Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Karen Bidewell

Senior Media Relations Manager, Faculty of Medical Sciences

Background

After a successful career in broadcast journalism working in national TV news at ITN then as News Editor at BBC Newcastle, I moved to the University’s press office in 2006.

Covering the Faculty of Medical Sciences I raise the profile of our work in areas from ageing to zygotes, through the media.

Recently I have helped promote the university through filming with the television shows Junior Doctors, the One Show, Discovery Channel’s Through the Wormhole and the Hairy Bikers for the primetime BBC series Hairy Dieters: How to love food and lose weight.

Currently one of my key areas of work is to support media work to allow a change in legislation permitting a pioneering IVF technique to become a treatment so that women can have babies free from debilitating mitochondrial disease.

Promoting stories around how our researchers are helping us live longer, healthier lives supports the Newcastle Initiative on Changing Age, one of the University's societal challenge themes.

My background as a broadcast journalist is invaluable to the media package we in the press office are able to provide to academics in the University.  As well as advising on media strategy in controversial areas, I support proactive media work, offering media training and where appropriate writing press releases and assisting the academic team during interviews.

Recent examples of proactive press releases and coverage:

Bees get a buzz from caffeine as reported in the New York Times and The Telegraph.

Get a grip - why we get wrinkly fingers and toes as reported in Nature and The Metro.

Tooth protection from the sea as reported by BBC online and in the Huffington Post.

How active is your child really? as reported in the Daily Mail and The Journal