Forty Papers to be Presented

November 25, 2008

The JEA Conference will be held next week at the University of Wollongong.

Conference Convenor Marcus O’Donnell said that over forty papers would be presented, including presentations from a delegation of Chinese journalism educators.

“I think the spread of papers is fantastic; we have a strong group of papers looking at some key issues in journalism education and then we have papers looking at every aspect of journalism that you could imagine,” O’Donnell said.

The Dean of Beijing’s leading journalism school, Professor Gao Xiaohong, will lead a delegation of four Chinese journalism educators to the conference.

“Professor Gao Xiahong and her colleagues will add a unique dimension to the conference. They are going to talk about journalism education in China but will also give us some insight on what it was like for Chinese media to cover the Olympics and what this event meant for the evolution of Chinese media,” O’Donnell said.

Other keynote panels will include discussions of building research capacity in journalism studies, storytelling in journalism and fiction, Indigenous representation in the media and a report on the Media and Diversity project.

“The heart of the conference will be in the concurrent panel sessions, which is where JEA members will be presenting their research. So we have tried to do something a little different with the keynote plenary panels,” O’Donnell said.

“For example, we have teamed up two great writers: award-winning investigative journalist Estelle Blackburn and award-winning novelist Merlinda Bobis to talk about writing and storytelling in conversation with one another.”

“Estelle is famous for her investigations into wrongful convictions and Merlinda has recently completed a novel about the delicate political situation in the Philippines. Both are committed to work which is based on extensive research and investigation. Both are committed to long-form or book length storytelling. Both are passionate about human rights. But one is a journalist and one is a novelist. So we wanted to ask the question: what do these two forms of storytelling tell us about the other?”

The panel on Aboriginal representation in the media will bring together Vicki Grieves, an Aboriginal historian who specialises in Indigenous philosophy, wellbeing and identity, with the very experienced ABC Indigenous broadcaster Lorena Allam.

“I think this will be a fascinating talk because we will have the perspective of two indigenous voices: one an academic looking at the media from the outside and another looking from the inside.”

The Director of the recently-established Journalism and Media Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, Professor Catherine Lumby, will lead the panel on building research capacity. The diversity panel will be led by Associate Professor Gail Phillips from Murdoch, who has been part of a multi-university team looking at Diversity in the media.

The conference will kick off on Monday December 1 at 9.30 and run through until Wednesday afternoon December 3. A cocktail party hosted by the University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gerard Sutton, will spice up the program on the Monday night and the conference dinner will be held on the Tuesday. The JEA AGM will be held on Tuesday December 1 at 5.00pm.