into academia. She specialised in political coverage, covering Westminster for Central Press, the Daily Express and BBC Westminster. She also wrote a weekly column on the EU for the Western Morning News for 17 years, winning UK Press Gazette’s Columnist of the Year award in 1999.

Kate is now a Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the University of Northampton where she teaches radio, ethics and law & public administration and is course leader for BA Broadcast Journalism. She¹s a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and sits on the BJTC board.

With BJTC chief executive Jon Godel, she co-ordinated the BJTC 2015 election night joint venture which saw students from 14 universities join forces to report the results of the last General Election.

Munier Abdalla

Journalism & Accreditation Board

Munier is a multi-platform journalist at UTV covering a range of regional and national news stories. He formerly presented the flagship programmes UTV Live at Six and UTV Live Tonight. 

He began his career at Sky Sports in London before progressing to work as a reporter and producer with BBC, Bauer Media, Al Jazeera and ITN.

Munier is an ITV training champion specialising in developing new reporters and experienced journalists.

Babita Bahal

Executive Board

Babita is Head of Creative Diversity at Channel 4 – leading a team tasked with fulfilling one of Channel 4’s key priorities – ensuring the broadcaster continues to improve on and off-screen diverse representation and authentic portrayal across its content. Providing guidance and expertise on all aspects of inclusion and diversity to Channel 4’s commissioning team as well as its independent production partners, Babita also supports start-ups, Black, Asian and minority led and regionally based companies alongside projects with diverse content or talent attached.

Babita works with partners across the industry to attract, retain and develop talent from underrepresented backgrounds to increase representation and career progression in production crews. Babita is committed to making broadcasting more inclusive and reflective of the diversity of the UK.

Babita is a member of the Edinburgh TV Festival  Foundation board and the Grierson DocLab Advisory Group. 

 

Andrew Bailey

Executive Board

Andrew Bailey is Managing Editor (Digital) for LBC and LBC News at Global, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment groups and Europe’s largest radio company.

Andrew is an award-winning journalist who joined Global in 2019 after four years at Sky News, where he was the Senior UK News Editor, providing editorial leadership across TV, Radio and Online. Before Sky, he was Head of National Radio News at Bauer Media overseeing news coverage on its national radio brands. Previously he worked at Virgin Radio, Century Radio in Manchester and Radio City in Liverpool.

Alongside his management roles, Andrew will be a familiar voice to radio listeners for his 7-year stint as News Presenter on the Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio.

Andrew has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist spanning TV, Radio and Digital Media and has reported from locations around the globe including Iraq and Kosovo. He’s won a raft of British Radio Awards, New York Festival Awards and Sonys and was awarded the title IRN Newsreader of the Year in 2014. He was part of the Sky News team who received the Royal Television Society Award for Breaking News coverage of the Manchester Arena bombing in 2018. 

Andrew spent seven years as a Visiting Lecturer and assessor of MA Broadcast Journalism students at City University in London and continues to be a passionate advocate for journalism training.

He is non-executive Director of the Broadcast Journalism Training Council and is regularly asked to judge awards including the BJTC Awards, IRN awards, Amnesty International Awards, Sports Journalism Association awards and others.

Louise Bamfield

Executive and Jouralism & Accreditation Board

Louise has worked for the Associated Press for 25 years in jobs based in London and Washington DC including  Managing Editor, International News Editor, North America Editor, Intake Editor and currently, Head of Newsroom Operations. 

She started in journalism at Radio Luxembourg and moved to Sky Television where she was on the Home Newsdesk as an Assistant Editor and Duty Editor.    

Louise loves working on breaking news and supporting young journalists in their early careers.  

Jon Barsby

Executive Board

At the NUJ John Barsby represents East Anglia on the NEC. NUJ Member of Honour, former president and long-serving member of the NEC, John has chaired Finance Committee for several years and has been the longest-serving chair of the Broadcasting Industrial Council. Much of his work is involved in BBC negotiations and representing members in regional television and local radio.

