Reputation: what industry says about Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah
In the UK, I’m described as one of the leading videojournalists, with my international award-winning work in videojournalism and documentaries featured on leading platforms e.g. Apple and several academic books. I’m behind the new movement of cinema journalism and Applied Storytelling that teaches tech start-ups within academia.
I’m a previous artist in residence at the prestigious Southbank Centre, where I created Obama’s 100 days video at the Royal Festival Hall, was one of the creatives that contributed to Britain Olympic 2012, and was Lennox Lewis’ videojournalist/ filmmaker for his fight with Mike Tyson.
I’ve worked as an advisor/assessor for Google’s multi-million News Innovation fund, and have co-created national exhibitions and journals and run international courses in a specific area of design thinking
I was the International editor for Nato’s War Games and reported from South Africa in the 1990s and President Nelson Mandela’ inauguration for the BBC World Service. I’ve been voted as one of the top 40 most influential Ghanaians abroad by the Ghana High commissioned backed-Ghana Abroad. I’ve been a member of Chatham House for nearly thirty years. (email: Gyimahd at Cardiff.ac.uk) ( here for Uni Bio)
I’m currently working on The Ghanaian — a multi-faceted media project — which I will be presenting in July at a conference as a Academic Council member of the Pan African Heritage Museum.
From there we’ll be bringing together a gathering as part of the 16 Storeys movement. It’s a year long project in the making which we envisage will have an impact on the university sector.
My work has attracted wide acclaim from several global bodies and figures, and featured in Times Square New York. I relish undertaking epic complex scalable projects working with companies, execs and communities.
Recommendations below include:
- News anchor Jon Snow, Channel 4 News
- BBC Director of Digital Development, James Montgomery.
- BBC Leadership
- Leading and award winning filmmaker, author and critic Mark Cousins.
- Pulitzer prize winner and head of Knight Batten Award Jan Schaffer
- NewsXchange (global forum for industry)
- UK government Department for Media and Culture
- ITN Politics programme.
- Jon Staton former head of TV at Saatchi and Saatchi
- UN Office of the Deputy Director General
- Chatham House (UK’s leading Foreign Affairs think tank)
- UK leading entrepreneurs like Lee Robertson, founder Octo 8 Members
- Students and several more…
I was honoured by Ghana Abroad publication to be voted one of the top most influential Ghanaians in the diaspora.
My present work is around a multiple authored project in tech-diversity and storytelling, archive narratives e.g. The Kings Men, and 180991: Reverte in Tempore Ut edging into futurism, and creativity.
Recommendations include: Jon Snow
BBC Head of Digital Development
Knight Batten Award Head of Jury
BBC Leadership Group
In the Summer 2022, I launched a new programme the StoryLab whose program involved super forecasting in Tech, the environment, consumer goods, and remote working, to name a few.
I’m honoured to be invited to be one of Google’s EU News Innovation Reviewers for its fund. 605 applicants from 38 countries apply. Forty one are chosen in a rigorous system. We were impressed by the diversity and the quality of the proposed projects.
Below is a summary of some of the things I’ve done over the years.
- Journalism & Videojournalism (freelance foreign correspondent).
- Creative directing in advertising, and filmmaking working with former head of TV at Saatchi and Saatchi Jon Staton
- Creative producing epic projects e.g. Obama 100 Days celebration
- Creating, managing and training (dotcom) startup productions.
- International editor, and trainer e.g. Russia, Syrian border, Nato.
- Creating educational programmes as an academic / University Associate Professor/ Reader.
- Diversity, inclusion and representation (co-founding new journal Representology).
2022, as part of the British Library’s epic 500 years of news exhibition, I wrap up two years being one of nine leading UK academics advising the British library, as part of their advisory board.
I am one of the writers for its exhibition book writing about Black Lives Matter and the Power of Language.
