Tuesday 17 November 2015
Mark Payton receives honorary degree
Mark Payton has received an honorary degree of Doctor of Media from Southampton Solent University in recognition of his contribution to the industry.
Editorial Director of Britain’s largest privately owned specialist media company, Haymarket Consumer Media, Mark leads more than 150 journalists working on 13 brands, in markets as diverse as sports, technology, motoring and motorsport.
On receiving his award, Mark says: “I’m honoured. I have great deal of respect for the Solent team; especially for how they’re innovating in the way they’re preparing the students for today’s media world. The fact that such a talented team thinks I’m worthy of the honour is humbling.”
As a former journalism student himself, Mark studied at the London College of Printing, now the London College of Communication, before starting his career as a local newspaper reporter in south London and moving into specialist print magazines.
Since then Mark has edited, launched and re-launched a host of magazines and websites. He was appointed Digital Editorial Director of Haymarket’s consumer division in 2006 to help accelerate the company’s online growth, and was then appointed Editorial Director in 2009. He’s proud to be associated with publications such as Stuff, a delisted magazine that is now a global online success story, and consumer brand WhatCar?
When asked what advice he would give to today’s graduates, Mark says: “Never be satisfied with the skills you have today – you can always improve, however brilliant you are.
“And if you’ve chosen journalism or any form of communications, don’t forget that you’ve chosen a very special profession: you help influence the way that people think about the world around them. A free, expressive media is more vital today than ever, and there have never been more channels for that expression.”
Mark takes a passionate interest in the standards and direction of media education in the UK and regularly guests lectures at universities including Goldsmiths, Roehampton, City and Southampton Solent. He also sits on the Careers Council board of the Professional Publishers Association.