New News: bringing together citizens, journalists and the future of news
One of the many pleasures of the recent New News conference was the opportunity it provided for interaction with journalism students, both online via Twitter and during the sessions.
The students were tweeting reports and commentary, and also filed stories from each session to the New News Reporting Hub - a joint project of the Melbourne Press Club, Monash University and the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advanced Journalism.
Have a read of their stories to get a flavour of the conference’s stimulating and forward looking discussions about the future of news.
Some snippets from just a few of the students’ reports:
• Fleeting tweets, journo beats
• New media tastes sweet
• What do we think of the Fink?
Meanwhile, this post at the Croakey health blog describes the “incubator session”, which aimed to brainstorm ideas for a new online publication about climate change and health. Fiona Armstrong, a journalist and editor who helped establish the Climate and Health Alliance, has begun an email list for those interested in carrying the publication forward. Contact her via infoATcaha.org.au.
Another highlight of the conference was the launch of The Citizens’ Agenda, an action research project which will use the federal election to test the capacity of social media to increase civic engagement in the political process and enhance political journalism.
The project will be driven by Melbourne University’s Centre for Advanced Journalism, in partnership with Fairfax Media and the social media group OurSay and also involves researchers from Melbourne University’s Centre for Public Policy and the Media and Communications Program. (More details here).
The New News conference aims to brings together journalists and media industry leaders, academics and students, citizen journalists and bloggers, and members of the community. It is about engaging the people who will have most to do with determining the future of journalism – the audience.
It is held by the Centre for Advanced Journalism, in partnership with the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Public Interest Journalism Foundation, and supported by the Melbourne Press Club and Copyright Agency Limited.
Margaret Simons, the director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism and a founding member of the Public Interest Journalism Foundation, says that recent developments in mainstream media organisations amount “to a potential civic emergency — a big decline in Australia’s professional journalistic capacity”.
“Yet for the most part,” she says, “the fundamental changes in news media and journalism are discussed, not with the people who matter most, but within the industry and, to a lesser extent, within academia. Even academics and industry figures rarely meet, for which both sides are the poorer.”
That is one of the reasons behind the New News conference, which is part of a rolling program of New News events throughout the year (more details here).
• The New News program is here.