A previous 5000-word article on Black Lives published Nov 2020 in a European Law Journal was described by the editor as “This is a thing of beauty, David”. The Dep Editor said this:
“Sometimes things are best seen in your periphery. And the messages I gain from this piece float about and take shape as I read them. I feel this piece muses on the issue, in a very organic and human way. It doesn’t pin down what the movement is — to do so would be at best only an approximation, at worse doing violence to the movement’s inclusivity”. (more here)
Previous work includes being a panelist on the Edinburgh Television Festival into Authenticity on screen, being a panelist on a leading London law firm community cohosted by David Lammy MP to examine diversity and programme making, and working with colleagues, supported by Jon Snow on a post-Macpherson initiative (see here).
2021, I am nominated by the Pro Vice Chancellor Research, Innovation and Enterprise Professor Kim Graham to join Sbarc| Spark management board in Wales. It’s a 300m innovation Campus and part of Cardiff University innovation complex housing creative companies in Sport, DNA, and Politics s £300m innovation campus.
I chair Cardiff University’s global Future of Journalism conference that attracts 500 abstract/ speakers and manage our keynote speakers such as leading UK journalist Gary Younge. I lead the conference preparations and the acquisition of a new digital platform.
2020 I come up with an idea and cofound a Journal with academic colleagues from Birmingham City University’s Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity a journal that focuses on Media Diversity.
I had the idea from previously publishing the Leaders’ List with colleagues (more here) — an event/journal that celebrated the UK’s leading media practitioners.
2019 Emerging Journalism, also called the Future StoryLab, is launched at the University of Cardiff, now in its 3rd year. MA students like Ellie tackle issues like women in tech, and Elliot looks at how markets are formed (more here and here). I join Clwstwr as one of their
co-is helping to steer several start-ups through their build cycle.
I chair a UN debate between foreign secretaries in France over common Ocean policy.
United Nations panel
2018 It’s a huge honour to be nominated as Asper Visiting Professor for University of British Columbia where I engage with students et al in AI, VR and Cinema Journalism (more here). Prior I present around the world.
2016 with a team of academics I lead the digital StoryLab at the University of Westminster. It brings together top media operators and entrepreneurs in London. MA students present in a studio. Nasma from Syria creates a mobile game The Journey about her story. Today, now part of Clwstwr she’s about to launch it with various charities. You can find more of the Journey here
2015 I present around the world and at Apple Store, London on three different occasions. It is the culmination of work in narrative filmmaking that merges cinema and journalism. The journey, and post doc, will take me to ten different countries around the world e.g. Egypt, India, Algiers, South Africa, EU, Russia, Norway, etc.
2015–2006 I develop and deliver programmes teaching students to code and design platforms. They’ll pitch their ideas to the BBC’s Director of Digital Development James Montgomery.
And they pitch to Google execs in their HQ. It was called “professional and inspirational” .
2005 I created, by coding and designing, a new video platform — one of the first of its kind — that would win international awards and bring together writers and producers across the world. Judges said “It foreshadows the future”.
2004 I designed one of the first forecasting programmes and present to several BBC Commissioners and directors. We previewed the world of mobile phones and social media.
2003–1999 Involved in Dotcom start up boom in Soho working for a number of outlets. Was editor of Justgiving.com for its launch, creative director for former head of TV at Saatchi and Saatchi Jon Staton, and am Boxer Lennox Lewis’s video journalism for his fight with Mike Tyson.
1999–1991 Producer for Channel 4 News, BBC Breakfast, and one of the first video journalists in the UK. Thirty out of 3000 youngsters were chosen for new platform, shooting, directing and producing up to 500 in a year. Some of my colleagues are now BAFTA winners. Here, I present the news and something called the Internet in 1995.
Between 1992–94 I was based in South Africa, in the run up to covering their historic elections. I worked for ABC News (producing Danny Glover) and freelance Corrrepondent for BBC WS (African and Caribbean service)
Theories mutate as societies and cultures mature and change; hence an application of a theory or practice that might work in one era applied to media and storytelling forms may not necessarily do so in another. We’re experiencing that at the moment with disinformation, politicians using statecraft against journalists and attacks on decency and equality.
Applied Storytelling thus takes as a dynamic and interrogative approach to media and storytelling using varied approaches that include design and systems thinking. It collapses multiple disciplines into itself to even address some of the intractable issues today e.g. Climate change.
