University of Sunderland’s mediaHUB to team up with BBC Newcastle

Journalism lecturer Lee Hall with MediaHUB newsroom manager India Adams-Norton from Sunderland University (left) with Doug Morris and Sophie McDonnell from BBC Newcastle. Picture by David Wood.

The University of Sunderland’s mediaHUB is set to team up with BBC Newcastle.

For the first time since 2011, a team of journalists from the radio broadcaster will be based in Sunderland.

Both organisations will be coming together thanks to a partnership with the University of Sunderland’s School of Media and Communication.

The BBC team will use the home of journalism and media students – the mediaHUB – a space designed to mimic a real newsroom, with five platforms covering a range of subjects, from news and sport to fashion and culture.

Lee Hall, head of journalism, media and communication, said:  “We are very excited to welcome the BBC to the mediaHUB, it’s fantastic news for our students, the university, the city and the BBC – we’re delighted that we’ve been able to work with BBC to make this idea a reality.

“The mediaHUB provides robust, real-world platforms for students to experiment with journalism.

“They create content and publish in a live environment with the benefit of support from interns, staff and visiting professionals.

“We created the space to work as a bridge between university and the world of work by embracing modern newsroom workflows.

“But that insight into the real world only takes the students so far – having the BBC based in the same office will enable them to see firsthand what it’s like to research and pull together stories to meet the non-stop news deadlines.”

Doug Morris, managing editor at BBC Newcastle, added: “Sunderland has always been a part of our output but to have a presence back physically in the city is a very significant thing for us.

“We were looking for an opportunity to get back into Sunderland, so when we found that this was something the university were thinking about as well, it was just a great opportunity to get a BBC presence back in one of the three cities that we cover.

“We’re trying to ensure that the BBC has a bigger presence in the city than it has had for a very long time.

“Doing it in conjunction with the university and recognising the fact that we can give an opportunity to under-served communities and share under-heard voices in the city through the university is something that is important for us to do as a public service broadcaster. 

Moving into the mediaHUB will be a BBC reporter, with back-up from the digital team and space for up to six BBC staff.

They will be supported by a Sunderland graduate on a short-term contract as the broadcaster looks at ways to create opportunities for talent from the university to join the team. 

BBC Newcastle covers Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland as well as Northumberland and County Durham.

Their main base in Newcastle is also the home of BBC Look North as well as digital channels for the North East.

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