Endurance: Australian Stories of Drought

Dr Deb Anderson Journalism lecturer Dr Deb Anderson has published a fascinating collection of oral histories in her book, Endurance: Australian Stories of Drought.

CSIRO Publishing and Museum Victoria invested in the project, which has attracted much interest from all sectors, including an intrigued public audience.

Here is an overview … As the Big Dry swept across large tracts of Australian land last decade, a dramatic rise in public awareness of climate change intensified debate over rural futures.

It was an era the Federal Government recorded as having “severely tested rural endurance”.

What might it mean, though, to endure drought in a climate-change world?

This book sheds light on what drought and climate change mean to rural Australians – in their words.

Endurance begins by tracing the power of battler histories in Australian culture and politics, exploring the relationship between climate and identity in a dry place.

Here, the past informs the present: this book underscores the significance of lived experience for people whose communities are in long-term decline.

This holistic approach offers a much-needed context for the life stories at the heart of the book – of rural Australians faced with the frightening prospect of more severe and frequent droughts under climate change.

For four years during the millennium drought, Age journalist and historian Deb Anderson recorded oral histories in drought-affected communities dotted across the semi-arid Mallee wheat-belt in Victoria.

In these stories, people shared how they live with, represent and struggle with drought as a core component of regional life and identity.

Fortuitously, the history collection captured a marked shift in public ideas on Australian climate – a moment of big history – prompting reflection on the meaning of drought and exposing the core interpretive problems of climate change.

Amid the apprehension of climate change, a greater narrative resurfaced: a battler history of endurance, revealing livelihoods and identities were at stake.

Endurance presents twelve of these multi-generational stories of climate, which form a new collection for Museum Victoria, accompanied by a striking series of documentary-style photographs.

By sensitively and compassionately seeking answers to historical questions of cultural adaptation, this book shows how conceptions of climate are shaped by narratives of identity – in this case, forming both a cultural legacy and a shield from anxieties about the future.
As the nation looks ahead, Endurance uncovers a rural Australia clinging to its past, and now gearing up to endure more.


Monash Journalism research

Head of journalism Associate Professor Philip Chubb.
Head of journalism Associate Professor Philip Chubb.

Research is a vital part of Monash Journalism. It contributes knowledge to a field and industry in transformation, situates journalism in our democratic system and informs our teaching.

This is a very exciting and challenging time conducting research in our field of inquiry – journalism studies.

Our staff cover a wide variety of research topics – for details and publications please click on the staff name on the staff page.

Our topics fall into at least one of the following three research clusters that describe the focus of our research.


Journalism and Environment

  • As climate change and other environmental issues inevitably gain prominence on the public agenda, this cluster covers the entire environment – not only climate change. How journalists and media report climate change is one example of research topics covered.
    Dr Deb Anderson.
    Monash journalism researcher Dr Deb Anderson.


  • The cluster is inherently interdisciplinary and global, which allows for wide research collaborations.

Journalism and Democracy

  • This cluster covers a number of research areas – investigative journalism, access to information, media policy, media accountability and regulation, the public perception of journalism, the role of journalism, the transformation of the journalism industry, etc.

    Monash University senior lecturer Dr Johan Lidberg.
    Monash University senior lecturer Dr Johan Lidberg.
  • As journalism deals with the transformation brought on by technology, its role in and relation to democracy and the public will change. This means that this research cluster will become increasingly relevant. One current example is the balance between anti-terror laws and freedom of expression and the press.

Public History and Digital Storytelling

  • This is also part of the development and transformation of journalism. As the technological and access barriers are being lowered, the storytelling aspect of journalism is becoming more important. One example is the new formats of radio documentaries that have developed once pod casting gained momentum.
    Head of Media, Film and Television, Associate Professor Mia Lindgren.
    Head of Media, Film and Journalism Associate Professor Mia Lindgren.


  • This research cluster exists in the intersection between the public sphere and journalism. It’s also deeply interdisciplinary and has the potential to capture and describe the evolution of journalism as it reaches out beyond the confines of the newsroom.


Jenan Taylor wins Student Journalist of the Year

Jenan Taylor has won the Melbourne Press Club's Student Journalist of the Year
Jenan Taylor has won the Melbourne Press Club’s Student Journalist of the Year

Monash University’s Jenan Taylor has won the Melbourne Press Club’s 2014 Student Journalist of the Year for her investigative story,  A Quiet Farewell.

Jenan, a Master of Journalism student, has earned praised from judges for her “original and compassionate” investigation into what happens when a pauper dies.

Her article was published in The Weekend Australian Magazine.

Jenan said the possibility of winning an award was the last thing on her mind when she started working on her story.

“The article turned out to take an unusual approach, which, although it picked at the fabric of contemporary issues,  didn’t hang on any current hot topic,” Jenan said, who was awarded at the Quills at Crown Palladium on Friday night.