I worked directly in news and journalism for 15 years across Channel 4 News, ABC News, BBC (WS, Newsnight, Reportage GLR). This showed that orthodoxies require attention.
In 1994 I became one of the UK’s first thirty chosen (from 3000 candidates) videojournalists. I went on to develop the craft and train 10s of 100s of people around the world. It would be be the basis of my PhD examining different models of storytelling and videojournalism and how stories worked on audiences.
The breakthrough in videojournalism was how author intent, expert review, and a small and growing number of journalists were creating what audiences called “cinema”. The use of the word, “Cinema” expressed an immersive quality in the way sound, pictures and narrative worked together in video form. What was unique too was their ability to adapt and undertake a wide range of different from news, docs, to promos using a wide range of technologies.
I now work across several platforms, profiled by the Creative Industries Federations.
I was asked by one of London’s most leading entrepreneurs, The Guild of Entrepreneur’s and Master Lee Robertson to deliver their keynote address in business and storytelling to members who range from UK top judges, armed Force personnel, to entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses.
I have delivered keynote presentations to Russia, Facebook-India, and Denmark’s TV2 on the future of Journalism storytelling and around new ways of producing television journalism and making it more immersive.
TV2 Editor-in-Chief Marie-Louise von Holstein called my talk
“Exciting and Inspiring”.Over my career, I’ve lectured around the world at Apple Inc, BBC Senior Executive summit, Russia, the US and here in China.
My career spans 30 plus years from working for the BBC (Newsnight/ BBC Reportage and the BBC World service based in South Africa covering Apartheid and the election of President Mandela , Channel 4 News, ABC News and working on stories in the Syrian border, Russia, China, India, Egypt, and Algeria to name a few.
I have a background in Applied Chemistry, Economics (LSE), Innovation ( Artist in Residence at the London Southbank Centre and Storytelling (BBC et al and PhD from University College Dublin.
My work has received several awards e.g. Knight Batten for Innovation in Journalism and citations (see below) and on @Medium I’m recognised as one of their top 10 global writers on journalism amongst its 100m active users.
I’ve consulted for groups that include the UN, Institute of War and Peace, and worked in Russia, China, India, Egypt and near the Syrian border. I combine an interdisciplinary approach in my work from my background in Maths, Chemistry, Economics, psychology, storytelling, art and tech incl. AI.
Each year I have the real honour to be a judge for the UK’s highest TV News awards, The RTS ( Royal Television Awards).
I’m a leader behind the Cinema Journalism movement — a new form of journalism that comprises several disciplines including tech researched from more than 150 experts from 15 different countries. It led to me being invited to become an artists in residence, alongside outfits like the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Southbank Centre under Jude Kelly.
In 1994 a revolution occurred in UK broadcasting. Thirty youngsters were plucked from 3000 applicants to create a TV station as videojournalists. That is before the BBC, Sky News and ITV had videojournalists. Many have gone onto successful careers and been nominated for Oscars.
Before 1994 the idea of a journalist shooting their own material was unacceptable. I was already bi-media working across television and radio but as a videojournalist everything changed. In presenting the news, I controlled the auto cue with a foot pedal and my hands controlled the camera. By 2005 the cinema journalist would emerge.
Iam the first British recipient of the coveted Knight Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism in the US [Click here], presented at the National Press Club in Washington DC, beating the likes of CNN, BBC and USA Today. Below Pulitzer Prize Winner Jan Schaffer, who is the exec director of the award talks briefly about my work.
Other awards include the International videojournalism awards held in Berlin [Click here].
In 2005–2010 the Press Association asked me to devise a programme to turn Britain’s first regional newspaper journalists into videojournalists. Below, the editor from the Hull Daily Mail gives his assessment of the training.
I’m the Asper Visiting Professor at the University of British Columbia and my doctorate and post doctorate work covers cognitivism, human centred design thinking and innovation in story forms, completed over four continents, combined with a historicity and art. I present widely on how these subjects coalesce and collapse around my studies.
Some more public and key figures in media and industries have recognised my work.
