Checking the Facts: Legacy election coverage and new sources of political information

Date/Time: Thu 21 Sep / 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Location: Monash University, Level 5  Theatrette, Building B, 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield Campus

School of Media, Film and Journalism (MFJ)

MEDIA MATTERS Seminar Series 2017

Checking the Facts: Legacy election coverage and new sources of political information

Join us for a discussion of the ways traditional providers of journalism respond to new spaces and sources for political information. The panellists will consider the 2016 Australian federal election in light of international trends in political journalism, and will welcome audience questions and engagement.

Political journalism has traditionally held a privileged place democratic societies. Its coverage provides citizens with the materials they require to make informed political decisions.  In particular, ‘legacy’ news organisations are expected to fulfil this role, operating in the public interest as a ‘watchdog’ on those in power.  Their ability to do so has come under challenge, in the last two decades, from a range of interconnected pressures. Political journalism now competes with emerging digital-first or digital-only providers of political information. This competition comes to the fore during election campaigns, an intensive period where daily coverage of politics takes on a new urgency. In this seminar, the panellists will consider the 2016 Australian federal election in light of these international trends in political journalism.

This event is sponsored by the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia through their 2016 Research Grant


Annika Smethurst
National Political Editor, News Corp Australia
Walkley Award-winning journalist Annika Smethurst is the National Political Editor for the Sunday Herald Sun, Sunday Telegraph and other News Corp mastheads. In 2015 she won a Walkley Award for Scoop of the Year for the Choppergate scandal. She also has two Victorian Press Club Quill awards for political reporting and was the 2016 Young Press Gallery Journalist of the Year. Earlier this year she was awarded Press Gallery journalist of the year. 

Russell Skelton
Director, RMIT ABC Fact Check
Russell Skelton is the director of RMIT ABC Fact Check. Prior to his current role, Skelton was a contributing editor, deputy editor, foreign editor and foreign correspondent to The Age newspaper and Fairfax media.

He has also held senior editorial positions at News Limited.  In 2011, Skelton won the Walkley award for best book for King Brown Country – The Betrayal Of Papunya. He has received the prestigious Grant Hattam Quill award for investigative journalism and won United Nations Association Peace awards for his reports on Aboriginal disadvantage.

Stephanie Brookes
Lecturer, Journalism, Monash University
Stephanie Brookes is Lecturer in Journalism in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University, where she teaches journalism studies. Her research interests lie at the intersection of media and politics, with a particular focus on election campaign coverage and communication, national identity and belonging. She researches on Australian and United States political communication, news media coverage of politics and celebrity politics and is the author of Politics, Media and Campaign Language: Australia’s Identity Anxiety (Anthem Press, 2017). 

Thursday 21 Sept

5:00pm – 6:30pm

Monash University
Building B
Level 5  Theatrette
Caulfield Campus

Monday 18 Sept

For further information, please contact  Stephanie Brookes on 9903 4408

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