Rob Watson

Rob’s Outlook
I am a pioneer of new approaches to community media production, communication for development, social media organisation and collaborative problem-solving. I prefer projects with long-term social aims, that represent a significant social challenge. I am an advocate for collaborative, collegiate, community and social-led engagement activities, and media-related diversity and social inclusion. I’m INFJ.

Education
PhD | May 2018 | De Montfort University – Community Media
MA | July 1998 | De Montfort University – Media Studies
BA (Hons) | July 1996 | De Montfort University – Media Studies

Management
With over twenty years’ experience teaching undergraduate learners at De Montfort University, I take a systematic and balanced approach to the development of projects and learning programmes. This includes the championing of inclusive approaches to innovation and collaborative development, based on research, evidence and verified discussion. As a Chair of Governors of Sherard School I learnt to focus on mentoring while supporting the capability of my colleagues, as they sought to meet their goals and discharge their responsibilities as independent, critical thinkers and accountable self-activated practitioners.

Communication
My experience producing radio, developing social media platforms, giving lectures and public presentations, means that I am an effective communicator who can advocate and champion projects for which I have a strong affinity. My experience representing the Community Media Association challenges me to present complex issues for an inclusive audience, while also working with regulatory and governmental organisations, such as Ofcom and DCMS. I am currently working with a number of independent community media organisations to help identify their strategic objectives and explain key change concepts in accessible and inclusive manner.

Leadership
I work best in a collegiate leadership environment that is willing to explore and investigate alternative approaches to organisation resource development. I am prepared to champion new approaches, such as pushing for DemonFM to apply for a full-time broadcast licence, pioneering community media learning programmes, and implementing collaborative social media platforms based on wikis, discussion forums and other open-source collaborative applications. I work best with people in a face-to-face environment and abhor email.

Media Production & ICT
I have extensive experience developing collaborative ICT systems, such as wikis, discussion forums, blogs and other forms of social media. At De Montfort University I made a significant contribution to the design and development of the Creative Technology Studios media production resources. My role with the Community Media Association is to champion digital inclusion by looking at training and support needs of community media organisations. I produce and share blogs, audio and photography content from my websites, hosting a regular professional issues-based discussion podcast at https://decentered.co.uk. And music and general discussion at https://robwatsonmedia.net.

Research
My research perspective is qualitative, and is founded on symbolic interactionism, pragmatism and ethnography. As a post-doctoral researcher, I am focussed on publications and evaluative projects, funding applications and academic networking grants. My continuing research will encompass the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as they relate to independent media sustainability. As well as developing projects in the UK with the University of Leicester, I am also developing research projects in Cambodia, Thailand and Ghana.

Experience
DIRECTOR | DECENTERED MEDIA | AUGUST 2018 – PRESENT
Offering independent consultancy, research and training services for social and community development projects using independent media and communication practices.

DIRECTOR | COMMUNITY MEDIA ASSOCIATION | JULY 2014 – PRESENT
Development advocate with responsibility for research capability and social impact evaluation.
Business development planning and organisation management.
Communication and advocacy with public, government and activist organisations.

PRINCIPLE LECTURER | DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY | SEPT 1997 – SEPT 2018
Researcher and development advocate for community media.
Taught programme and learning content development for community media.
Teaching and learning support for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

CHAIR OF GOVERNORS | SHERARD PRIMARY SCHOOL | SEPT 2008 – JULY 2012
Strategic advisor to Head Teacher.
Advocate for school with partners, local authorities and Ofcom.
Good governance representative for children, parents, professional staff.

MAIN TEACHING AREAS
Module Leader, Social Media Production, Community Media 2012 – 2018
Deputy Programme Leader, BA Communication Arts 2016 – 2018
Deputy Programme Leader, Independent Study Masters 2017 – 2018
Programme Leader, BSc Radio Production & Technology, De Montfort University 2005 – 2012
Programme Leader, BSc Media Technology, De Montfort University 2000 – 2005
Programme Leader FdSc Community Media Management 2012

EXTERNAL ACTIVITY
Community Media Association Council Member & Director 2014 – Present
Advisor – Documentary Media Centre 2013 – Present
External Examiner – BA Digital Media, Canterbury Christchurch University 2017 – Present
External Examiner – BA Radio Production, University of Bedfordshire 2017 – Present
Advisor – Leicester People’s Photographic Gallery 2013 – 2016
External Examiner – BSc Media Production, Liverpool John Moores University 2012 – 2016
DemonFM Ltd – Board Member, Station Director 2008 – 2012
External Examiner – BA Media Production, University of Winchester 2009 – 2012
Organising Group – East Midlands Radio Academy 2006 – 2012
Chair of Governors – Sherard Primary School, Melton Mowbray 2006 – 2012
Skillset – Education Advisory Group 2006 – 2009
Governor – Swallowdale Primary School, Melton Mowbray 2008 – 2009
Governor – King Edward VII Secondary School, Melton Mowbray 2008 – 2009