Category Archives: Teaching

Dancing into Documentary


On May 22nd I gave a class for students of Communication from Michigan State University. Every year the university organises a trip to the UK for students to learn about the media here. For the last four years I’ve given the group an hour about documentary in Wales but since by now I’ve formed the impression that for most of them documentary is not an area that is high on their agenda I also offer a sort of basic consideration of what documentary is and what it can do.

As the group left yesterday one of them said, with a brilliant smile, ‘Thank you for teaching us to DANCE!’ So what has dancing got to do with documentary? Continue reading Dancing into Documentary

ACS and DOCS – Academics and TV Documentary-making



11TH    February


This is the fourth year I’ve presented this 3-hour workshop. I designed it as a contribution towards bridging the gap between the media and academia. I believe it still to be an unusual offer amongst university training because media training offered to academics is usually in the area of short-form and news-related input, not in long-form documentary. Between these two forms there are significant differences in working practice for journalists and, from the academics’ perspective, the skills needed to have a happy time as a contributor to a documentary are different to those that will produce a snappy sound-bite.

Academia and the media are two worlds which can intersect very fruitfully. However, when they don’t understand each other’s priorities and practices there are sometimes tears before bedtime.

The workshop is designed to examine key aspects of both worlds: what do they value? what do they want? what are they for? Where do these overlap and where must one recognise that they differ? Continue reading ACS and DOCS – Academics and TV Documentary-making

Industry Practitioners in Higher Education

Chapter 8 in ‘Cultural Work and Higher Education’

Edited by Daniel Ashton and Catriona Noonan (Palgrave Macmillan 2013)

I read this chapter on ‘cultural industries practitioners working within higher education’ with interest since I fit that category and have seen little written about this experience. The sample is rather small, drawing on interviews with 12 practitioners in three industry sectors at  five HE institutions, five of whom are Games Designers. However, there are references to various academic works on the topic. The key thing is that the role of industry practitioners is receiving some consideration. There are many nuggets of insight here. Continue reading Industry Practitioners in Higher Education

Academics and TV Documentary-making

Cardiff University Graduate College:

Workshop Design and Delivery: Academics and TV Documentary-making  11th February 2015
 Feedback: from last year’s workshop:

  • Ø  Useful for anyone investing in the media side of research, also interesting just to see how research can be translated into TV
  • Ø  A really valuable workshop if you like to be engaged with media
  • Ø  A great opportunity to understand how academics can engage with TV documentary production
  • Ø  It teaches/introduces the basics of academic – TV partnership
  • Ø  Worth doing if you are interested in how your research can be used in TV
  • Ø  An excellent way to prepare yourself for making a documentary incorporating academic knowledge/sources

University Teaching

I have a varied engagement with universities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as a professional tutor, visiting speaker and workshop leader. I am a steering committee member for several academic projects and contributor to academic publications.

Currently I’m writing an article for the next edition of ‘Llafur’ the Welsh People’s History journal, about the war memorial in Merthyr Tydfil which featured in my BBC Radio Wales documentary Of Mourning and Memory.

Continue reading University Teaching

Documentary Students represent School of Journalism at RTS Student Awards

ffreshwin-313x272An annual feature of MA International Journalism is its broad international cohort. Of the entrants, only one had any previous experience of filming and all but one were working in their second language.

At the at RTS Student Awards, Chinese students Yingshi Zhuang and Zhao Liu were selected for the category for Factual Current Affairs with “The Bedroom Tax” while Giovanni Ortolani (Italy), Ahmad Al-Hendi  (Canada) and Hui Fan (Taiwan) were entered for individual projects in the Factual Documentary category with “The Friends of Cathays Cemetery”, “Fifteen Strangers, One Question” and “The Dry Pub” respectively.

And at Ffresh Student Media Awards, May 2014 Three films from the MAIJ were among the 10 finalists: 2 by Ahmee Al Hendi : Morning Cup of Torture & 15 Strangers, One Question and Pedro Rodriguez’s Otaku Kingdom – Retreat from Reality.

CULT Cymru: Writers – Pitch Your FIlm


CULT Cymru

Workshop Deviser and Trainer :
Writers: Pitch Your Film includes practice pitches to Film Agency for Wales  21 March 2014
Awduron:  Gwerthwch Eich Ffilm 
Mae CULT Cymru’n gweithio mewn partneriaeth ag Asiantaeth Ffilm Cymru i gynnig cwrs undydd i Awduron.   Nod y cwrs ymarferol hwn yw helpu awduron i wella’u gwerthfawrogiad o gynnwys a photensial eu syniad a’i gyflwyno mewn modd gafaelgar a phroffesiynol.
Writers:  Pitch Your Film  CULT Cymru in partnership with Film Agency Wales on a one day workshop for Writers.   The aim of this practical course is to help writers to hone their appreciation of the content of their idea and its potential and present it in an engaging and business like way.

Continue reading CULT Cymru: Writers – Pitch Your FIlm

Workshop Design and Delivery

Working as a Writer in Health and Social Care Settings    outline 16/17 February 2013 Delivered by Graham Hartill
Portfolio Development                                                     outline ongoing
Presenting and Pitching                                                   outline ongoing
Pitching Creative Ideas
(BVSNW – Professional Development for Black and Minority Artists and Creatives in Wales)  Pitching Event 4 Oct 2012
Working as a Writer in Educational and Community Settings (in development)