Recognising journalism and creative writing as research Reply

You have to argue that your work matters, according to Graeme Turner.

Professor Turner chaired the 2009 review of Excellence in Research Australia which allowed Non Traditional Research Outcomes (eg journalism and creative writing) to be recognised by the Australian Research Council.

Traditional research had “off the rack” methods of research assessment, he said.

Developing disciplines needed to indicate that professional practices showed a research component.

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The death of newspapers? 3

In Australia, we hear a lot about a crisis in journalism, caused by newspapers’ decline.

But perhaps thats because we get much of our international news from the United States where there appear to be genuine problems with the big newspaper groups whose revenue underpinned much of its quality news. These rather gloomy stories are spread by mainstream news  distribution systems which still inform many globalised discussions.

Reports of the death of Australian newspapers were premature, according to The Newspaper Works. The State of Australian Newspapers 2011, published by Newspaper Works, claimed that Australian newspaper revenue had bounced back by 6% in 2010 after a big decline caused by the Global Financial Crisis. More…

Investigative Journalism : the long Asbestos trail 3

It’s a bit depressing when your key contacts keep dying on you, according to ABC journalist Matt Peacock. Peacock, who began investigating James Hardie Asbestos in 1977, reckons that up to 60,000 Australians could eventually die from disease caused by asbestos industrial products. In a forty year career in journalism, Peacock worked on  investigative programs including This Day Tonight, Four Corners and the 730 Report. Last year, he released the book on his investigations into asbestos, Killer Company.

Peacock’s interest in asbestos was sparked by an inquiry about an innocent interview Peacock had broadcast, made by a PR consultant representing the asbestos company. “I had to play it back to find it [the reference] ,” Peacock said. There was a brief claim  by the interviewee who said, “It’s not all bad. Some companies have really cleaned up their act, notably the asbestos company, James Hardie”. Peacock asked himself why a PR company was monitoring “a fairly obscure Radio National program and wanting to use this quote”? “It was just a bit too strange. What were they trying to cover up?” More…

Investigative Journalism: Using Animation

Robert Rosenthal, Center for Investigative Reporting

Animation can be used by investigative journalists to reach a wider public, according to Robert Rosenthal. Rosenthal, the Executive Director of the Centre for Investigative Reporting (CIR), was speaking in Sydney at the Back to the Source Conference, organised by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism. For a media innovator, Rosenthal has spent most of his working life as a newspaper journalist; at the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the San Francisco Chronicle.  One of his first jobs in journalism was at the New York Times, where he worked in a locked backroom, photo copying the Pentagon Papers.

“At the core of everything is the story,” Rosenthal said. More…

Investigative Journalism : How Four Corners researches stories 2

Four Corners celebrates 50 years of investigative journalism

What makes investigative journalism different from ordinary reporting? Daily reporters are deluged with transitory events which often obscure the larger issues; the gaffes, media releases, staged photo opportunities and the hot house intrigues of parliamentary politics. Pressed by deadlines, and hemmed by the size of the news hole, daily journalists often have  to ignore the stories behind the news.  Investigative journalists can go much further. If journalism is non fiction writing (news) embedded with identifiable sources, Investigative Journalism can involve finding important news someone does not want the public to know. More…