John Owen is professor emeritus of Journalism at City University where he taught the post-graduate international journalism class for over 13 years. He was nominated in 2012 for one of City’s coveted Student Voice Teaching awards.
In recent years, John Owen has also served as Executive Producer/Programmes for the Al Jazeera English Channel in Washington and London. He was responsible for helping to create several new series, including Africa Investigates and served as Executive Producer for another series, The Café.
Owen is Chairman of the Frontline Club for journalists and media. The Frontline Club is London’s leading gathering place to debate journalistic issues and screen and discuss documentaries with filmmakers. For information about events and membership requirements go to www.frontlineclub.com
Owen has played a leading role in international journalism for nearly 3 decades. He was the Chief News Editor (Head of TV News) for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation from 1985-1990. He then became CBC’s Chief of Foreign Bureaux and London Bureau Chief, moving to London in 1990.
In 1996, Owen left the CBC to become the founding Director of the European Centre of the Freedom Forum, an American-financed foundation that grew out of the Gannett newspaper chain.
In 2001, the Freedom Forum decided to close its international centres and concentrate its resources on building a museum about journalism, the Newseum. Owen then joined forces with the European Broadcasting Union and helped create a new broadcast news conference group, News Xchange.
Owen became its founding Executive Producer, and under his editorial leadership (2002-2007) News Xchange became the pre-eminent international broadcast conference event attended by the heads of news organisations and media groups from more than 50 countries and 140 news and media groups
In recent years, Owen has devoted considerable time to training projects. He has worked closely with a pioneering African agency based in Nairobi, a24media.com.
He was one of a select few outside consultants invited to advise the BBC College when it was created.
He undertook the first major training survey for the newly created Al Jazeera English Channel in 2008.
Owen has also worked with the Jordan Media Institute to help develop its training projects and oversaw its first summer training courses in 2009.
In addition to his professorial duties at City University, Owen has taught courses in London for New York University and Indiana University. He has been done week-long residencies in past years at Oklahoma University, Elon & Duke University, Arizona State University, and Indiana University.
Also abroad, he has taught at the University of Addis Ababa and the Kosovo Institute for Journalism and Communications in Pristina.
Owen is the co-editor and contributing writer to the journalism textbook International News Reporting: Frontlines & Deadlines, published by Wiley-Blackwell. He is also co-editor of Dying to Tell the Story: The Iraq War and the Media: a Tribute, published by the International News Safety Institute.
Owen has devoted considerable time and energy to educational and charitable journalism and media projects that have helped improve journalistic practise around the world.
Owen has served as a trustee of the Soros-backed Open Society Foundation/London, Crimes of War Project, and is on the board of the Canadian Journalism Forum. He was a member of the Advisory Board of the Kurt Schork Memorial Trust.
He was a founding board member of the International Institute for News Safety and served on the Advisory boards of Rory Peck Trust and the Dart Europe Foundation for Trauma and Journalism. He also has been a Trustee of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting and the Media Diversity Institute, and the Indochina Media Memorial Fund. He was also vice-chair of the British Journalism Review.
Owen is a native of Huntington, Indiana. He received his BA from DePauw University and his MA from Indiana University.
He resided in Toronto from 1976 to 1990. He has lived and worked in London from 1990 to the present.