We’re delighted to announce that Northern Soul is the Media Partner for the #ThisIsTheNorth Convention 2020 hosted by The People’s Powerhouse.

Alongside our partnership, we’re also running a must-see online event. Helen Nugent, Editor of Northern Soul, will be chairing an expert panel examining if mainstream media is biased against the North. We’ll debate how well the North is represented in national media, if Northern stereotypes still abound, and the importance of regional journalism in the 21st century.

Now, more than ever, we need to come together to discuss the rapidly changing issues faced by the North of England and the people who live here. 

The Convention 

The People's PowerhouseWhile this year’s #ThisIsTheNorth Convention might look a little different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the content remains unchanged. Ensuring you are central to the conversations around social, economic and racial justice in the North is at the heart of The People’s Powerhouse. People’s Powerhouse believes that by sharing platforms with one another, collaborating in formulating a programme and continuing to work together, we will better understand the issues that affect us all and find solutions that work for more people. 

The two-day event will be entirely virtual and takes place on November 24 and 25, 2020. Tickets to the convention are free. All you need to do is claim your spot online, then sit back with a brew and a biscuit. 

Event details

North vs South: is mainstream media biased against the North?

11.10am-12.10pm, November 24, 2020

The Government has been accused of ignoring the North of England and, when it does pay attention, of treating it with contempt. Is this also true of the national media?

In this panel event and Q&A hosted by Northern Soul, a webzine which focuses on life in the North, we examine how well the North is represented in mainstream media and ask, do northern stereotypes still abound? In addition, we’ll discuss whether regional northern journalism is doing anything to counteract the perceived focus on the South, and debate the importance of regional journalism in the 21st century, particularly given the London-centric nature of the media. Our panel’s wealth of experience promises to make this event a must-see.

Chaired by the Editor of Northern Soul, Helen Nugent, a Freelance Journalist and Editor who has worked extensively for national, local and broadcast media including a decade at The Times, she will be joined by Business Editor of the Daily Mail, Ruth Sunderland; former Assistant Editor of the i and now Senior Lecturer in Journalism at Liverpool John Moores, Fran Yeoman; Rachel Stevenson, a Freelance Journalist with 20 years’ experience working for major news organisations; and Bernard Ginns, Director of Branksome Partners and former Business Editor of The Yorkshire Post

Panel Members

Helen Nugent

H NugentAfter 14 years in London writing for The Times and a number of other national newspapers, Helen has been back in the North West for ten years working as a freelance journalist and editor, content provider, media trainer, conference speaker/chair, and lecturer. While at The Times, she had a number of roles including News Editor, Lobby Correspondent in the House of Commons, Reporter, and Business Writer. Over two decades, she has worked for, among others, The Guardian, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, the Financial Times, The Mail on Sunday, The Times, the i, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC local radio, Sky News, ITV, Big Issue North, and The Yorkshire Post. She was also Money Editor of The Spectator. As a Media Trainer and PR Consultant, clients have included global financial firms and public sector bodies. She is also the Founder and Editor of Northern Soul, a webzine about the North of England, and teaches journalism at Salford University. In 2017, she was shortlisted for Person with Purpose in the Northern Power Women Awards. 

Ruth Sunderland 
Ruth Sunderland byline picture pic: Johnny StoreyRuth Sunderland is Business Editor of the Daily Mail. Her previous jobs include City Editor of The Mail on Sunday and Business and Media Editor of The Observer. Ruth has numerous big name interviews, features, investigations and scoops under her belt. She also works in broadcast as a regular presenter of Radio 4’s flagship In Business documentary series. Ruth has appeared on From Our Own Correspondent and as a regular guest on Radio 5 Live’s On The Money, Radio 4′s Leader Conference plus interviews on Sky and Tyne Tees TV. Her contact book includes FTSE 100 chairmen, chief executives, regulators and policymakers.   


Fran Yeoman 

Frances Yeoman headshotFran Yeoman spent more than a decade on national newspapers before returning to her native Liverpool in 2016 to join John Moores University as Senior Lecturer in Journalism. Before that, she was Assistant Editor of the i, where she oversaw the paper’s news output. She previously worked for The Independent and The Times. 



Bernard GinnsBernard Ginns

Bernard Ginns is an independent public relations consultant at branksomepartners.com. He was Business Editor at The Yorkshire Post from 2008-16. He was also a staff reporter at The Mail on Sunday. Bernard read philosophy at the University of Manchester.

Rachel Stevenson 
Rachel StevensonRachel Stevenson is an award-winning freelance journalist and news editor with 20 years’ experience working across print, online and broadcast media for major news organisations including the BBC, The Guardian, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Independent. She grew up in Durham, went to Manchester University and now lives in Cornwall, where she is a visiting lecturer in journalism at Falmouth University. Rachel also lived in Durham for most of 2012-2017 and her children were all born there. Rachel’s first work experience was as a teenage schoolgirl at the Northern Echo (the Durham district office is, interestingly, now a Pizza Express) and she also did work experience at the Manchester Evening News when she was at university (and loved it). Rachel remembers writing to the Evening Standard as well as all the other nationals asking for work experience where she received an incredibly condescending reply suggesting she try a ‘local’ paper instead. For Rachel, the Standard was the local paper.