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The Conversation

9 April 2013

A new independent news and commentary website produced by academics and journalists has secured University backing.

The Conversation - which goes live in the UK in May – will source news, commentary and the latest research from across the UK academic community.

A team of professional journalists will work with academic authors to unlock their expertise, apply it to topical issues, and make it available to the public.

University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan said: "The public is hungry for independent, high-quality, authenticated and trusted sources of news content, and universities can provide that.

"Here at Cardiff University we generate stories that the public want to hear about, whether in science, technology, culture, politics or social affairs.

"The Conversation provides a space for the dissemination of Cardiff's work, helping to make our discoveries and expertise widely accessible to all."

The Conversation UK is a not-for-profit company based in London. 13 UK universities have committed support to this UK pilot/Beta phase of The Conversation, along with The Wellcome Trust, The Nuffield Foundation, HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England), HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales) and the Scottish Funding Council.

The site is open and free for everyone to read.  It is both a media resource, allowing republishing of all articles, and a source of story ideas and new voices to follow up for interview.

The UK service is a partnership with Melbourne-based The Conversation, which in less than two years has become Australia's largest independent news, commentary and analysis website.

Jonathan Hyams, UK Project Director said: "We are extremely proud to be working with 13 pioneering universities from all over the UK. Each of these Founding Partner universities has committed financially to supporting our pilot phase.

"At a time when the public are increasingly suspicious of the media, The Conversation UK will offer a source of trusted comment and analysis, combining academic rigour with journalistic flair."

The Conversation launch into the UK follows the success in Australia. The site receives more than 850,000 unique visits each month and with over 5,000 academic contributors and 15 commissioning editors, it is Australia's largest virtual newsroom.

The 13 UK Founding Partner universities alongside Cardiff are: University of Aberdeen; University of Birmingham; University of Bristol; City University London; Glasgow Caledonian University; University of Liverpool; the Open University; University of Salford; University of Sheffield; University of Surrey; University College London (UCL); and University of Warwick.

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