 

Will Cope

Journalism & Accreditation Board

Will Cope is the course leader of the BA (Hons) Sports Journalism degree at Solent University – a role he has had since 2015 – and has taught on the course since it began in 2007. His specialism lies in sports broadcast journalism, particularly in radio and TV.  Will has been a journalist, commentator, and presenter for more than 20 years, working for a variety of UK broadcasters including Sky Sports, talkSPORT, Channel 5, Quest and Chelsea TV.  He is still a regular contributor to sports radio and television both at home and abroad and works on several programmes produced by IMG.  Will also works as an event presenter, voice over artist and corporate media trainer. 

Will has lived and worked in the United States and Australia as well as the U.K and has been lucky enough to study and teach at Universities in both America and Spain.  He is also a Fellow of Advance HE (formerly Higher Education Authority). 

Away from Solent University, Will is also working on a project with the English Football League (EFL) and broadcast partners to widen participation for sports journalists from all backgrounds.   

Will is a huge sports fan and loves to play and watch sport whenever he gets the opportunity. 

Lynn Dixon

Journalism & Accreditation Board

Lynn Dixon is the MA Broadcast Journalism course leader at the University of Sheffield. Lynn has been teaching in the Department of Journalism Studies on the BA and MA courses for the last seven years.

She started her career in Yorkshire where she worked at Calendar for ITV, BBC Radio Sheffield and Hallam FM. Lynn then moved to London to work at BBC Radio One Newsbeat as a Senior Broadcast Journalist. She was one of the main presenters of the bulletins and programme, and later became one of the North of England reporters, mostly covering Manchester and Liverpool. Lynn eventually came back to Yorkshire to become a News Editor for Bauer.

As well as working at the University of Sheffield, Lynn also currently does voiceovers, mostly for radio and web. She has also put together radio packages for corporate podcasts

Robin Elias

Executive Board

Robin has worked in television news for more than 30 years, and was programme editor during some of the defining moments of the last quarter century. He ran programmes during events that included the death of the Princess of Wales, the first Gulf War, and the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York.

He started his career as a local newspaper reporter in Surrey. He worked for the Press Association in Fleet Street, and was a sub-editor on the London Evening News when it folded in 1980. From there he joined ITN. He worked as a scriptwriter and then as programme editor for eight years before becoming Deputy Editor in 2000, and Managing Editor in 2003.

In this role he has responsibility for more than 100 journalists working for ITV News. In 2007 he was appointed as launch editor for Setanta Sports News.

He has a particular interest in Diversity issues, and has been a member of the Cultural Diversity Network for three years.

Robin is married with two children. He runs, plays squash, and is a keen cyclist.

Marie-Claire Fennessy

Journalism & Accreditation Board

Marie-Claire Fennessy is a journalist with over 15 years experience at Reuters. She has been based across two main hubs in London and Singapore, and has travelled the globe as a field journalist on assignments including G8 and G20 summits, protests in Thailand, and Pope Francis’ trip to the Philippines. As Live Editor, Marie-Claire leads LIVE editorial coverage across the globe and is involved in the development of the product. As London newsroom manager, she runs the 24/7 global hub for video and is passionate about building a strong, inclusive newsroom and developing young journalists and leaders.

Jim Foulger

Journalism & Accreditation Board

Lorraine Herbison

Executive Board

Lorraine is an experienced news leader, broadcaster and journalist who has worked in both radio and newspapers. In her current role she heads up all news and sport output for Bauer Radio in Scotland which includes Radio Clyde, Radio Forth, Northsound Radio,  WestSound Radio, Radio Borders, Radio Tay and Moray Firth Radio.

Before this, Lorraine was responsible for the award winning news and sport department at Clyde 1 and Clyde 2 in Glasgow and was heard reading news bulletins each day, jokingly known as ‘Big Lorraine’ by Clyde 1’s legendary breakfast show presenter George Bowie.

