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Ian Hargreaves  CBE, MA

Professor Ian Hargreaves


Emeritus Professor in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

Two Central Square, Room 0.31B, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Media commentator


My current work focuses upon the digital Creative Economy and arises from a series of projects and publications during the last decade. This work has included in depth, cross-disciplinary and international research, along with reviews commissioned by various branches of government in Wales, the UK and the European Union.  My work has also informed engagement strategies within Wales, including our current Creative Cardiff initiative, which seeks better to connect creative organisations and individuals in the Cardiff City Region with the knowledge generated by universities and thereby to achieve increased momentum for our local Creative Economy

The Chair of Digital Economy was created in October 2010 in order to support a cross-departmental research focus on issues arising from the impact of the internet. The chair is based jointly in Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and Cardiff Business School. My interests include the impact of digital communications technology on: journalism, media, intellectual property issues and the creative economy.  My association with Cardiff University goes back to 1999, when I served as Director of the Centre for Journalism.  Most of my career has been spent in professional journalism: my roles included (in reverse order) Editor of the New Statesman; Editor of the Independent, Deputy Editor of the Financial Times and Director of BBC News and Current Affairs.  Before that I was a reporter, feature writer and editor in newspapers, starting at the Keighley News and the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.  I have also found time to squeeze in a couple of jobs leading corporate communications: at BAAplc (2002-2006) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where I was Director of Strategic Communications (2008-2010), reporting to Foreign Secretary David Miliband MP.  In between these last two jobs, I had a spell at Ofcom, the communications reguator, where I was also a founding non-executive board member.

In 2009/2010, I undertook a review of policy towards the creative industries for the Welsh Assembly Government. This  review, The Heart of Digital Wales, was published in May 2010 and adopted as the basis for Welsh Government policy towards the creative sector.

In 2010/2011, I led a review of intellectual property for the UK Government, published in May 2011 as Digital Opportunity: a review of intellectual property and economic growth. The recommendations of this review have been adopted as the basis of Government policy.

In August 2011, the AHRC funded the development of four creative economy knowledge exchange hubs, one centred at the University of the West of England in Bristol. I am a Co-Director  of REACT (Research and Enterprise in Arts and Creative Technologies) and responsible for its engagement within Wales. We are currently working on REACT's final report.

I was Principal Investigator for a four-year research project, Media, Community and the Creative Citizen, funded by the AHRC and the EPSRC under the Connected Communities programme.  In April 2016, Policy Press published a book describing this project and its insights.  Its (admittedly rather long) title has the merit of stating quite bluntly what it's all about: The Creative Citizen Unbound: how social media and DIY culture contribute to democracy, communities and the creative economy. It is available from all good bookshops, online retailers and from Policy Press, which may even have discounts available. We launched the book at the House of Lords and in the 'vertical studio' space at Cardiff University created by students from the Welsh School of Architecture.

In recent years I have spoken at events and universities around the world, including in Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia and the United States. I am a non-excutive director or trustee of the following organisations: National Theatre Wales; the Wales Millennium Centre; the Wincott Foundation and the Alacrity Foundation. I am also Senior Fellow with the Lisbon Council, a Brussels-based think tank, a member of the editorial board of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and a member of the advisory board of the Observatory of the EU Intellectual Property Office, which is based in Alicante, Spain. I am a member of the creative economy advisory committee of Nesta, with whom I collaborated on: A Manifesto for the Creative Economy in 2013.


Honours and awards

CBE, Queen's Diamond Jubile Honours List 2011, for services to the creative economy and higher education.

Academic positions

2010-present: Professor of Digital Economy, Cardiff University.

2002-2010: Professor of Journalism, Cardiff University.

1998-2002 Director of the Centre for Journalism, Cardiff University.

Committees and reviewing

2015 - present: Innovation and Enterprise Committee.

2015 - present: Centre for Community Journalism, steering board.