The top 15 public sector journalists you need to know

Written by Joanna Clark

It’s not uncommon to find a whole host of public sector issues splashed about the front pages of national newspapers or posted on Twitter. Let’s face it you’d have had to be living under a rock not to notice #NHS70 trending on Twitter. (A head’s up for those of you who have just crawled out, our trusted National Health Service turned 70 at the beginning of the month). But while the NHS and other public services receive praise and celebration they also attract much criticism, so it’s important to find well respected commentators and trusted sources of information. Whether it be people who get to the heart of an issue by exposing challenges and concerns or someone who highlights the choices and decisions made by others. From my experience, the journalists in the public sector are dedicated to increasing awareness of topics, technologies and advancements. Although there are many talented journalists writing about the public sector, here are a few who stand out to me. Not only do these journalists create engaging content but they also provide an informative look at the technology impacting the sector. So, in alphabetical as not to suggest any favourites, here is my pick of the top 15 journalists that every public sector technology supplier should be following: Alison Holt, BBC – Alison is the BBC’s social affairs correspondent and she covers a whole host of areas such as social care, welfare, child protection and disability. She produces reports mainly for the Six and Ten O’clock news as well as the BBC’s Panorama programme. Her reports have not only led to national debates but also helped to bring about changes in policies and the law. And if that wasn’t enough, Alison was also awarded the Orwell Prize in 2015 for her work exposing failures in the care of older people. The challenges for a care worker @AlisonHolt1 Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian – Amelia is an award-winning journalist and for good reason! She throws herself into issues wholeheartedly and her stories have real political impact. For instance, she has spent the last six months investigating the Windrush scandal and creating a report which was recognised in Downing Street. She gets to the root of the issue and really is someone to follow for updates on social affairs. Windrush victims voice shock at scandal’s political consequences @ameliagentleman  Ben Heather, Health Service Journal – Ben is HSJ’s technology correspondent but he also reports on NHS developments in parts of the West Midlands and South West. He often has the inside scoop on what’s going on behind the scenes and you’ll find that HSJ is the top source of breaking news in healthcare – Patient data flow suspended amid 11th hour GDPR confusion @BHeatherJourno  David Bicknell, Government Computing – David is the editor of Government Computing. He writes about all aspects of public-sector ICT with great knowledge, like in his article Innopsis workshop bids to shape lot plan for new Network Services framework, where he talks about the impending launch of the Network Services 2 framework. He also dives into the process new suppliers would need to go through in order to navigate the dynamic purchasing system (DPS) and join the framework. @davidbicknell1 Gary Flood, freelancer – Not only is Gary a contributing writer for diginomica/government but he is also the editor at THINK Digital Partners – a website focused on the evolving digital government agenda. Gary knows how to get to the heart of the technology powering some of the biggest Trusts and councils in the UK. He’s also not afraid of an eye catching headline, as you can see from his article, Storage gets sexy again when it helps win back precious budget, says London’s biggest Trusts @garfage Heather Jameson, The MJ – Heather is editor of the MJ and has been with the publication for the last 19 years – she joined as a news reporter. She is a passionate advocate of local government and her articles offer a well-balanced and insightful view into the latest developments, Caught in the traffic lights @HeatheratTheMJ Jane Dudman, Guardian Public Leaders Network – Nobody has an appetite for the public sector like Jane. Not only does she write news-led analysis and stories for the Public Leaders Network but she also regularly chairs industry debates on topical issues. Jane’s articles are a joy to read, she tackles important topics head on and always approaches them with new, interesting and an investigative slant – you only have to read a recent article she wrote to see what I mean. ‘The NHS would collapse without them’: the growing role of volunteers @JaneDudman1 Lis Evensted, Computer Weekly – Previously an editor for E-Health Insider, Lis is now the Management Editor at Computer Weekly. Her articles include compelling insights around government IT strategies, the new tools being used, and the ways in which technologies are impacting operations. For instance, her piece, The government’s transformation strategy is ambitious, but is it achievable?, is interesting, as she questions the government’s digital transformation strategy and it’s likely success. @LisEvenstad Mark Say, UK Authority – Mark is an industry veteran with a wealth of knowledge. He has been a journalist for just over 30 years and has his finger firmly on the pulse. If you want to know the latest and greatest news in the public sector then the UK Authority news feed is a must. CCS unveils new Public Sector Contract @markssay Nick Golding, Local Government Chronicle – Like it’s sister publication Health Service Journal, LGC is one of the top publications for those in the public sector. It gets to the heart of what’s going on and Nick certainly packs a punch with the in-depth analysis he weaves into his articles. Move over Derek Hatton and Red Ted: Northants faces the ultimate shame @NickGolding Oscar Williams, New Statesman Tech – Before working at New Statesman Tech, Oscar worked across a number of national newspapers including The Times, Guardian and The Independent. This means he has an eye for a good story and his ‘week in public sector tech’ round-ups are an essential read here at Mantis, The week in public sector tech: the biggest tenders and awards (04/07) @oscwilliams Owen Hughes, Digital Health – Owen has written for publications such as Techradar and International Business Times UK. His stories include information about technological developments within the NHS, as well as new applications of clinical software, such as BridgeHead strikes wicket VNA deal with England and Wales Cricket Board @DHOwenHughes Rosemary Bennett, The Times – Rosemary has had an incredibly successful career at The Times, joining in 2002 as deputy political editor, becoming social affairs correspondent in 2007 before taking up the post of education editor last year. She has a keen eye for the latest news and shrewd understanding of the implications – Teachers lead public sector payouts with 3.5% increase @RosieDBennett Sam Trendall, PublicTechnology – Sam typically covers the news and analysis of public-sector technology. His articles look at a whole range of topics from how police forces are using cloud, to digital transformation in the NHS. A great example of this is an article he wrote on Using IT to unblock beds in Kent @trendallicious Warwick Mansell, freelancer – Warwick is a freelance education journalist and also the Founder of education news website, Education Uncovered. The website is an insightful source of information for those involved in Education and Warwick often holds policymakers accountable as he delves into the recent wave of school reforms. Further insights into chaotic saga of school’s forced academisation revealed in FOI trail @warwickmansell

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