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Professor Suzanne Franks joins City University London

New journalism appointment combines professional expertise with academic research
by Hollie Jenkins

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Professor Suzanne Franks has joined the Department of Journalism at City University London as Head of Undergraduate Journalism.

Before her most recent role at the University of Kent, Suzanne had a long and successful journalism career, producing programmes such as Newsnight, Watchdog, The Money Programme and Panorama. As a senior producer, she also edited election programmes, budget coverage and live special screenings such as party conferences. In 1986 she was awarded a Nuffield Fellowship to study the development of satellite television in India.

Professor Franks brings with her a wealth of academic research and teaching experience, having previously worked as the Director of Research in the Centre for Journalism and also as a Senior Lecturer in Political Communication in the School of Politics and International Relations at Kent.

Professor Franks says she is delighted to be joining the Department of Journalism at City.

"I was attracted to City University London because of its outstanding reputation in journalism. The calibre of alumni, students and academics is unmatched and there is some very exciting research and teaching happening within the Department.

"2011 has been an interesting time for both the higher education sector and the journalism sector. There are several new challenges that need to be addressed to to ensure that both remain valued and relevant. I'm looking forward to working closely with the next generation of journalists as they embark on their professional and academic careers."

Professor Suzanne Franks graduated with first class honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University. She worked briefly in Washington DC for a public interest group, before taking up a television traineeship at the BBC.

In the 1990s Professor Franks set up an independent production company, Sevenday Productions, which was awarded the first outside contract for the televising of Parliament. She was responsible for all the coverage from the Lords, Commons and Committees until 2001.

The company also developed a web business specialising in political coverage and was awarded the first webcasting contract from Downing Street. The business was sold in 2004 and Suzanne moved to the University of Westminster to join the BBC history project working on volume 6 (1974-87), where she gained her PhD.

At City Professor Franks will also supervise PhD students and contribute to the Department of Journalism's research outputs.

Her research interests are in the area of humanitarian communication, the reporting of news from the developing world and in the history of the BBC. She has published widely in this area and is also the author of several books.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.