“I’m overwhelmed that all the hard work paid off further in the form of this Student Journalist of the Year award. So much of this achievement has had to do with the skills I’ve been taught and the guidance I’ve received from all my journalism lecturers here at Monash over the years.”

Jenan said she was particularly grateful to Associate Professor Philip Chubb and Monica Jackson for their encouragement.

Tiffany Korssen was a finalist in the 2014 Student Journalist of the Year.
Tiffany Korssen was a finalist in the 2014 Student Journalist of the Year.

Monash’s Master of Journalism student Tiffany Korssen was a finalist in the 2014 Student Journalist of the Year award for her investigation, Suicide Survivors Left in the Lurch.

Her story revealed the lack of treatment and care available for suicide survivors that captured the personal experiences of those concerned.

Head of journalism Associate Prof Chubb said having masters’ students shortlisted for this major award was a testament to the strength of Monash’s program.

“Having Jenan win feels like a terrific vindication of our efforts and direction,” he said.

“More importantly, this prize is a life-changer for Jenan, who had a great idea for a piece of feature journalism and then worked hard to bring it off brilliantly.”

Bill Birnbauer, a senior lecturer in investigative journalism, said Monash journalism’s students repeatedly won the industry’s top journalism awards because “we teach them the fundamental basic skills of news breaking, feature writing and digital production”.

“We imbue in them a questioning and determined attitude to get to the unvarnished truth,” Mr Birnbauer said.

“They do the rest themselves. Jenan’s story was one of the most original, crafted and touching stories I have read in a long time.”

Monash journalist graduate and Herald Sun journalist Monique Hore.
Monash journalist graduate and Herald Sun journalist Monique Hore.

Monash alumnae, Monique Hore, teamed with Herald Sun senior journalist Ruth Lamperd to win the 2014 Quill for Best Coverage of an Issue or Event for White Death.

Ruth and Monique’s five-month investigation revealed a cover-up over a deadly asbestos factory.

“Receiving a Quill award alongside Ruth is a huge honour,” Monique said.

“I enjoyed working with the residents of Sunshine North to raise important health questions. As a young journalist, it was also brilliant to work with someone so experience as Ruth.”


Jonno’s journey to the TV newsroom

Jonno Nash is a TV reporter for Channel 10.
Jonno Nash is a TV reporter for Channel 10.

Monash journalism graduate Jonno Nash has made the transition from one of the best print and digital newsrooms in the country to the world of television.

Jonno,  who reported at the Herald Sun until recently, was recruited by Channel 10 in a highly competitive climate.

“I’ve always wanted to step in front of the camera but held off those ambitions after pursuing print,” Jonno said.

“There is a creative element to packaging TV news reports which is appealing to me.

“Unlike print, there isn’t a rigid structure to TV reporting. The journalists guide the audience through the narrative and let the images tell the story.”

Monash’s video journalism unit introduced Jonno to TV journalism.

“While I didn’t excel academically in this subject, I still value the skills I learnt in this course,” Jonno said.

“I still occasionally look at the video assignment pieces I produced. Despite not being polished pieces, I recognise this subject for pricking my interest in TV.”

Jonno said spending more than three years in the Herald Sun newsroom had been invaluable in improving his news sense and ability to craft hard and soft news stories.

“Fortunately these skills are transferable between mediums and has put me in good stead to chase and develop stories at Channel 10,” Jonno said.

Jonno said he built contacts while developing his career.

“I went out of my way to talk to as many industry professionals as possible,” he said.

“From sending an email to a Monash lecturer or arranging a meeting with a journalist on Twitter, I made sure I got my name out there and tapped into the knowledge of others.

“There are a number of jobs out there that aren’t advertised and getting the inside whisper on potential positions or an endorsement from an industry person can go a big way in securing a job in a metropolitan newsroom.”

Jonno said it was important to take on board any feedback to improve yourself.

“Don’t disregard the role feedback can play in improving yourself. Seek it and learn,” he said.

“If you article or piece is altered, find out why. Being adaptable and coachable are crucial components. I have also found investigating the pathways of media identities particularly valuable. LinkedIn is handy for this.”

“I have replicated aspects of work to that of my role models in hope I can one day reach their positions,” Jonno said.

” You’ll find they too endured a hard slog to get their foot in the door.

“Don’t be afraid to still do unpaid work. I still volunteer a couple of hours a week in hope that one day it might prosper into something attractive.”

Jonno said persistence was the key in the competitive field.

“Be ruthless and persistent. There aren’t many jobs out there and you’re competing against thousands of candidates outside your cohort across the country,” he said.

“Graduates are more willing to live interstate, so jobs aren’t handed out to locals.

“Send emails and make phone calls to editors and producers to sell yourself. It’s still very much a ‘who you know’ industry, so boost your profile by meeting as many people as possible.”


