A highly experienced broadcast journalist with ITV News has been announced as a visiting professor at the University of Sunderland.

Vidar Hjardeng is the new Visiting Professor of Media Inclusion and Diversity at the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries.

For more than 10 years, Vidar has brought his wealth of knowledge and experience to ITV newsrooms across the country – knowledge which he now intends to share with media students at the University.

Vidar, who is fluent in French, German and Norwegian, was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours 2012 for services to broadcasting and visually impaired people.

And returning to the region will be nothing new for experienced public speaker who grew up in the North East, where he still has family today.

Speaking about his new role at the University, he said: “I was invited to become a visiting professor to Sunderland. While I have spoken at the University before, to be given this opportunity is a great honour.”

During the next three years, Vidar will be sharing his knowledge of working in newsrooms, as well as addressing the changes that have happened in how news is communicated over the past three decades.

As part of his role as a senior ITV News Executive and Inclusion and Diversity Consultant, Vidar, along with his team of colleagues, is responsible for ensuring the content of the programmes is relevant, diverse, inclusive, uses the right language, and is communicated in the most effective way possible.

Vidar added: “Of course, the way we communicate now with things like social media, is very different to how we have done it in the past.

“I’m looking forward to coming back up to Sunderland and getting the chance to speak to both students and staff.”

Currently based in Birmingham, Vidar spends much of his working career visiting different ITV regions of the UK to share his knowledge.

Professor Arabella Plouviez, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, said:  “We feel very honoured to have Vidar as our new Visiting Professor for Media Inclusion and Diversity.

“This is such a vital area for everyone working in the media to understand and engage with and for our students having such a significant figure in our academic community is a real inspiration.

“We look forward to further strengthening and developing our links with Vidar and benefiting from his wealth of knowledge and experience.”

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