Reputation: what industry says about Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah.
I’m David, a Brit with Ghanaian heritage. I’m an academic/ journalist/filmmaker, a previous artist in residence at the Southbank Centre (London’s leading creative centre) and a creative technologist involved in the Net since 1996. I’ve been a journalist and freelance foreign correspondent since 1988, and a lecturer since 2001.
My primary interests revolve around innovation and technology storytelling and diversity — all of which I have extensive interest building national and international projects.
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).
I now work across several platforms and was recently 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.
This year I delivered keynote presentations to Russia, Facebook-India, and Denmark’s TV2 on the future of Journalism 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.
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.
Each year I have the real honour to be a judge for the UK’s highest TV News awards, The RTS ( Royal Television Awards). This year I chair of the organising committee for Cardiff University’s international conference on the future of news.
I speak, write about innovation, history of media, diversity and cognitivism and carry out research into media and television.
I combine an interdisciplinary approach in my work from my background in Maths, Chemistry, Economics, psychology, storytelling, art and tech incl. AI. At heart I’m a creative director and journalist/storytelling who approaches tasks around Human Centred Design. This is Jon Snow, Channel 4 News’ longest serving news anchor whom I produced for several years.
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.
In 2020 I co-founded with Prof Diane Kemp and Prof. Marcus Ryder MBE, and a stellar editorial team of academics a new Journal, Representology. The journal reimagines journalism focusing on real-world issues for people with protected characteristics.
It’s a collaboration between Birmingham City University’s Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity and Cardiff University (my Uni). You can read about it here as well as a download a copy
As part of the British Library’s September 2021 news exhibition, covering 300 years of news, I am part of its advisory board with nine other leading UK academics and 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”.
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.
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.
Below that, the video of a simulated training day with Cleveland Police.
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’m currently at Cardiff University, one of the UK’s leading Journalism, media and culture schools where I specialise in Emerging Journalism and AI, Cinema Journalism and International News Reporting.
As a co-investigator of Creative Clwstwr , a 5-year Government funded program which administers and manages screen-based innovations in Wales, I manage projects and sit on the editorial board of AMPLYFi (AI specialists).
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 presented widely on how these subjects coalesce and collapse around my studies.
Several key figures in media and industries have recognised my work.
Peter Barron, whom I knew from my time at Newsnight in 1991 and who 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”
Below, James Montgomery, the Director of Digital Development at the BBC writes about my work. I worked for James when he headed up FT.com and he brought me in to transform their staff and programming in innovative journalism using video.
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 OBE, 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 as we discuss filmmaking followed by his verdict of my work.
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
- International security reports, with Nato, former head of CIA, and Special Forces.
- Deep diving wrecks, storytelling for WWI ships
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 b 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 100 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:
- Mojo — Speaking at first mobile journalism conference in Dublin.
- Drone work — Speaking at UCLAN’s Media Innovation Studio on Drones.
- VR — Feedback speaking with Michael Min, Technical Dir. of Star Wars.
- Podcasts — Acclaimed doc played on Radio 4, WS and Radio South Africa.
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 2016 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 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
A Ghanaian-Brit, he was voted one of the top 40 most influential Ghanaians abroad by the Ghana High commissioned backed-Ghana Abroad.