Luke and Uma awarded 2015 CEW Bean Prize

Monash University’s Master of Journalism students Luke Mortimer and Uma Muthia are recipients of the prestigious 2015 CEW Bean Prize.

Luke and Uma will join Monash historian Professor Bruce Scates and Arts students in Gallipoli, Prato in Italy and the Western Front to retrace the footsteps of Australian soldiers and gain valuable insight into Australia’s involvement in the Great War.

Masters of Journalism student Luke Mortimer.
Masters of Journalism student Luke Mortimer.

Luke, also the editor of mojo,  is a well-qualified government media adviser and recently completed a successful internship at the Herald Sun.

Uma has excellent qualifications in history, French, International Relations and is combat medical attendant with the Army Reserve.

The journalism students will film on location, as part of the study program to record historical sites and oral histories of the Great War.

The Beyond Gallipoli program runs from June 29 to July 24.

This award is especially significant as 2015 is the centenary year to mark the 1915 Gallipoli landing.

Luke Mortimer interviews backpackers for the Herald Sun. Picture: Valeriu Campan
Luke Mortimer interviews backpackers for the Herald Sun. Picture: Valeriu Campan

Luke said he was extremely grateful to be given the responsibilities of being a CEW Bean Prize recipient in this centenary year of the Anzac.

“For generations, the digger has been heralded as a role model for young Australians, but as our young encounter new challenges trying to find their identity in a multicultural Australia, so too should the narrative of our Diggers campaigns evolve,” Luke said.

“There’s no better opportunity to take on this responsibility than being on the ground in Europe, investigating the Anzacs shared experience and interrogating our shared memory with other nationalities in the horror and humanity of World War I.

Uma Muthia is a recipient of the CEW Bean Prize.
Uma Muthia is a recipient of the CEW Bean Prize.

Uma said she was so surprised when she learned of her prize, she dropped her phone.

“That surprise turned into sheer excitement at the prospect of filming on location to record historical sites of the Great War with Professor Bruce Scates and fellow Monash students,” Uma said.

“As a Masters of Journalism/Masters of International Relations student, I ambitiously applied for the prize as it allowed me to combine my two areas of study in a practical and unique context overseas.

“The prize also offers a distinctive opportunity to retrace the footsteps of Australian soldiers who fought to protect the very freedoms we enjoy here today.”

Luke and Uma will study 12-point unit, ATS3387 Beyond Gallipoli: Australians in the Great War.

Professor Scates has led several tours of the battlefields and commemorative sites of the Great War, including the Premier of Victoria’s Spirit of Anzac.

Visit Monash’s Great War Centenary website for more information on these tours.


Masters journalism students named as Quill finalists

MONASH University Master of Journalism students, Jenan Taylor and Tiffany Korssen, have been named finalists for the Melbourne Press Club’s Student Journalist of the Year Award.

The winner will be announced on Friday, March 20, at the annual Quill Awards dinner at Crown Palladium in Melbourne.

Jenan Taylor has been shortlisted for Melbourne Press Club's Student of the Year award.
Jenan Taylor has been shortlisted for Melbourne Press Club’s Student of the Year award.

Jenan’s investigation, A Quiet Farewell, was published in the Weekend Australian Magazine.

“I was interested in why in this day and age some Australians still have pauper funerals and decided to write this piece when I found there was a paucity of information about this topic,” Jenan said.

“My piece focused on the no-service funeral of a single mother because secondary research revealed that single mothers were among the persons most likely to be on social and economic welfare.

“And hence, she ideally represented the cross section of the community who potentially are most likely to face similar decisions when it comes to the matter of their death.”

Jenan said the tuition she received the course was instrumental in the way she tackled the piece.

“I’d love to see more long-form journalism in the mainstream Australian media, and this is the type of journalism I hope to be able to do in future,” she said.

Tiffany Korssen's entry has been shortlisted in the Quills.
Tiffany Korssen’s entry has been shortlisted in the Quills.

Tiffany’s article, Suicide Survivors Left in the Lurch, revealed the lack of treatment and care available for suicide survivors that captured the personal experiences of those concerned.

Tiffany said she wrote the article for her  investigative reporting subject with Monash senior lecturer Bill Birnbauer last semester.

“It was an amazing experience and taught me so much about coming up with original ideas and researching,” Tiffany said.

“I’ve learned I love interviewing as a method of research. The process also confirmed to me how passionate I am about journalism.”

Tiffany said being shortlisted for the Quill was an unexpected honour.

“Reading the other shortlisted entries has opened my eyes to the possibilities of the craft and has motivated me to continue to look for stories and be creative in how I deliver them to my audience,” she said.

“I’m really excited about attending the awards dinner and can’t wait for what the rest of the course is going to bring.”

The other two Quills student finalists are Julie Milland, of Melbourne University, for The Trials and Tribulations and Michael Walsh, of RMIT University, for The Shardy Crew.

