The Global Environmental Journalism Initiative
Chris Nash, Wendy Bacon, Libby Lester, Johan Lidberg, Tony Maniaty

This paper describes an initiative by a group of Australian and European universities providing journalism education to develop a collaborative, international approach to teaching environmental journalism. Environmental sustainability is an increasingly urgent issue confronting humankind. Journalists and the media will have a crucial role to play in providing critical information and analyses to the public and representing public opinion and perspectives to governments. This situation requires an appropriate response in the education of future journalists, and should involve internationalisation of the curriculum with special reference to the environment, the development of networks of professional collaboration in research and reporting across national borders, and a sensitivity to cultural differences in responding to these challenges. The Global Environmental Journalism Initiative, which has applied for $1.2 million in joint funding from the EU and Australian governments, aims to address these challenges in journalism education. The aim of the project is to get students and teachers to collaborate across international borders in investigating and reporting on contemporary issues related to environmental sustainability, and to build a cumulative set of curriculum and information resources to support this process. The paper describes the project and explores some of the benefits and challenges to be expected in the execution.

Journalism education: Engaging with the wider community
Trevor Cullen
Edith Cowan University

As a journalism educator, I am keen to promote engagement with the wider community in an authentic learning environment. This paper reports on two current learning and teaching projects at ECU that combine these factors. First, the third assignment for the unit, Health Journalism, involves writing a human interest feature article. This year, each student will interview a person living with cancer. The top twenty articles will be selected and published in a book entitled: ‘Helpful Hints from the Chemo Club’. It will be published in December and sold nationally. The project is sponsored by the Solaris Care Foundation. Another initiative involves ECU health journalism students participating in a one-month professional placement with Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara region of Western Australia during the mid-year break. Here, the students work with Aboriginal communities, learning about their history and culture and using their media skills to promote healthier lifestyle practices. Since 2006, 15 students have participated in the project which is supervised by the Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health. Apart from sharing their media skills to write articles and produce videos to promote better health outcomes, the majority of students said they gained substantial knowledge and understanding of aboriginal people and their problems. This is an achievement in itself since many journalists seldom meet or even talk with aboriginal people.

High school students’ views on journalism as a career: some insight into why young women want to be journalists and why young men may be staying away.
Molly Blair
Bond University

The latest (2006) Census figures show that, for the first time in history, women now outnumber men in journalism and related occupations. This has changed since the 2001 Census. This paper reports on a survey taken of Australian high school students in years 11 and 12 and examines their views on journalism as a career. Their answers point to why we are seeing the number of men in journalism decreasing and why young women are still hoping for careers as journalists.

Confident? A good communicator and good at English? Your Careers Advisor suggests you become a journalist!
Roger Patching, Naomi Busst and Mark Pearson
Bond University

Apart from family members, careers advisers are critical to senior high school students seeking help on possible tertiary study options. What does this important group see as the academic and personality requirements for success in a journalism degree and why do they think more young women than men are entering journalism? This paper reports the views of a group of careers advisers from southern Queensland and northern New South Wales.


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