James Blake
James Blake

Dr James Blake

Associate Professor


James Blake is the Head of Media and Humanities at Edinburgh Napier University.

James started his professional career in television as an ITN trainee in London in 1998. After this he worked on the ITV News at Ten before he was appointed as a specialist Home Affairs Producer for Channel 4 News where he also produced a Dispatches documentary for Channel 4. He became a Channel 4 News reporter in 2007 and covered stories ranging from terrorism, human rights, asylum, mental health issues, youth justice and the courts. He has also worked as a reporter and programme producer for STV News and the STV Scotland Tonight current affairs programme.


Advisory panels and expert committees or witness

  • Collaborating with David Hume Institute on Media Elitism in Scotland and “Politicians and professionals 2016” event.
  • RSE working group on BBC Charter Renewal
  • Council member, Broadcast Journalism Training Council
  • Invited to give evidence to Edinburgh City Council committee on media provision in the City.
  • Invited external expert, Validation panel, INTI Malaysia (Subang and Penang) BA Mass Communications


Conference Organising Activity

  • MeCCSA presentation
  • Chaired panel debate on Brexit and HE
  • Participation in German symposium


Editorial Activity

  • Peer reviewer, Participations journal


External Examining/Validations

  • BA Mass Communications, University of Hertfordshire, Subang University, Malaysia
  • BA Mass Communications, University of Hertfordshire, Penang University Malaysia


Fellowships and Awards

  • Winner, Two BAFTA Mental Health media awards for 2 Channel 4 News films on vulnerable young offenders & children in care.
  • Winner, International Bar Legal reporting award (“Judges in the Dock” Channel 4 Dispatches)


Invited Speaker

  • EU Network of Young Academies
  • Research presentation and workshop
  • Talk at Edinburgh International Science Festival on Future of TV
  • “HE involvement in the creative process”. Accepted to present research findings at the AHRC Creative Economy conference at Birmingham City University.
  • “Media Coverage of Mental Health in UK” invited by British Paediatric Mental Health Group (BPMHG) to present at their annual conference in Highgate House, Northampton.
  • Invited to present to BBC Audience Council of Scotland on the BBC Charter Renewal process.
  • Presented “Stereotypes and identity: the UK reporting of Africa” part of the Africa/UK Journalism Education Initiative conference at the University of Bedfordshire.


Media Activity

  • Featured on ITV News on the Glasgow Clutha helicopter tragedy
  • Leading workshop/ training session at BBC Scotland “Fast Train” event with the BBC Academy
  • Invited on BBC Radio Scotland GMS during Edinburgh book festival to talk about media and covering Afghanistan and terrorism.
  • Chair, “The Rangers Story”. Public debate between Alex Thomson (Chief Correspondent, Channel 4 News and Mark Daley, Investigations reporter for BBC Scotland). 11/11/12
  • Published a number of articles for The Conversation during 2015.
  • Scotland/China event organiser and presented to a visit of the Chinese Central Media Group to Edinburgh during the State visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UK during October 2015.


Membership of Professional Body

  • Trustee, RSE SCIO
  • Treasurer, RSE Young Academy Scotland


Public Engagement Activity

  • Helped organise and will present at special RSE outreach media event at Kilwinning Academy, Irvine (February 2016)


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