Funded PGCert Opportunity for those who work in local newsrooms in a community or independent media setting

Been asked to circulate this opportunity here for funded(!) PG Cert for those who work in LOCAL newsrooms for community or independent media in the UK - if you are interested, please contact for more details - and if you can share this to people who might be interested and qualify for a scholarship below: Journalism Innovation and Leaderships Programme Scholarships supported by the Google News Initiative Ten Journalism Innovation & Leadership Programme scholarships supported by the Google News Initiative are available to assist the next generation of diverse leaders working in local newsrooms across the United Kingdom and the Global South. Scholarship applications, which should only be made after applying to the course, are available from the course leader Clare Cook at or the scholarship coordinator Dr François Nel at

Scholarship application deadline: 15 November. Those shortlisted will be invited to an online interview after 22 November with decisions made by 11 December 2020.

“Through the Google News Initiative we’re supporting a new chapter for digital transformation training at UCLan. The curriculum being developed is grounded in real industry insights, it builds on emerging technologies and trends, and it will offer mid-career opportunities to candidates from across the country. We’re excited to see it launch.”

Skye: Staffin Beach, July 2020

Despite me being up and down all the time, I had yet to take Rosie with me to Skye.

This time, she was going to not only get her fill of the island, but I was going to teach her about camping. Or teach me about camping with a dog. A wild dog. She’s a three year old podenco, who was definitely born on the streets of Spain. What she’s seen before, I have no idea - but I know she’s never spent the night inside a tent.

The thought of taking her to a place where she could have her fill of fresh air, new smells and total wildness overload was a little fraught with worry - given that there is only a thin sheet of plastic between her and the Quaraing sheep who were our neighbours for four nights.

But turns our, she was a wee superstar, I should have had no doubt. She absolutely loves being outside - and a plastic pop up duvet cave to hide within. She even had her own room in the tent. Spoilt much, this dog ended up having had a bucket list experience when it comes to dossing around Skye for three weeks.

International Day of the Dog 2020

Finally, a made-up day I can get behind. Of course, it is International Day of the Dog every day in my household, but it is nice to see your feed filled up with dog photos more than usual.

(I realise I have been quiet here, been on holiday followed by a deadline, also making big actions to reduce wasteful time online, no apps, new rules for using social media, it’s going really well- however, I am back, and this is going to continue to be my little space online to document the day to day)

Ginger Greyhound watches on as Black Greyhound is lazy

New Publication: Us and Them: New Journeys into Football Rivalry

Last year I was involved in a book project where I contributed a chapter about new media rivilaries.

It came out at the start of lockdown, so we missed out on the planned book tour, launch and the other fun that comes with publishing - but it has been well received and the book has now been reprinted. There is going to be some extracts and other things with Scottish media which will be fun.

From the publisher:

Us and Them’ offering a fresh take on football rivalries in 2020.

The project brings together established football writers such as Daniel Gray (author of Saturday 3PM, Stramash and Black Boots & Football Pinks) and Andrew Downie (author of the critically acclaimed Socrates: Footballer, Philosopher, Legend) with new voices such as Craig Wilkie, and Jennifer Jones.

Weighing in at 144 pages ‘Us and Them’ provides a fresh take on football rivalries from the pitch to the hearts, minds and habits of supporters around the globe. Kenneth Cortsen, Laurie and David Shaw explore ‘Fans Vs Finance’, Craig Davidson takes in the Basque Derby, Andrew Gray explores one of the world’s newest footballing nations and Nil by Mouth Director Dave Scott explores a different side to one of the world’s greatest sporting rivalries.

Kosovo, Jersey, Bilbao, Suzhou and Galashiels are just a few of the stops on our travels. So join us for new journeys in football rivalry.

Us and Them. Them and Us.

Nil by Mouth 12 x 18 cm Paperback 144 pages 2020 English…

Episode Four: The Daily Jen, Freedom of Movement

Hello, I’m back, took a week away from social media to enjoy spending time with those who I have not seen for nearly four months. I am sure a lot of you have been in the same boat as lockdown eases where you are.

I’m just thinking now about how grateful we are able to burst through the five mile rule in Scotland now - and how I would take that more than any pint or pub at the moment.

Have a great day!

Jen x

Time to go home...

It is my last day at my parents (for now, who knows what the second wave might bring) I’ve been here since the 3rd week of lockdown (end of March/April - I am unsure of the exact time as it was all a blur) - I know we managed to get three lockdown editions of the newspaper out before print was paused.

The last week in my flat - lockdown on my own - was sketchy. I had left Skye, went straight down to Portpatrick in one go - that is about 8 hours of driving, picked up the dog and then set myself up for 12-16 weeks on my own.

Days blurring into one, sleeping was difficult - trying to carry on business as usual until my hot water stopped working and then the electricity went. I think I managed about a week of boiling kettles to wash my hands and chanting ‘this is fine, this is fine’ with gritted teeth. Having the coast to myself was lovely though - but walking through empty ghost town caravan parks starts to take a weird and creepy vibe, the season has started but you are the only one there.