Born in Northern Ireland, Lorraine moved to Glasgow to take her Postgraduate Degree in Journalism on a joint course between Strathclyde University and Glasgow Caledonian University. In that year she started her career at local newspaper The Lennox Herald in Dumbarton and freelancing for national newspapers in Scotland, before moving to the Evening Times in Glasgow. She was then headhunted to join Radio Clyde, where she began as a reporter. Her career there saw her become Chief Reporter, News Editor, then Head of News and Sport, which included a remit for Clyde 1’s hugely popular Superscoreboard football programme. After a restructuring of the news departments in Scotland, she became Head of News and Sport for all of Bauer’s eight Scottish radio stations.

Lorraine is also Bauer’s voice coach and travels to their stations across the UK training the journalists. She is a Trustee on the board of Radio Clyde and WestSound’s Cash for Kids charity, which helps children living in poverty in Glasgow and the West and is on course to raise £2m this year. She also sits on the IRN (Independent Radio News) Editorial Board.

Lorraine is also an accomplished events host at events across Glasgow and the west of Scotland.

Chris Howard

Executive Board

Chris is the Editor of News Output for Sky News, where he oversees the evening TV output – including editing News at Ten.

His journey in journalism began on Radio 4, with a 2-week work experience placement on the Today programme. He never left and 4 years later was editing the programme.

Stints on Newsnight, in Washington and Westminster followed, before he left the BBC for Sky News where he’s held several roles commissioning and editing programmes, running the planning operation and leading on special events.

Everywhere he’s worked he’s been lucky enough to run landmark and often award-winning projects, including covering wars in the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa, elections at home and abroad – including most recently Sky’s US election coverage and results programme – and now a global pandemic. 

Having been born – and spent a good portion of his childhood – abroad, he’s always been inspired by the stories and possibilities the world has to offer, and been guided in his professional life by Nelson Mandela’s maxim that “it always seems impossible until it’s done.”

More importantly he’s father to three wonderful girls who distract him very effectively from the reading, sport, cinema, music and travel that might otherwise occupy his time.

Tejinder Kaur

Executive Board

Tejinder is an award-winning ITV News Central Content Editor and 6pm Programme Producer. She’s worked for ITV News since 2000 and in that time she has worked in every editorial role in ITV’s Birmingham newsroom – whether it’s Bulletin Editor, Reporter, Presenter, OB Field Producer, Features Producer, Political Programme Producer for “The Lobby”, Online Curator, Content Hub Editor, Trainer, Manager, Diversity Champion and Programme Editor. 

She produced ITV Central’s programme in February 2017 when Leicester City’s then-Manager Claudio Ranieri was controversially sacked. It won the Royal Television Society Midlands Awards’ prestigious and highly-competitive “Programme of the Year” Award. Tejinder is also the recipient of the “Media Professional of the Year” at the British Indian Awards.

Find Tejinder on Twitter: @TejinderITV

Jenny Kean

Journalism & Accreditation Board

Jenny currently leads the BJTC-accredited MA Journalism programme at Leeds Trinity University, teaching radio, news writing and reporting skills and overseeing professional placements. She also teaches across their undergraduate programmes, including a number of NCTJ modules covering video journalism, data journalism, analytics and essential journalism skills. She has been a course leader for BJTC-accredited undergraduate journalism programmes at Leeds Beckett University and York St John University, and as someone who puts employability at the heart of her teaching, Jenny has a strong commitment to the industry-standard frameworks of the BJTC. She is also a regular member of panels visiting other universities, so has direct experience of being on both sides of the table on accreditation visits!

 

Jenny was a broadcast journalist for 20 years with the BBC, working at the World Service and as newsreader, reporter and producer of the flagship Breakfast programmes at a number of BBC local radio stations. She has also edited an English-language magazine in Spain for five years.

 

Most recently, Jenny co-authored research into online abuse of journalists to produce a resource for how journalism students can prepare and protect themselves; this was published by the Association of Journalism Education (AJE) in 2021, and was picked up and highlighted by the Press Gazette.