The Quill winner will receive a $3000 prize and will enjoy work experience and mentoring opportunities at major media outlets.


Where are the women in radio?

Emma Nobel has produced Where are the Women?
Emma Nobel has produced Where are the Women?

Monash journalism Honours graduate Emma Nobel has produced an intriguing radio documentary, Where are the Women?, which was aired on Sydney-based FBi Radio’s All The Best on Saturday, March 7.

Emma’s practice-based project was submitted with an accompanying exegesis. All The Best is an influential radio documentary program in Australia starting careers of a new generation of audio producers now at ABC Radio National and independent media projects.

Emma’s Honours supervisor, MFJ Head of School Associate Professor Mia Lindgren, said the radio documentary examined why there were so few female radio presenters on Melbourne radio.

“Emma interviewed leading radio broadcasters Jon Faine and Neil Mitchell about the lack of female radio voices,” Associate Professor Lindgren said.

Emma is keen for the dialogue about the lack of female radio voices to continue.

“Why don’t we hear more women on the radio? It’s a debate that’s been raging in Australia since the medium was introduced to our shores, but comparatively little academic research about the topic exists,” Emma said.

“The radio industry has neglected to pay close attention to the lack of women on air. As someone who wants to work in radio, I do wonder why there are so few female broadcasters in Australia and whether being female will be an obstacle in my own career.”

All the Best: Where are the Women?

Emma said many of the interviews suggested those in the industry felt that individual, rather than systematic, factors were seen to negatively impact women’s careers.

“Men dominated in all on-air positions across all stations in all timeslots every day of the week, though the findings may have been different had I been following this project during summer,” Emma said.

“ABC 774 often has women ‘fill in’ for their male colleagues while they are on holiday. Women were seen to be over-represented in ‘supporting’ production roles.”

Emma said her interviews with broadcasters across commercial, public and community radio, gave her a unique view of the industry.

“It was an eye-opening experience that allowed me an insight into the industry I want to work in, as well as unparalleled access to the broadcasters themselves,” she said.

“You bet I asked about getting a foot in the door! I was thrilled that All The Best included the documentary as part of their International Women’s Day special.”


Alana awarded Pulliam Journalism Fellowship

Alana Mitchelson has been awarded the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship.
Alana Mitchelson has been awarded the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship.

Monash journalism student Alana Mitchelson has been awarded the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship at the Indy Star in Indianapolis.

Alana is one of 10 fellows to be awarded the prestigious fellowship, which attracts applicants worldwide.

The fellowship involves a 10-week paid placement in the Indy Star newsroom and also attending writing workshops and seminars conducted by journalism experts.

Alana, who recently won the Sir Keith Murdoch Journalism Scholarship and completed a three-month paid internship at the Herald Sun, said she had hoped to work as a reporter overseas.

“I have had my heart set on undertaking an overseas reporting trip for some time as I wanted to develop a broader perspective of the journalism industry before seeking full-time work in Melbourne,” Alana said.

“After many hours of online research and almost 30 applications later, it is hugely encouraging that the Indy Star has faith in my abilities, especially having applied from such a distance, and that all my hard work is paying off.

Alana said she was keen to learn more about American culture, make international professional connections and grasp a better sense of how journalism differs in the US.

“Being somewhat of an ‘outsider’, I hope to bring new ideas to the Indy Star and offer a fresh perspective,” she said.

“I am really excited to have been selected for such a prestigious fellowship and I am looking forward to challenging myself throughout this new venture.”

Click here to learn more about the Pulliam Journalism Fellowship.


Caroline and Jade score News Corp traineeships

MONASH journalism 2014 students, Caroline Schelle and Jade Gailberger, have been rewarded with News Corp traineeships after a competitive selection process.

Both journalists begin their traineeships on February 9 this year.

Caroline Schelle.
Caroline Schelle.

Caroline, a Masters of Journalism student, said she was looking forward to learning from “some of the best journalists in the country”.

“I’m thrilled to begin my cadetship at News Corp and am looking forward to a fantastic opportunity where my skills are put to the test,” Caroline said.

“I will be rotating through four major News Corp publications including the Herald Sun, The Weekly Times, Leader Community Newspapers and the Geelong Advertiser.”

Caroline said it was a demanding selection process, with hundreds of worthy applicants.

“I believe the skills that I gained at Monash University helped me achieve success,” Caroline said.

“Monash journalism staff have always been supportive about my goals and their focus on practical skills allowed me to get ahead in a competitive field.

“This included a focus on writing news for print and digital publications, radio and television skills and ensuring students undertake independent internships.”

Jade Gailberger.
Jade Gailberger.

Jade, who will report for The Advertiser in Adelaide, said she felt “very excited and fortunate to be given this opportunity”.

“Starting my cadetship and career with News Corp just a few months out of uni proves that hard work does pay off,” Jade said, who recently finished her journalism training.

