Manchester hosts Google-backed journalism summit

  • Journalists and police debate media coverage of Manchester Arena attack
  • Speakers included Manchester Evening News’s Rob Irvine and Radio 5Live’s Rozina Breen
  • Community news outlets from around the UK discussed future of local reporting



Rob Irvine, Manchester Evening News
Rob Irvine, editor of the Manchester Evening News


Manchester’s Town Hall was the grand setting for Thursday’s News Impact Summit organised by the European Journalism Centre together with Google News Labs, which brought together key innovators in community news projects from all around the UK and from the United States.

Why community is the future of news

The day started with John Crowley, managing editor of Newsweek Media Group, giving an enlightening speech on the importance of community in the future of news reporting. There were lessons to be learnt from the Grenfell Tower Disaster, he said: “Those people can do what they like because there’s no journalists to look up what they’re doing. That’s why local journalism is so important.”

Lessons from the Manchester terror attack

For the first time, police and journalists came together to talk publicly about lessons learnt from the Manchester Arena attack. The panel consisted of the editor-in-chief of the MEN, Rob Irvine, Radio 5Live’s Rozina Breen, MEN.’s Jennifer Williams and Amanda Coleman,  head of corporate communications for Greater Manchester Police.

The panellists emphasised the teamwork and unity between the local media, the authorities and the people of Manchester in order to support the victims of the attack and to ensure thecorrect facts were reported to the city and the world.

Amanda Coleman said: “I have to say, it was the first time I didn’t have a bad word to say about a journalist.”

News Impact Summit debate about Manchester Arena attack
Rob Irvine, left, Jennifer Williams, Amanda Coleman, Rozeena Breen


BBC 5Live’s Rozina Breen talked about the importance of considering the privacy of victims’ families when reporting a story with huge global interest. She also acknowledged that reporting the story had taken its toll on local jouranlists and recommended more mutual support among journalists from different news organisations to protect their mental health in the aftermath of such a tragic story.

Digital storytelling tools from Google Newslab

Google’s head of international, Matt Cooke, demonstrated the many tools the company has created to aide journalists. For example, he demonstrated how Google Earth Pro allows journalists to create interactive maps which can bring stories to life for audiences.

Matt Cooke, Google News Labs
Matt Cooke, Google News Lab.


The next News Impact Summit will be held in Brussels on 4-5 of December.