The day I was furloughed I made the decision to pack my stuff, mothball my flat and head to my parents. No workman would come out to fix my hot water, I couldn’t even charge my phone by that point, a fuse had gone and no amount of youtube videos could help me fix it on my own. I still ‘feel bad’ because it was week 3 or 4 of lockdown, when everything was really scary, we were meant to stay put and the virus was spreading like wildfire. That’s the last time I drove any sort of distance.

Even though I live in a small village, in a remote part of Scotland - it was scary as every person coming and going was met with suspicion. I was cleaning the front door handle of my flat every time I went out. The dog was only only getting one long walk a day. Try explain that to a dog. Remembering just how anxious I felt - and how I was utterly prepared to wait it out as long as it took. Without hot water, sitting in the dark, it seems a bit nuts now.

Now I am preparing to pack up all my stuff. All those lockdown paintings and cross stitches that I actually finished. The phase I went through where I was buying shoes from companies that were going into administration. I’ve been able to spend so much time with my grandpa and my nephew, time I’ve never had before because the city consumed all my energies. My ‘home gym’ (two kettle bells, two dumbbells, bands and a yoga mat- I am so proud of my wee collection) - which I actually use, and intend to use throughout the winter - no gyms for me, although the nearest gym is a 16 mile round trip and getting the home workouts mastered means I am saving myself SO much time in the grand scheme things.

I am now ready to get back home and sort out all this stuff into the rightful place.

I am a complete dress size smaller, so I’ll be recycling clothes that I haven’t seen for three months. I am actually mentally stronger than I was 3 months ago - something that I have been working on, I’ve been here before and letting the wheels fall off again wasn’t going to happen this time.

I made it my goal the week I arrived at my parents to not hit the f*&k it button, use this as an opportunity to put right habits that I often blame “being too busy” on - to block out all the noise where people were posting about how it is ok to drink alcohol and binge eat to cope. That is not ok for me. I’m not going to disguise that. I have been plugged into good communities, taking part in challenges, getting my walking up to 6-7 miles a day - and next month I am going to focus more on yoga and meditation. This is not over, and we know what it looks like already so all of this going towards mental resilience to cope and not be thrown off my stride.

But at the same time, I am going to enjoy the next few weeks of sunshine and being back home - long nights and places to explore that I only really known through bitterly cold winds and dark stormy nights. There are so many walks and beaches to discover for the first time after treading every single path in the 5 mile radius of my parents. It’ll be seen as quite a fond time in a way, being able to get Rosie the dog’s nails worn down on their own, no need to see a groomer with the amount of pavement she’s treaded.

Look forward to be able to sharing the summer by the seaside with you.

Jen x

Ginger dog trotting happily along the beach, towards Greenan Castle

Episode 3: The Daily Jen - Making Progress

Hi again! Pure delighted with myself this morning as I’ve hit my first goal which was to lose 15lbs in lockdown this morning, recording for prosperity as I move onto the next goal 🥳

I’ve decided walking and talking doesn’t work - so the sound is going to be MUCH better now, nice idea though

Jen x

[Week 12] Fitbit Numbers

Goal: 120k steps a week

[Throwback] Miyajami Island, 2015

I’m still in the dabbling stages but I was thinking how many photographs are buried in the depth of social networking websites like Facebook - and how many of these photos it chooses to show me.

For a long time, I used to hate the “on this day” function of these websites, so much so that I would set up new accounts frequently and turn off all the notifications. I don’t like the way the algorithm chooses what to show you - and it seems to miss little delights like these photos.

I was very lucky to get the opportunity to visit Japan in the gap between writing up my PhD, it was part exchange with my second supervisor who worked closely with University of Osaka.

On the downtime, I was able to do quite a bit of travelling on my own - which now, given lockdown, and no travelling for a foreseeable - I am grateful for. I actually made the effort to go and do this on my own, and I loved it- even though I didn’t know half of what I was doing.

I didn’t know if I was ever going to finish my PhD at this stage, I was 5 years in (on and off) and I didn’t finish the write up for another 15 months later. But I did. And I think this trip really cemented why it was important to go back to it and get it finished. Plus, cute deer.

Episode One: The Daily Jen


In all seriousness, the quality is crappy as I’ve recorded off the headphones mic instead of my iPhone but I’m posting anyway because I want to get this show on the road.

On the benefits of walking in lockdown…

My first post - great title!

So, I’ve been on the hunt for a way of getting my website up and running again after a hiatus. I wasn’t interested in going back to Wordpress - too many bad feels from when I used to build them for people.

And social media has been getting me down for a long time.

Pooling all my energy into one or two tools that attract a lot of easy attention, but also incredibly hard to focus on strings of conversations and follow topics effectively.

The joy of making words and sharing ideas loses its sparkle when you feel exposed to the wolves, or the pressure to react immediately to complex topics and ideas. In short, I don’t like what it was doing to my brain - and how it has paralysed my ability to write (outside of work) for so long.

I want to build up good mindful habits for using the internet again. Where I am not relying on the core social media giants and start building up a better web environment for me.

Community is so important, more than ever, but it is lost in the noise when we are ripping chunks off people for not being exposed to the same ideas at the same time. Flexibility and nuance is lost and opinions are fixed and enforced. I want to shake that all off.

I’m just new to the platform and getting set up but so far so good. It reminds me of the good old days when social media was an infant and small niche audiences became friends.

So, hello, I’m Jen - how are you?