The Conversation UK goes live at City University London
An independent news website produced by academics and journalists has been launched in the UK. Based on a model established in Australia two years ago, The Conversation UK provides an independent and trusted platform for academic expertise to be shared with the public.
City University London is a Founding Partner in the venture and provides office accommodation on its premises for the development and editorial staff. Professor George Brock and Professor Ivor Gabor from City's Department of Journalism are among the leading academics who have already contributed articles to the site.
Professor Paul Curran, Vice-Chancellor of City University London and a member of the Board of Trustees welcomed the launch:
"We are passionate about the quality and relevance of our research at City and The Conversation UK will enable us to communicate its importance and potential impact in an accessible and relevant format. It offers City's academics a new and innovative way of communicating directly with the public."
The UK service will be run in partnership with the Melbourne-based arm which has grown rapidly to become Australia's largest independent news, commentary and analysis website. It currently receives more than 850,000 unique visits each month and with over 5,000 academic contributors and 15 commissioning editors it is Australia's largest virtual news room.
The UK editorial team is led by Stephen Khan who has previously held senior positions at The Guardian, The Independent and The Observer. He commented:
"I'm delighted that on our first day some of the finest academics in the country already feature on our site. We will have more comment and analysis grounded in thorough research, as well as news stories sourced from the world's leading academic institutions. We aim to deliver a journalism that is intelligent, engaging and most of all trustworthy."
The Conversation is a not-for-profit organisation. Thirteen UK universities have committed support along with The Wellcome Trust, The Nuffield Foundation, HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England), HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales) and the Scottish Funding Council.
The 13 UK Founding Partner universities are: University of Aberdeen; University of Birmingham; University of Bristol; Cardiff University; City University London; Glasgow Caledonian University; University of Liverpool; the Open University; University of Salford; University of Sheffield; University of Surrey; University College London (UCL) and University of Warwick.