“I completed several internships throughout my final year, including placements at the Herald Sun and The Age which wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Monash,” Jade said.

“I can’t thank them enough for their continual advice and time, and it just goes to show that hard work and effort throughout your journalism studies doesn’t go unnoticed.”

Jade advises journalism students to achieve “good grades, gain as much experience as possible to build your portfolio, and always reminding yourself that you will eventually be rewarded for all your effort”.


Our Staff

Associate Professor Phil Chubb Head of Program
Joint coordinator of coursework masters program
Coordinator of PhD program
Associate Professor Mia Lindgren Head of School of Media, Film and Journalism
Associate Professor Fay Anderson
Dr Deb Anderson Joint coordinator of coursework masters program
Dr Nasya Bahfen
Dr Andréa Baker
Mr Bill Birnbauer Executive Editor student publications
mojo, Dangerous Ground
Dr Stephanie Brookes
Mr Robert Carey
Ms Monica Jackson
Dr Johan Lidberg Research coordinator journalism
Professor Chris Nash
Ms Julie Tullberg



Aaron’s hard yards pay off with Cricket Australia gig

Aaron Pereira is now Cricket Australia's media coordinator.
Aaron Pereira is now Cricket Australia’s media coordinator.

Monash University journalism graduate Aaron Pereira has secured a  full-time job at Cricket Australia, working as its media coordinator.

Aaron shares his views on his journey from Monash journalism to his impressive role at Cricket Australia.

Q: How do you feel about your new appointment at Cricket Australia?

A: I am extremely humbled that an organisation I idolised as a child now have me working. It’s great to be able to live and breathe sport for a living, especially Australia’s favourite sport! One day I’ll be rubbing shoulders with Michael Slater in the media box and the next I’ll be interviewing Greg Chappell, it’s surreal.

Q: How has Monash helped prepare you for the role?

A: It was always a goal for me to get into Monash’s journalism program and it didn’t disappoint. I received the best advice from people who had previously thrived in the business and the avenues that opened up because I was a Monash student were plentiful. I don’t think I’d be in the role I am now without my experience at Monash. Best decision I ever made.

Q: What is the importance of practical experience?

A: This is something that needs to be stressed … go out and get experience! It’s cliché but true – it’s never too late and you can never get enough. I did placements at the Box Hill Hawks, the Herald Sun and Metro Media to name a few, and I maintained a part-time job at Network Ten. These not only allow you the chance to refine your skills but also to make connections you will no doubt need.

Q: Any advice for journalism students?

A: Entering Journalism is daunting, but if you really want it, and you work hard enough, doors will open up.


Applications open for the 2015 CEW Bean Prize

The Great War Centenary will honour Australians who  served their country.
The Great War Centenary will honour Australians who served their country.

2015 third-year and Masters journalism students are encouraged to apply to be part of a unique European experience as a recipient of the prestigious CEW Bean Prize.

Two award-winning students will join Monash historian Professor Bruce Scates and students in Gallipoli, Prato and the Western Front to retrace the footsteps of Australian soldiers and gain valuable insight into Australia’s involvement in the Great War.

This award is especially significant as 2015 is the centenary year to mark the 1915 Gallipoli landing. The recipients will enrol in 12-point unit, ATS3387 Beyond Gallipoli: Australians in the Great War, and receive $500 towards travel costs. More funding is available through Monash Abroad.

The journalism students will film on location, as part of the study program to record historical sites and oral histories of the Great War. The Beyond Gallipoli program runs from June 29 to July 24.

Professor Bruce Scates.
Professor Bruce Scates.

Professor Scates has led several tours of the battlefields and commemorative sites of the Great War, including the Premier of Victoria’s Spirit of Anzac. Visit Monash’s Great War Centenary website for more information

Applicants should prepare their CV and a 150-word statement on why they would like to win the CEW Bean Prize. Applications close on Friday, February 6 at 5pm.

To apply or inquire, email Julie Tullberg julie-ann.tullberg@monash.edu or phone 9903 4128.


Alana wins Sir Keith Murdoch Scholarship

Alana Mitchelson has won the Sir Keith Murdoch Journalism Scholarship.
Alana Mitchelson has won the Sir Keith Murdoch Journalism Scholarship.

Monash University journalism student Alana Mitchelson has won the Sir Keith Murdoch Journalism Scholarship, a three-month paid internship at the Herald Sun.

The scholarship commemorates the contribution of Sir Keith’s journalism to changing the course of the Gallipoli campaign in World War I.

Alana will commence her scholarship from December 2014 to February 2015 and will work on the Herald Sun’s Gallipoli centenary coverage.

Alana wrote an 800-word news story on the 1915 Gallipoli landing, which successfully fulfilled the scholarship’s requirements.

