Tim Luckhurst

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Tim Luckhurst
Professor Tim Luckhurst in 2007
Nationality British
Alma mater Robinson College, Cambridge
Occupation Journalist and academic
Spouse(s) Dorothy (née Williamson)

Timothy Colin Harvey Luckhurst is a British journalist and academic currently the Professor of Journalism at the University of Kent,[1] and the founding head of the university's Centre for Journalism.[2]

He is a former editor of The Scotsman,[3] and has worked as a journalist for the BBC. His academic research focuses on the history of journalism and particularly on the depiction of political dissent in British newspapers during the Second World War.

Early life and career[edit]

Luckhurst was educated at Peebles High School, a comprehensive school in Scotland, and at Robinson College, Cambridge, where he read history (1980–1983). As a student at Cambridge he played bass guitar in Tony Tiger and the Frosties alongside Andy White.[4] the Northern Irish singer, songwriter and poet.

Between 1985 and 1988 he worked as Parliamentary Press Officer for Donald Dewar MP, then Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, and for the Scottish Labour group of MPs at Westminster. He stood as the Labour candidate in the Roxburgh and Berwickshire constituency at the 1987 British general election.

Career in journalism and academia[edit]

During the late 1980s and 1990s, Luckhurst worked for the BBC. On Radio 4's Today programme he produced, edited and reported from the UK and abroad. Luckhurst covered the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and the First Gulf War. He was the BBC's Washington Producer during the first year of the Clinton presidency and reported on the Waco Siege for BBC Radio. Returning to the UK he became a senior member of the team that designed and launched BBC Radio 5 Live. From 1995 to 1997 he was Editor of News Programmes at BBC Scotland in which role he introduced bi-media working in BBC Scotland newsrooms and thoroughly revised the design and presentation of programmes including Good Morning Scotland, Newsdrive and Reporting Scotland. During his time at the BBC, Luckhurst won two Sony Radio Academy Awards for news broadcasting (The Romanian Revolution 1989 for Radio 4's Today programme and the IRA ceasefire of 1995 for Radio Five Live). Later he reported on the liberation of Kosovo and the fall of Slobodan Milošević for The Scotsman.

His publications include "Excellent but Gullible People - The Press and the People's Convention, January 1941".[5] It is held against me that I have a castle - a portrait of newspaper coverage of the Central Southwark by-election, February 1940,[6]This is Today - A Biography of the Today Programme London, Aurum Press 2001, contributions to What a State - Is Devolution for Scotland the End of Britain.[7] and the essays, Compromising the First draft?, in Afghanistan, War and the Media: Deadlines and Frontlines, Edited by Richard Lance Keeble and John Mair, Bury St, Edmunds: Abramis, 2010 and "Dr Hack I presume? Liberal Journalism in the Multimedia Age" in Face the Future: Tools for the Modern Media Age, Edited by John Mair and Richard Lance Keeble, Bury St. Edmunds, Abramis, 2011 and ''King and County: The Kent Messenger and the Abdication of Edward VIII" in What do We Mean by Local? The Rise, Fall and Possible Rise Again of Local Newspapers, Edited by John Mair and Richard Lance Keeble [8] In March 2011 he summarised proceedings at a conference on the future of investigative journalism hosted by the University of Coventry and the BBC College of Journalism [9]

In October 2000 he criticised collective amnesia in Serbia in a New Statesman essay entitled 'What did your dad do for Milošević?.[10] In 2001 he expressed trenchant criticism of the devolution settlement in Scotland in another essay for the New Statesman entitled "Scotland returns to the Dark Ages".[11] He contributed a chapter, Missing the Target and Spurning the Prize to the book, The Phone Hacking Scandal: Journalism on Trial (Arima Publishing, 2012) This chapter formed the basis of his submission to the Leveson Inquiry.[12] In March 2014 he co-authored an essay, "Good Behaviour Can be Taught" in British Journalism Review [13] in which he argued that ethical training, not state sanctioned regulation, is the most appropriate way to promote quality journalism in a democratic society.

He has published academic essays in Journalism Studies, British Journalism Review[14] and Ethical Space.[15] In January 2010 he provoked anger among media studies academics in a column for The Independent, "Demise of news barons is just a Marxist fantasy".[16] In March 2010 he defended self-regulation of the British press in a column, "Watchdog can champion ethics and fight sleaze", also published in The Independent.[17] Following the appointment of the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British Press [18] he emerged as the leading academic critic of state involvement in the regulation of British newspapers. He set out his arguments for self-regulation unhindered by any involvement by parliament or government in a pamphlet, Responsibility without Power: Lord Justice Leveson's Constitutional Dilemma.[19] He also submitted detailed written evidence to the Leveson Inquiry which was circulated to all core participants [20] His arguments were summarized in a newspaper article for the Daily Telegraph, "Britain's Press Must Remain Free".[21] He is an advocate of convergent, multimedia journalism.[22]

He has also written about motorcycling for The Independent's motoring section and about politics and media for the main newspaper,[23] and for Independent on Sunday. Among other publications he has written for are The Guardian[24] the New Statesman, The New Republic, The Spectator, the British Journalism Review, The Times and The Globe and Mail. Between 2000 and 2007 he was a political columnist for the Scottish Daily Mail. He is a frequent contributor to programmes on LBC Radio, Talksport and BBC Radio. He is a member of the Society of Editors and the National Union of Journalists.

Personal life[edit]

Luckhurst is married to Dorothy (née Williamson); the couple have four children. The family currently live in Kent, England.


  1. ^ "Our Staff", Journalism - University of Kent
  2. ^ Centre for Journalism homepage
  3. ^ "The Birth of a Tenpenny Thunderclap", The Scotsman Digital Archive
  4. ^ "Tony Tiger and the Frosties" - Google Search
  5. ^ http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1461670X.2012.680810 ,
  6. ^ An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie
  7. ^ Alan Taylor (ed.) What a State! Is Devolution for Scotland the End of Britain? London: HarperCollins, 2000
  8. ^ http://www.abramis.co.uk/books/bookdetails.php?id=184549593
  9. ^ BBC | BBC College of Journalism Blog - Event: Investigative Journalism - Dead or Alive?
  10. ^ New Statesman - What did your dad do for Milosevic?
  11. ^ New Statesman - The New Statesman Essay - Scotland returns to the Dark Ages
  12. ^ Tim Luckhurst "Missing the Target and Spurning the Prize", Leveson Inquiry, February 2012
  13. ^ http://www.bjr.org.uk/data/2014/no1_luckhurst_phippen
  14. ^ Sabotaging a star, Tim Luckhurst - British Journalism Review Vol. 17, No. 2, 2006
  15. ^ institute of communication ethics
  16. ^ Tim Luckhurst: Demise of news barons is just a Marxist fantasy - Opinion - Media - The Independent
  17. ^ Tim Luckhurst: Watchdog can champion ethics and fight sleaze - Opinion - Media - The Independent
  18. ^ http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140122145147/http:/www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/
  19. ^ http://www.abramis.co.uk/books/bookdetails.php?id=184549558
  20. ^ http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140122145147/http:/www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Submission-by-Professor-Tim-Luckhurst.pdf
  21. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/leveson-inquiry/9630793/Britains-press-must-remain-free.html
  22. ^ Tim Luckhurst: We can't let Google steal the show | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
  23. ^ The Independent | Search
  24. ^ Tim Luckhurst, The Guardian contributor page
Media offices
Preceded by
Alan Ruddock
Editor of The Scotsman
Succeeded by
Rebecca Hardy