John Tulloch, 1946-2013

A leading advocate for ethical journalism has died

October 24, 2013

John Tulloch was born in London on 10 June 1946 and attended Latymer Upper School. He took a first degree in English literature at the University of York (1965-68), worked as a journalist in London on City Press and Building Design and then completed a postgraduate diploma in education at the University of Edinburgh (1972) along with further postgraduate study at the University of Leeds.

In 1974, Professor Tulloch took a job at the Polytechnic of Central London (now the University of Westminster), where he would eventually serve as head of the department of journalism and mass communication from 1995 to 2003. He created media courses for trade unionists in collaboration with the TUC and, in 1984, led the first positive action journalism training course in the UK, backed by the Commission for Racial Equality, the BBC and the National Union of Journalists.

In 2004, Professor Tulloch moved to the University of Lincoln to co-found the Lincoln School of Journalism, where he remained until retirement in 2012. He was also in wide demand as an external examiner, visiting professor and consultant in Britain, Europe and beyond. His love of India meant he took particular pleasure in managing the Chevening Award Programme for Young Indian Journalists, funded by the Foreign Office, first at Westminster and then Lincoln.

Although a powerful critic of the corporate news media, Professor Tulloch loved the cheeky irreverence of the tabloids. A striking tribute came from investigative journalist John Pilger, who asked him to give the speech of welcome when he received the Grierson Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. Mr Pilger also commented: “Whereas journalism is taught competently elsewhere, it was invested with its due ethical and inspirational quality by John Tulloch – both at Lincoln and abroad.”

David Sleight, Lincoln’s dean for public engagement, praised Professor Tulloch as a man whose “loyalty to the university was undimmed by his healthy suspicion of major organisations…That we were one of the only journalism schools in the country teaching ethics in journalism and broadcasting long before ‘Hackgate’ is directly attributable to [him and his close colleague Richard Keeble].”

Professor Tulloch co-edited Peace Journalism, War and Conflict Resolution (2010) and Global Literary Journalism: Exploring the Journalistic Imagination (2012). He died after a long illness on 4 October and is survived by his wife Pat, three daughters and two grandsons.

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