Peter Barron, formerly head of Google Europe and UK Comms, whom I knew from my time at Newsnight in 1991 and subsequently at Channel 4 News in the late 90s said:
“David saw the potential of digital video journalism early on, and keeps on pushing the boundaries in brilliant and beautiful ways”
Andrew Brown, Editor, of Powerhouse (brother of Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the UK) was David’s editor of a small team of producers covering the general election covering. He said the following:
In the 1980s/90s Saatchi and Saatchi produced a string of award winning commercials. Jon Staton, then head of TV at Saatchi and Saatchi was a key figure. He would later form his own agency. I joined his company and we created another company inside where I acted as creative director.
As an Artist in residence at the Southbank Centre ( Europe’s largest art venue) for a number of years, hired by the Director Jude Kelly CBE, I combined art and design thinking in storytelling to problem solve.
Amongst the many projects at the Southbank Centre, this visual essay on poet and later Chancellor of Manchester University Lemn Sissay remains a favourite.
As does President Barack Obama’s 100 Days at the festival hall scored and conducted by Prof. Shirley Thompson OBE. The story behind this still gives me goose pimples when, I was almost beaten for producing it and a Washington Post editor had Pete Souza (Obama’s photographer) ring me.
In 2001 I was invited by the Lennox Lewis Camp to be the only cinema journalist to films his fight and build up with Tyson
One of the world’s leading filmmakers, authors and critics, the award winning Mark Cousins spent a week with me in deeply enjoyable artists retreat at the Southbank. He said this of my work. Watch below as we discuss filmmaking.
In 2020, collaborating with colleagues I programmed and presented a digital summit on education bringing together some of the world’s sharpest minds, such as Tiffany Shlain, founder of the Webby awards. And we launched a new Masters course that collapsed multiple disciplines and brought together several commercial companies to work with us as mentors and supporters.
Ihave worked across the world on major stories (in front and behind the camera) for dotcoms, network political programmes and am active researching on a range of interests.
This promo is about never losing that inner curiosity, that amazing child in you. The curiosity that goes on to discover, makes mistakes and discovers some more. The two minute used drones shooting in the high plains of Canada, Russia, and art galleries.
Highlight of career include:
- living and working in South Africa between 92 -94 during the demise of apartheid freelancing for the BBC, reporting from South Africa live e.g. Mandela’s presidency and working for ABC News during the historic elections.
- Setting up Breakfast TV in Ghana, and producing/ directing the first co-production between Ghana TV and SABC. It led to economic trade between the two countries.
- Editorial Director of Nato’s War Games with Special Forces. We travelled to the assignment on her Majesty’s jet. Note the insignia above my head ( left photo).
- Deep diving wrecks from WWI( broadcast on the BBC WS).
Below are some of his live report on President Nelson Mandela’s inauguration from South Africa for the BBC WS. You can access more reports here.
I have been a member of one of the UK’s leading foreign affairs think tanks, Chatham House for 25 years, and was one of its youngest members to be nominated to join by the Director of Studies Professor Jack Spence, and would later interview the then new Director of Chatham House,Victor Bulmer-Thomas CMG OBE on security. My specialism in international relations has led to interviews with security chiefs like former CIA head James Woolsey.
In 2017, I co-produced the UK’s Leaders’ List which profiles the UK’s leading television producers from Black, Asian and Ethnic background. It attracted UK-wide attention including this letter from the secretary of state.
Read Broadcast magazine article here
Ihave keynoted at several events e.g. Apple. This from the generous invitation of Lee Robertson, the then Master of the Guild of Entrepreneurs. I’m grateful to Lee for this reference
From Lee Robertson, Master of the Guild of Entrepreneurs
I have known David for over a year now and am a keen advocate of his work. We met via a collaboration he initiated with the Guild of Entrepreneurs, of which I am the current Master.
This allowed us to form a strong working relationship as Guild Freemen acted as mentors on the MA DisLab course. Our mentors were therefore able to connect and contribute to the project work of the mentees. During this period Dr. Dunkley Gyimah displayed an incredible energy and innovative approach to the whole process and his background in journalism supported by academic rigour was entirely evident during the entire process. He melded the relationships with great skill between busy entrepreneurs and the cohort of students. The Guild is looking forward to contributing further to the success of DisLab in the next academic year and much of this is down to the relationships and enthusiasm which he has brought to the whole process.