Shirley Lewis

Executive Board

Shirley Lewis is a senior lecturer in broadcast journalism at Liverpool John Moores University, bringing a range of experience to the classroom from newspapers, BBC Radio, regional television and as a Senior Correspondent for Sky News.

As Bureau Chief she set up the Sky News Northern office, covering most of the major breaking news stories in the region for the next 18 years. From Hillsborough to James Bulger, Dr Shipman to the London bombings, she has been involved in most areas of TV news production, including documentaries, forward planning and the role of senior News Editor.

She began her lecturing career at the University of Central Lancashire, working with the BBC on the highly successful joint Foundation Journalism course. She has also designed a post- graduate course for Al Jazeera television.

In addition to lecturing, Shirley works as a freelance journalist and media consultant. She is a member of the Broadcast Journalism Training Council responsible for accrediting Journalism courses at universities throughout the UK.

Gail Mellors

Executive Board

Gail Mellors is Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Broadcast Journalism degree course based at the Centre of Broadcasting and Journalism at Nottingham Trent University.

She is an experienced journalist with more than 20 years in the industry working across platforms in both national and regional news.

She remains a freelance on-screen journalist for ITV, often reporting and presenting for ITV Central News.

She started work with ITV as a reporter for Yorkshire’s Calendar News and went on to present and produce the programme as well as reporting on diverse range of news stories and documentaries for both regional and network news.

Gail began her career as trainee reporter at the Derby Evening Telegraph where she became the paper’s crime reporter and then deputy news editor before working as a freelance reporter for national newspapers namely the Sun and the Daily Mail.
She has also spent time working for ITN and the former GMTV as well as Radio Trent, in Nottingham.

Peter Parker

Executive Board

Peter has worked for Thomson Reuters for more than a decade. Part of his current role is to ensure Reuters builds, and maintains, the strongest possible team to meet the demands of hundreds of broadcast and digital clients around the world, in a fast-changing and highly competitive environment.

Peter’s says his time with the BJTC board has shown him the value of combining that industry experience with academic expertise to ensure broadcast students get the best possible preparation. Seeing industry rivals come together in such a venture has also demonstrated the collective responsibility they have, and the contribution they can make.

James Porter

Executive Board

James Porter has been a journalist at the BBC for more than 25 years working in both News and Sport before taking up his current role running the BBCs Journalism training department.

He joined the BBC as a Local Radio reporter at BBC Radio Leicester and then moved into Sport with a role on 5 Live when it launched. In his time at 5 Live he won 3 Sony Radio Gold awards and worked with presenters including Gary Lineker, David Gower and Sir Matthew Pinsent.

James spent time leading the Sports News areas on 5 Live and then the BBC News Channel before he set up and ran the BBCs 1st multi-media Sports News department across TV, Radio and On Line.
In 2011 he moved to the BBC’s in house training department and is now responsible for all Journalism Training across the BBC. He has been a BJTC board member since 2011. James is also a mentor for the John Schofield Trust helping aspiring young journalists.

Away from the office he has been part of a team who swam the English Channel and can be found supporting Liverpool and Aldershot Town.

Diane Ridley

Executive Board

Matt Walsh

Executive Board

Matt Walsh is the head of the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University, one of the UK’s leading centres for journalism education and research.

He became an academic in 2014 after more than 20 years as a working journalist. After completing a BJTC-accredited postgraduate course at Falmouth University in the mid-90s he worked for the BBC before joining ITN, eventually becoming a senior programme editor at ITV News and then Deputy Editor of the ITV News Channel. Matt left ITN for The Times where he was a member of its digital management team, and launched both its podcast service and pioneered its video journalism.

Matt has also worked as an editor in international news at Al Jazeera, and as a training and editorial consultant for the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 

Chris Wheal

Journalism & Accreditation Board

Chris Wheal is working freelance journalist and represents the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) on the BJTC. He started in print and edited several business magazines plus supplements in The Guardian before moving into online journalism, running websites for AOL and founding AOL Money. He is currently editor of the financial and investing news service on Capital.com.
Chris has won several awards for his journalism