“Paul was a young aspiring journalist who, if he wasn’t actively investigating or writing a story for the Cherwell or a large newspaper, was absolutely working how to get to a position where he could. Paul had that natural busyness. He applied effort in the right places, chased offers, went to all the relevant events, stayed behind and always followed up. He only had an idea to do something for a short time before he was doing it.” 

Caspar Bullock, Modern Languages (2011)

Paul McClean

On Tuesday 30th October we were honoured to host a panel discussion in memory of LMH alumnus Paul McClean (2011 Modern Languages), who tragically died in September 2017.

A packed audience of Paul’s family, friends and students gathered in the Simpkins Lee Theatre to listen to a distinguished panel of journalists, convened by LMH Principal Alan Rusbridger, to share a lively discussion on their thoughts on the future of journalism. The line-up featured:

  • Duncan Robinson, Political correspondent at The Economist
  • Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times 
  • Charlene White, ITV newsreader 
  • Janine Gibson, Editor in Chief of BuzzFeed UK 
  • James Ball, Freelance journalist and author


Event panel in memory of Paul McClean

When quizzed on the challenges facing journalism today, the panel agreed that there are many factors contributing to the lack of trust in the industry. Wariness in independent sources, the impact of social media and the constant noise and instant appetite for news nowadays all affect the way in which news is interpreted by the audience. Investigative news reporting is being overtaken and undermined by day-to-day ‘churnalism’. With a constant barrage of short news stories being published; how can the audience tell where the story originated from, and how do we know there is not a biased view being given to us? 

The audience interacted with the speakers and asked some thought-provoking questions. Despite the challenges facing the industry, the panel were optimistic about the future and agreed that more people are reading better journalism today than ever before. This was a summary Paul would have been pleased to hear.

Our upmost thanks are extended to Ellie Halls, Theo Louloudis, Emily Johnson and Alice Parker, friends of Paul who brought this event together, and to the panellists for being involved in the evening. Photos are available on our Flickr stream (with thanks to Ali Pearson). 

Great debate on the future of journalism in memory of Paul McClean @lmhoxford with @arusbridger, @lionelbarber @jamesrbuk @janinegibson @CharleneWhite @duncanrobinson. Conversation inc impact of tech, importance of diversity in the media etc @onfreespeech pic.twitter.com/Bj3yCWMklf

— OT Jones (@jones_ot) October 30, 2018


"I can't tell you how much Paul would have enjoyed last night were he still a student at LMH. It would have been his perfect way to spend a Tuesday evening and he would have followed the speakers round with endless questions at the drinks afterwards. It is exactly the kind of thing he would have been overjoyed to be invited back to as a speaker."  

Theodora Louloudis, Modern Languages (2011)

“I was lucky to observe him close-up and appreciate his smart application of energy to produce an outcome. I think it was why he was able to get published in a large newspaper, become deputy editor of the Cherwell all while being a top student. And it was why his door became the one-stop shop for advice on how to make it in journalism for fellow students at LMH.” 

Caspar Bullock, Modern Languages (2011)

Paul McClean graduating with his French class