Visiting Professor of Creative Media

The Visiting Professorship of Media was established in 1996, as part of a generous benefaction from Rupert Murdoch. It is an annual appointment and the Professor will give a series of lectures during the academic year (usually in January/February).

The current postholder is Jeanette Winterson CBE.

Jeanette Winterson CBE is a British writer.  Her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published in 1985, when she was 24. She later scripted it into a BBC Bafta winning drama. Twenty-seven years she returned to that material in her 2011 memoir Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? She has written more than 20 books of fiction and non-fiction, including a collaboration with the sculptor Antony Gormley: LANDHer latest book is a collection of essays on AI: 12 Bytes at AI – How we got here and where we might go nextHer work is published in 27 countries.

Jeanette Winterson's final talk as Visiting Professor of Creative Media took place on 4 May 2023. The talk on 'The Word Tardis' was followed by a Q&A with questions submitted by the audience members. Watch a recording of the talk below.


Jeanette Winterson's first talk took place on 27 October 2022. The title of the talk was: The Word-Zoo: Language in the time of Tabloids, TikTok, Conspiracy Cults, Brexit, and AI. Evolution? Conservation? Extinction? You can watch a recording of the talk below:



Previous Professors have included:

Zing Tsjeng, Executive Editor of VICE UK, and author of the Forgotten Women series

'Yellow Peril' in the UK (October 2021)

Everything is online now how the internet blurred fact and fiction (May 2021)

Samir Shah, Chief Executive and Creative Director, Juniper TV, who delivered his 2019 lectures:

'Truth, Lies and Videotape - drawing the line between acceptable artifice and unacceptable deception' 

'Mercury’s perihelion and The Donald'

Stig Abell, Editor, The Times Literary Supplement, who delivered his lectures on 'The End of Journalism?'. 

Lecture transcripts are available here:

Visiting Professor of Creative Media lecture – The End of Journalism? (1)

Visiting Professor of Creative Media lecture – The End of Journalism? (2)

Dawn Airey, CEO of Getty Images, who delivered a lecture series on 'No Filter – Power and Pictures in a Post-Truth World'.

Matthew Engel, the journalist and sports writer, who gave a series of lectures entitled 'Please, mister, can we have our ball back? Sport, the media, and the people'.

Lecture transcripts are available here:

Lecture 1: Life and death? No, much more important than that

Lecture 2: It's the cat's whisker

Lecture 3: From Reith to wreath

Lecture 4: You are the earth and the sky

Stephen Garrett, the man who brought Spooks and Life on Mars to our screens, who gave the series:

Lecture 1: How to Grow a Creative Business According to the Laws of Chance

Lecture 2: Why the Only Rule is that there are No Rules

Lecture 3: No More Heroes

Lecture 4: Tomorrow Got Here Yesterday

Paul Gambaccini, who gave a series of lectures entitled 'Face the Strange'. 

Anthony Lilley, Chief Executive, Magic Lantern Productions

Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Four

Armando Iannucci, Writer, Director, Producer, Broadcaster

Stewart Purvis, City University (and formerly ITN)

Hugh Whitemore, Screenwriter

Barry Cox, Deputy Director, Channel 4 and Chairman, Digital Television Stakeholder’s Group

Jenny Abramsky, Director, BBC Radio

Kristin Thompson, University of Wisconsin

Roger Graef, Film-maker, broadcaster, writer and criminologist

David Elstein, Chief Executive, Channel 5