“I found the application process itself a hugely rewarding experience and enjoyed reading through old newspapers as well as personal diary accounts to better authenticise my contemporary take of the Gallipoli landing,” Alana said.

“I often felt it was difficult to do the piece justice as I felt so far removed from the horrific realities faced by those young Australian men in 1915.”

Alana said she had not previously been aware of Sir Keith Murdoch’s key influence in changing the course of the Gallipoli campaign.

“I hope this scholarship will draw more awareness to the contents of Murdoch’s letter and just how crucial it was for his honest account to bypass the censor,” she said.

Alana said her three-month scholarship was an amazing opportunity and that it was “nice to have my work recognised on such a level”.




Scanlan wins shooting gold at Glasgow Games

Laetisha Scanlan has won gold at the Commonwealth Games. Picture: Herald Sun
Laetisha Scanlan has won gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Monash journalism graduate Laetisha Scanlan has successfully defended her Commonwealth Games trap shooting title, winning gold at Glasgow.

Laetisha, 24, made a spectacular recovery in the Games final to claim gold from Georgia Konstantinidou of Cyprus.

Laetisha, from Berwick, hit 13 out of 15 targets to defeat Konstantinidou by one target.

She thought her chance to win back-to-back title was gone after an ordinary performance in the third round.

“I finished my third round and I came off and my coach said, ‘You didn’t make the final, it’s time to go home’,” Laetisha told Neil Mitchell on 3AW.

“So I packed all my stuff up and you wouldn’t believe it, he (coach) comes in and said, ‘Well, you’ve got a shoot-off to make the final.”

Laetisha, who also won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, said previous disappointments had made her a stronger competitor.

“I was the underdog, I had no pressure and no one expected anything of me going into the final … so it’s a good learning experience.”

Leatisha has been invited by Mr Mitchell to learn more about radio journalism in the 3AW studios in Melbourne.

She told Mr Mitchell she hoped to practise journalism when her international shooting commitments had eased back.

“I’ll always do shooting because I love it as a sport but it’s very hard to make it a career in Australia,” Leatisha said.


Troops in Terror Zone ‘cutting edge’ in journalism

Members of the Special Operations Task Group prepare to embark on a night time operation in Oruzgan Province, Afghanistan, June 2008. Picture: Supplied
Special Operations Task Group members prepare for a night-time operation in Oruzgan, Afghanistan. Picture: Supplied

Monash University’s journalism and multimedia students have joined forces with The Australian editorial team to produce a digital interactive, Troops in Terror Zone.

The digital interactive, which features cutting-edge technology, tells the story of Australia’s military involvement in the Afghanistan War.

Troops in Terror Zone has been published on The Australian website in the national affairs section.

Second-year journalism student, Warren Clark, directed the project and also wrote the original music with Gavin Butcher.

Master of Multimedia lecturers Jeff Janet and Neil Minott teamed with digital journalism coordinator Julie Tullberg to guide the post-graduate and undergraduate students during first semester.

View Troops in Terror Zone here

Mr Clark said the most rewarding part of this project was having the chance to lead groups of students in the design and creation of the interactive.

“There were many instances where the rationale of design was at odds with journalistic values and this led the group to finding solutions that satisfied both schools of though,” he said.

“I also really enjoyed the challenge that comes with the pressure of a deadline. Trying to maintain a level of clear-mindedness under pressure is crucial and having the chance to experience this first hand was invaluable.”

Monash University’s Head of Journalism, Associate Professor Phil Chubb, congratulated students and staff on the innovative digital production.

“Taking advantage of the new storytelling opportunities available for journalists is a key part of what we teach at Monash,” Assoc Professor Chubb said.

“This is a great example of what that means. Congratulations to the students involved, staff member Julie Tullberg, and our colleagues over in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.”

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The troops worked in tough conditions, while having the spoils of snow-capped mountain views in Afghanistan. Picture: Defence

Mojo executive editor Bill Birnbauer said Troops in the Terror Zone was a wonderful tribute but also represented the fairly recent trend of collaboration in the production of outstanding journalism.

“The project drew in Monash University journalism and arts and design students and staff, a key mainstream media organisation, historians and other players,” Mr Birnbauer said.

“It shows that an international media organisation was ready to work with and trust the staff and students at Monash journalism to produce accurate, entertaining and informative content.

“Once again, it highlights that student journalists working under supervision are both students in the traditional sense but also a resource that is capable of producing great work and doing so at the cutting edge of online technology, as this project shows.

“I know Monash journalism students will continue to produce amazing content that enhances their job prospects.”

An Australian troop on patrol in Afghanistan.



The Journey from AIDS to HIV

The School of Media, Film and Journalism hosted a fascinating preview of Transmission: The Journey from AIDS to HIV on Wednesday, July 16 at Monash University’s MADA building at Caulfield.

Staffan Hildebrand offers insight into his extraordinary film.
Staffan Hildebrand offers insight into his extraordinary film.

