About Rob

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.

Rob’s 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

Rob’s Management Approach

  • 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.
  • I am a champion 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.

Rob’s Communication Experience

  • 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.

Rob’s Leadership Style

  • 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, as an INFJ I abhor email.

Rob’s Media Production & ICT Experience

  • 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.

Rob’s Research Interests

  • 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.

Rob’s Professional 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

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