Ian Bucknell


I joined the Media and Communication team part-time in 2011, became a full-time Senior Teacher in 2015 and now lead the Journalism programme.

Before teaching full-time, I worked as a producer and video journalist at the BBC. During my 13 years with the public service broadcaster, I had a variety of editorial and production roles across a range of news, sports, current affairs and documentary programmes. In 2012, I won a Europe-wide award (CIRCOM) for Best Sports Programme for producing Yorkshire Olympic Dreams. Another highlight was filming, producing and directing a behind-the-scenes documentary called "Jessica Ennis: Golden Girl" for BBC One. Other programmes I have worked on include Helicopter Heroes, Look North, Inside Out, Late Kick-Off and the Super League Show. I have also contributed to Newsnight, BBC News and Panorama. I keep in touch with industry trends, expand my professional network and identify career opportunities for our students by continuing to work as a journalist and producer. Recent freelance assignments include filming two specialist factual series with explorer Paul Rose about the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales for BBC2.

My experiences have enabled me to become a uniquely skilled all-rounder who can film, edit, report and produce factual television and digital journalism to broadcast standard. My role at the university allows me to pass those skills on and prepare students for the varied challenges of working in the media.


  • Programme Leader BA Journalism
  • Co-convenor Journalism Research Group

Research interests

With the support of a bursary from the Association for Journalism Education, I am conducting research into how digital journalism skills should be taught in higher education. The work is inspired by calls from both employers and universities for tutors to keep pace with digital developments or risk losing touch with the media industry. My project aims to identify the challenges and find solutions, with one objective being to work towards a typology of digital journalism skills. The study draws on a series of in-depth interviews with digital editors who represent a broad range of UK news organisations including ITN, the Financial Times, vice.com (UK), Sky News, Bauer Media and BBC Yorkshire. A conference paper based on this work has been accepted by the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) for their conference in Braga in 2020.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • MSc Information Science
  • BA English Language and Literatures

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Association for Journalism Education

Student education

My primary role is to teach students the skills and understanding they need to create factual television and digital journalism. I lead practical sessions in journalism fundamentals, TV news production, documentary making and digital storytelling. I recently designed and developed our new Journalism Practice modules that ensure the students skills and knowledge match current industry practice. On these modules, I teach second years how to produce journalism for social media, verify social sources, create interactive webpages, make videos for mobile devices and live blog with WordPress. I have also created and now teach Camera and Editing for Journalists, a module that provides first years with the technical skills they need to complete future practical assignments in video production. In the third year, I draw upon my experiences in the industry to teach documentary production skills such as creating a shooting script, fly-on-the-wall camera work and advanced post-production techniques.

Research groups and institutes

  • Journalism