As I got to know him better I became aware of his deep and ever growing personal reputation as an academic and a prolific writer of interesting, engaging articles across many different publications and on line forums.
His standing is incredibly high within the Guild of Entrepreneurs and we were privileged to have him speak at our keynote Summer Banquet covering topics as widely ranging as entrepreneurialism, teaching, business and academia. His speech was particularly well received and his incredible depth of knowledge across journalism matched by his skills as a story teller made the event hugely informative as well as entertaining.
I trust that this outlines my personal feelings towards David, both as an academic but also as a storyteller and orator.
Finally, the article below which I wrote after the event at which he spoke may out some further colour to this short email. (It may also be accessed here)
Lee Robertson FRSA FCSI, Master Entrepreneur
In 2018, I was chosen from a global field of experts to be the Asper visiting professor of journalism at the University of British Columbia — one of the most respected institutions in journalism education in Canada, presenting public lectures, teaching and composing research. The Director & Associate Professor, UBC Graduate School of Journalism, Alfred Hermida, sent me this kind email after the programme.
It is hard to believe that you are about to head back to London. Your time at the School of Journalism has flown past.In case I don’t see you before you leave. I wanted to express my deep felt appreciation for the expertise, energy and enthusiasm that you brought to the School as our Asper Visiting Professor.I am grateful for your willingness to take on so many requests to speak in classes, meet with students and share your tremendous depth of experience. You made such a huge success of the Asper!
Thank you, Alf
Alfred Hermida, Ph.D
Director & Associate Professor, UBC Graduate School of Journalism
Cinema Journalism short I made to for one of my lectures to highlight my workshop on VR
I have spoken at or moderated more than a 300 conferences over the years — in London, CUNY (US) where twenty experts from around the world were invited to speak about the future of news; NewsXchange where industry gathered to share knowledge; PPA, the publishing industry’s awards; SXSW in San Antonio, which brings together creatives; and Apple Store in London. Here’s a fuller list that includes the BFI and Sheffield docs.
Work is featured in a number of academic books and publications e.g. The Economist where he speaks about video hyperlinking, which has only recently become viable, using A.I.
Reimagining Journalism in a Post-Truth World by US journalist-professor Ed Madison and Ben DeJarnette was released 2018 capturing the zeitgeist. The authors said“Trailblazer David Dunkley Gyimah calls himself a cinema journalist”.
Examples of my work in Innovation include:
Michael Rosenblum’s is the father of videojournalism — he’s advised and trained networks from the NYT, Al Gore’s Current TV and Oprah Winfrey
Jeff Jarvis is professor of Journalism at CUNY and a globally respected journalism and commentator. In 2014, he invited David to speak in the US at a Summit he was organising for 20 global professionals to talk about the future of television.
I have been teaching for several years and been rewarded with great friendships, and NUS awards in 2017, 2014 and 2012 and the invitation to the odd marriage apparently he inadvertently brokered.
These are some views from former students, such as the BBC’s Japan Correspondent Shaimaa Khalil and students from the lab I headed up (digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB.)
Feedback below from Masters students in International Journalism
Feedback from students who I taught online coding and website design and took them to Google to pitch their work.
Martin Ramsgard, Denmark National Union of Journalists.
Presented four-hour presentation and loved it. I could have gone on further, and the delegates were ready to stay on .
Delegates at SXSW, ONA and Apple store in London.
Your harshest critic is the audience to whom you have only a few minutes to build a relationship. They either like you or they don’t.
Delegates at the ONA ( New York)
Apple Store ( Regent Street)
I bought my first Apple in 1999, though I’d been using one since 1993. Apple profiled me as one of the leading creatives in the world using a Mac. More here
Read Broadcast magazine article here
If you’d like to contact me. You can get me here @viewmagazine or here David[at]viewmagazine.tv or leave a comment.
I publish a number of online magazines
You can contact me here @viewmagazine or david(at)Viewmagazine(dot)com