Film director Staffan Hildebrand has collected film material, captured between 1986-2013, on HIV/AIDS. The film captures the difficulties during the 1980s and progresses to 2013, which highlights the improvements in HIV treatment and longevity.

Hildebrand answered questions after the preview, which highlighted the depth of work and its target audience for AIDS 2014.

Hildebrand has been filming the HIV/AIDS epidemic since 1986, and is the founder and producer of the Face of AIDS film archive housed at the prestigious Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Staffan Hildebrand  (left) with Associate Professor Mia Lindgren.
Staffan Hildebrand (left) with Associate Professor Mia Lindgren.

Transmission: The Journey from AIDS to HIV was commissioned for AIDS 2014, the meeting of the  International AIDS Society to be held in Melbourne, 21-25 July 2014.

This film is a centerpiece for the conference that will engage delegates, HIV/AIDS professionals and the general population by exploring how the Australian response  was coordinated
across political and ideological boundaries and driven by the community but why today,  young people continue to be at risk of HIV.

Staffan Hildebrand (left) with producer Daniel Brace.
Staffan Hildebrand (left) with producer Daniel Brace.

It introduces us to many of the characters who have been influential over the three decades of the fight against HIV and AIDS.

It contains original never before seen historical footage from the Face of AIDS archive, along with new interviews from contrasting countries in the Asia Pacific region and how there is the real possibility of the virtual elimination of the transmission of HIV, and the hope that a cure or vaccine might yet be found.

Yet there are still a range of challenges that need to be overcome.

The Face of AIDS film project raises important questions about the role of documentary and life stories in medical research.


The Dual Crisis: HIV and Human Rights

AIDS 2014 Conference
Image: Daniella Zalcman

Strides made in the last decade have inspired a new vision of “ending the AIDS epidemic.”

But among sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, and people who inject drugs, barriers still persist limiting their access to HIV prevention and treatment services.

Melbourne will be the host of AIDS 2014 International Conference, between 20th and 25th July 2014.

The school of Media Film and Journalism will present leading international journalists from the Pulitzer Centre in Washington to talk about the ongoing challenges facing key populations.

“The battle is not just about the gays: We need to fight for the rights of others also. And let us fight not because we need to win today, but for future generations.” – John, Ugandan LGBT activist. 

Michael  Hayden is a writer originally from Queens, New York. The son of an Egyptian mother and an American father, and the husband of an Indian citizen, he has lived and worked in both America and India.

As a journalist, Michael has written on health and politics for The New York Times, and reported extensively on the state of India’s prisons for The Wall Street Journal.

Michael is also a critically acclaimed playwright and screenwriter.He received his MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in 2007.

Daniella Zalcman is a photo-journalist based in London and New York. She has worked for The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, the New York Daily News and Vanity Fair.

Her photographs have appeared in exhibits throughout New York City and are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

She graduated from Columbia University in 2009 with a degree in architecture.

The Dual Crisis: HIV & Human Rights, Journalism’s Role in the Fight Against Stigma and Discrimination, will be held at Monash University’s Caulfield Campus on Wednesday, July 23 from 1pm to 2.30pm,  Building H, Basement Room 36, (HB.36).


Getting to know … Nick Parkin

Welcome to former ABC journalist Nick Parkin, who has joined our team full-time in the School of Media, Film and Journalism to teach video.

Nick Parkin.
Nick Parkin.

Name: Nick Parkin
Title: Teaching Associate
Faculty/Division: Arts
Dept: Media, Film and Journalism
Campus: Caulfield

How long have you worked at Monash?
Since 2012.

Where did you work prior to starting at the University?
I was employed at ABC News as a radio and television news reporter until 2013. I have also spent time working as a producer for ABC News Online and ABC News Breakfast.  I have also dabbled in freelance journalism, publishing material for various online technology publications.

What do you like best about your role?
Teaching enthusiastic students about the exciting world of reporting news.

Why did you choose your current career path?
It allows me to pass on my knowledge about journalism and news, while also maintaining links to the media industry.

First job?
Video store sales assistant (in the days of VHS tapes).

Worst job?
Poorly paid “English conversationalist” at a Tokyo Chat Cafe. It’s a long story.

What research/projects are you currently working on and what does it involve?
Working on ideas for a PhD in Journalism / Media Studies.

What is your favourite place in the world and why?
Either Tokyo (the most exciting city on earth) or Rio de Janerio (the friendliest city on earth).

What is your favourite place to eat and why?
Anything from/in Southeast Asia.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Don’t take anything too seriously.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know?
I have DJ’d at nightclubs in Australia, Asia and South America.


‘Cultural imperialism is dead': Castells

By Dr Andrea Baker

More than 800 scholars from over 95 countries, including Dr Johan Lidberg , Dr Fay Anderson and Dr Andrea Baker from Monash’s Journalism section, are attending the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) conference in the HITEC City of Hyderabad, India.

