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08 December 2010

Tim Coleman - Media Professional

Tim Coleman - Media Professional

Tim Coleman has over 20 years experience in radio production, presentation, marketing/PR and project management. Tim comes from a farming family and holds a degree in Agricultural Biochemistry,  cut his teeth with The Archers on BBC Radio 4, before a range of Radio 4 shows including ‘Just a Minute’, ‘Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’, ‘Farming Today’ and has experience on Radio 5 Live, The BBC World Service and BBC Local Radio.Tim is passionate about using radio as a catalyst for positively changed lives, with development project experience in Australia, Zambia, Nigeria and Kosovo. Qualified to teach in Broadcast Journalism, he is the founder and Managing Director of Coventry & Warwickshire Media Community, a social enterprise with a heart to facilitate and encourage community based media. Tim loves to travel and play squash to keep fit; a good blast on a squash court blows out the cobwebs after a tough day.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I don't remember having any burning career ambitions but I was always able to make people laugh and enjoyed showing off. I think if there had been the sort of comedy circuit we have available today, I would perhaps have wanted to be a stand-up comedian!

How did you get involved in media?

It was an unlikely start. I was studying at Nottingham University with a view to the agricultural industry, but I realised that I needed to follow my heart and since I didn't quite have what it took to be either a stand-up comedian or actor, I decided that media and particularly radio was something I could get my teeth into. So, a break on University Radio Nottingham, producing and presenting a show specifically aimed at the agricultural faculty was great fun. It wasn't an easy path by any means but the move into BBC Local Radio eventually came with an opportunity to be involved in an independently produced drama serial for BBC Radio Stoke…and with the specialist farming knowledge and some drama experience, The Archers on BBC Radio 4 beckoned…

From the BBC World Service in Nigeria to local media in Coventry. Good move?

Yes….a lot safer too, though some might disagree on an occasional Saturday night in Coventry. The transition wasn't easy and came with its own reverse culture shock but I'm in Coventry because I believe this is where God has placed me in order to put down roots, build relationships and make a difference in a city which has often suffered from a poor self-image and a difficult past, something I think many of us can relate to in our own lives.

What is the 'one thing' you communicate as a lecturer in media?

A slightly unhinged form of passion!

We have a creative grace to shape the world. What is your specific edge?

God has gifted me with networking and communication skills and I love seeing opportunities for connecting people and adding value by facilitating partnerships and synergy; it's no surprise that I'm currently the Communications Officer for Coventry's Local Strategic Partnership, which brings together the public, private and community/voluntary sectors. Spiritually, I've been gifted with a ministry of healing, which I think goes hand in hand with communication; I want to be enabled to "walk the walk" as well as "talk the talk".

Interview of the year so far?

Over a pint in my local with a neighbour who fell in love with a Russian woman, only to discover that she was using him in an attempt to gain UK citizenship…..the twists and turns in his story confirm for me that truth can and is often more likely to be stranger than fiction.

What makes you happy?

The unforced rhythms of Grace….

Jesus was a story teller, so I….

…love to hear and tell stories. Andy Warhol once said that in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes. I believe relationships are built when you give people the genuine opportunity to tell their story and to listen with a sense of value. I think that sometimes we also need to be prepared to be inconvenienced for at least 15 minutes each day in order to facilitate this; I've experienced some of the greatest moments of serendipity out of the most unexpected situations or conversations.

What is your dream for society?

My hope and dream is to see Coventry prosper in every way and for churches of all denominations to come together in unity to help facilitate this. And I want to see this replicated in cities across the country so that overall, the UK begins to prosper again in spirit, soul and body.

If you were the Secretary of State for Culture and Media, what would you do?

Open the door for religious broadcasters to access regional and national terrestrial FM licenses on a level playing field with the rest of the broadcast landscape.

Is the Christian community in Coventry strategic enough about media engagement?

I think it is, though there's always room for improvement. The city embraced Hope 08 in a way that brought previously disparate strands of great work together under one banner; it brought in a new confidence in engaging with the media. I think the real challenge is to find a language that adequately conveys the beauty and attractiveness of Jesus Christ in a relevant and contemporary way that cuts through the myriad of voices people now have access to and which gently challenges false assumptions about Christianity.

How can media bring wellbeing in society in this next decade?

If the premise on which secular journalism and media is built is that it's bad news that sells, then the evidence of dwindling local newspaper sales and fragmented audience figures doesn't bear this out. Social research indicates that people still crave local news and information. The truth is that there is much good news. Bringing balance back into the media, allowing for the reflection of what's good in our society, as well as challenging the bad with sound journalistic principles will go a long way to help restore a sense of wellbeing in our society. I believe the media has a greater influence in this respect than people often recognise, for either good or bad.

Tell us a joke.

Velcro….what a rip-off…..