Personal profile


Originally hailing from Africa, but now settled in the UK, Dean is a multiple award-winning journalist with well over 20 years of experience in the trade, after entering the world of professional media while still in high school.

As a young student journalist based in Durban, South Africa, Dean was Student Writer of the Year two years running in addition to garnering various other awards and prize money, at the Durban University of Technology.

He also won the coveted Commonwealth Press Union Fellowship in 2003 to study for a Masters in International Journalism at City, University of London, before being named a regional winner in the South African Vodacom Sports Writer of the Year contest in 2004.

Over the course of his career Dean dabbled in covering live music for South Africa’s leading national radio station 5FM before settling down in print and digital journalism. He has worked for a range of daily and weekly national newspapers in the Independent News & Media stable both in South Africa and the UK – as an Entertainment Writer, News Reporter, Senior Writer, Sub-Editor, Chief Sub-Editor, Designer, Section Editor and Editorial Director, among other roles.

Dean has managed teams of journalists and departments after moving rapidly through the ranks at Independent News & Media, where he displayed his ability to resolve complex organisational and resource challenges, as well as change management. His passion remains in the field, where he has covered news and sports events as diverse as cricket and football World Cups to movie premieres to violent political conflict. He is still a news hound and consults/freelances in his spare time.

Dean's current research interests are in the way technology is shaping the journalist and the journalism educator of the future.

Research interests

  • Current: Man versus Machine: "The impact of automation/AI/robotics on decision-making in the workflow process of newsrooms" - working title for PhD research at Leeds Trinity University (awarding body: University of Leeds. Expected completion: 2021)
  • Where We Are on Drone Journalism?: Conference presentation at the Association for Journalism Education in London, 2015.
  • Leeds Trinity Learning and Teaching Award: Successful funding secured (£2000) to research immersive sports journalism, 2015
  • Young, Gifted and … Naïve: Athletes and Social Networking was accepted by the British Sociological Association and was presented at the annual BSA conference in Cardiff, 2009. The research paper focused on athletes and the growing phenomenon of social networking, done in collaboration with colleague Jon Dart, formerly of the department of Sport, Health, Leisure & Nutrition (now at Leeds Beckett University).
  • Racism in British Football: (Masters, City, University of London, 2004)


Other research interests

  • Social media, data journalism, coding, numeracy/statistics, design, Raspberry Pi, disruptive tech, AI, robotics, automation


Teaching and Administration

Teaching experience

Durban University of Technology (formerly ML Sultan Technikon), Part-time lecturer in Journalism, Durban, South Africa, Jan – Dec 2005

Leeds Trinity University, Associate Principal Lecturer in Journalism, Sep 2006 - present.

 Current Lecturing and Administration at Leeds Trinity

  • JOU4444 Practical Journalism 1
  • JOU5414 Practical Journalism 2
  • JOU6912 Journalism Research Project
  • JOU6202: Off the Field: The Business of Sport
  • Digital layout and design
  • Research supervisor for BA and MA students
  • Course leader for Sports Journalism
  • Work placement coordinator at Centre for Journalism
  • Member of VLE engagement team
  • Departmental lead for Open Days and Applicant Days
  • Departmental representative on Disability Network
  • Member of university Data Quality and Management Group (DQMG)


External engagement

  • External examiner/course validation, University of Chester (2010-2014).
  • External examiner: universities of Sunderland and Central Lancashire (2015-present)
  • Employer forum relationship building with placement providers
  • Associate member of Sports Journalists’ Association
  • National Union of Journalists
  • Fellow of the Commonwealth Press Union
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Networking with National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and Digital Editors’ Network

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Current: Man versus Machine: "The impact of automation/AI/robotics on decision-making in the workflow process of newsrooms" - working title for PhD research at Leeds Trinity University (awarding body: University of Leeds. Expected completion: 2021), University of Leeds

1 Mar 20171 Dec 2021

Master of Arts, International Journalism, City, University of London

Diploma, Journalism, Durban University of Technology

PGCertLTHE, University of Leeds


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