Dr Johan Lidberg.
Dr Johan Lidberg.

IAMCR is the pre-eminent worldwide professional organisation for journalism, media and communication scholars. Its inception and history as a scientific association is linked the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) post World War II and its first conference was held in 1959.

IAMCR (and US Scholar and Knight Chair in Communication Research at the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication)  President, Professor Janet Wasko, describes this year’s program as “an intellectual feast”.

Dr Andrea Baker.
Dr Andrea Baker.

Renowned scholar of urban sociology and the information society Professor Manuel Castells kicked off the conference on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 with a Opening Plenary titled ‘The networked metropolis: global connectivity, regional disconnection’.

“Cultural imperialism is dead. The Nation has split from the State”, resulting in “fragmented and multiple cultural identities”, Prof Castells argued.

The world was “globally connected”, he noted, but it is also “disconnected in terms of local geographies”.

Aligned with the ideology of the left leaning, progressive IAMCR, Prof Castells’ talk focused on economically disadvantaged regions and the networked societies.

Professor Manuel Castells.
Professor Manuel Castells.

Manuel Castells was born in Spain in 1942 and is currently based of the Annenberg Centre at the University of Southern California where he holds the Chair in Sociology, City and Regional Planning.

He is considered a pre-eminent scholar in relation to the information society, communications and globalisation; has penned more than 25 books, edited many more and won numerous awards for his research.

In 2013 Prof Castells was awarded the International Balzan Prize for his outstanding achievements in the fields of humanities and culture.

“The world’s population exceeds 7.4 billon”, Prof Castells said. “But only “three billion have access to the internet”.

On the other hand, about “7 billion have access to mobile communication”, he said.

Prof Castells described how mobile communication was “more important in poor communities of India than food” because of its connection to job security and safety.

Reflecting on a recent United Nations report, Prof Castells highlighted that New Delhi is now the world’s second largest city, after Tokyo.

Today “53 percent of the world lives in urban areas”, Prof Castells noted. By “the end of this century it will rise to 75 per cent”, he said.

“The Nation-State is under stress” (it’s a tug of war) between globalisation and territorial identity.

The territory (or the State) is “rooted in historical context”, Prof Castells said, while the Nation is linked to globalisation and “the emerging communication networks”.

We are living in a “fragmented media world” and “need to speak a common language”, he added.

Prof Castells suggested we look to forms such as art to build a “universal protocol of communication” to “bind the fragmented networked societies”.

Art is directly “linked to the human condition”, he concluded.

Prof Castell’s Opening Plenary at IAMCR is followed by four days of paper presentations, panel discussions, themed plenaries, book launches plus a festival of films from South Asia.

A tribute to renowned Jamaican-born UK scholar Professor Stuart Hall was held on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.

As one of the iconic cultural theorists and Marxist scholars, 82-year-old Prof Hall passed away on February 10, 2014. He was one of the original figures in British Cultural Studies and founder of the influential journal, New Left Review.

This year’s IAMCR conference is jointly hosted by the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad, and the School of Communication, English & Foreign Languages University. The conference is held annually in different countries and has returned to India after a gap of 28 years.

HITEC City, where the conference is held, stands for Hyderabad Information Technology and Engineering Consultancy city.

The cyber city was established in 1998 with extensive technological infrastructure, which encouraged multinational companies such as Google, Microsoft (operating its largest branch outside the US), IBM, Yahoo!, Dell and Facebook to have offices there.

The broad theme for this year’s IAMCR conference is “Region as Frame: Politics, Presence, Practice”, as the program states:

“The breaking down of some the world’s walls have created an uncertainty about the geographies and substantive nature of the regions they had once defined.

“This includes physical boundaries such as the Berlin wall, ideological ones such as those in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, economic ones such as those that had once separated India and other socialist economies from the capitalist West, and cultural ones such as those that had hidden the lives of people in the Middle Eastern and Soviet bloc”.

The IAMCR conference concludes on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

More information, visit the conference website here.


Premiere of Trees Falling in the Forest

Monash University Masters journalism graduate, Kim Nguyen, will celebrate the premiere of his film, Trees Falling in the Forest, on Wednesday, July 30.

Masters journalism graduate Kim Nguyen has produced a film, Trees Falling in the Forest.

Follow the story of six activists as they try to grab the public’s attention, hoping to convince the Australian Government to protect the environment and fight climate change.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on media and the environment, featuring top journalists and activists.

They include Monash University’s Head of Journalism, Associate Professor Phil Chubb and Ellen Sandell, former Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) campaigner and Greens candidate for the state seat of Melbourne.

The screening will be held on Wednesday, July 30 at the Union House Theatre, University of Melbourne, and is free.

Monash staff, students and the public are welcome to attend.

To RSVP, click here here or book here at Eventbrite. 

Trees Falling Poster (2)