Journalism education at Monash University

TV journalism lecturer Nick Parkin chats with a student at Monash Open Day on Sunday, August 2 at Caulfield.
TV journalism lecturer Nick Parkin chats with a student at Monash Open Day on Sunday, August 2 at Caulfield.

Journalism staff and students engaged with secondary school students and their parents during Monash’s Open Day at Clayton and Caulfield campuses on Sunday, August 2.

The students were informed of the exciting developments in the journalism program, including the $3 million state-of-the-art facilities, which will be operational early next year.

Please click here to see the Open Day presentation on Journalism and Journalism Education at Monash University (PDF)

TV journalism lecturer Nick Parkin (pictured right) was one of many staff members who engaged with the public on what was an exciting day for many young people.


Getting to know … Phil Chubb

Monash University’s Head of Journalism Phil Chubb.
Monash University’s Head of Journalism Phil Chubb.

Monash Head of Journalism Associate Professor Phil Chubb says the best thing about his role is enabling students to understand how to acquire the skills of journalism and how to apply them in contemporary media.

Getting to know…

Name: Phil Chubb

Title: Associate Professor

Faculty/Division: Arts/Media, Film and Journalism

Department: Journalism

Campus: Caulfield

How long have you worked at Monash? Seven years.

Where did you work prior to starting at the University? Media industry.

What do you like best about your role? Enabling students to understand how to acquire the skills of journalism and how to apply them in contemporary media.

Why did you choose your current career path? I wanted to change the world.

First job? The Age.

Worst job? No job has been that bad.

What research/projects are you currently working on and what does it involve? My research involves environmental communications and politics.

What is your favourite place in the world and why? New York. It is the media capital, but so much more.

What is your favourite place to eat and why? Italy 1 in Camberwell.

What is the best piece of advice you have received? Always stay the distance.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know? Every week that North Melbourne is not at the top of the ladder is a week I shrivel inside just a little bit more.



Hannah, Kate named Walkley scholarship finalists

Monash University journalism students Hannah Scholte and Kate Wong Hoy have been named finalists for the 2015 Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship.

Hannah Scholte is a finalist for the 2015 Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship.
Hannah Scholte is a finalist for the 2015 Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship.

Hannah and Kate will compete for the prestigious award against five other finalists, including Annalise Bolt (University of New South Wales), Sam Cucchiara (RMIT University), Christina Guo (University of Sydney), Lucy Hinton (RMIT University) and Naeun Kim (Macquarie University).

This scholarship was established with the generous support of journalist and producer Anita Jacoby, to honour the memory of her father Phillip Jacoby– a pioneer in the Australian electronics and broadcast technology industry.

Hannah is  excited to be in the running to win a career-changing scholarship program.

“I don’t think I could dream up a program more appealing to me at this point in my career, so I’m very pleased to be chosen as a finalist and incredibly excited about the prospect of being successful in taking it,” Hannah said.

“I’m passionate about pursuing video journalism, so gaining experience in the media workplaces involved and completing a short course at the same time would be an invaluable opportunity.”

Katie said she was very grateful and honoured to have been selected as a finalist for the Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship.

Monash University's Kate Wong Hoy is a 2015 Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship finalist.
Monash University’s Kate Wong Hoy is a 2015 Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship finalist.

“It is an incredible opportunity and I am thrilled to have reached this stage,” she said.

“One of the videos I submitted was a current affairs story that I filmed on my Mum’s stroke recovery story and it is a piece I am very proud of.

“It is amazing that it has now been recognised by industry professionals. I have dreamed about being a television journalist for years and I am so excited to be one step closer to realising that dream.”

Final-year journalism students and recent graduates, with a passion for investigative or long-form television reporting, were encouraged to apply for the 12-week paid internship.

The winner will spend eight weeks at the Nine Network, four weeks at The Walkley Foundation and complete at least one TV production course through the open program at AFTRS.

They will also be mentored by senior journalist members of The Walkley Advisory Board and work with and learn from some of Australia’s leading journalists and producers.

The scholarship is open to students 26 years and under enrolled in journalism or communication studies at an Australian university.

The winner will be announced at the Walkley mid-year Celebration in Sydney on July 29, 2015.


Dani wins the Herb Thomas Memorial Trust award

From left: Herb Thomas Memorial Trust chairman Roger Hall, Monash University's Dani Rothwell, Star News Group editor Garry Howe,  RMIT's Sian Johnson and Lauren McKinnon.
From left: Herb Thomas Memorial Trust chairman Roger Hall, Monash University’s Dani Rothwell, Star News Group editor Garry Howe, RMIT’s Sian Johnson and Lauren McKinnon.

Dani Rothwell has won the Herb Thomas Memorial Trust award as the most outstanding journalism student in the Bachelor of Professional Communication degree at Monash University.

Dani, who was presented with her award at a function in Pakenham on May 5, has been awarded with prize money to help pursue her career within the industry.

Dr Paul Atkinson represented Monash University’s School of Media, Film and Journalism at the awards night.

“Members of the interview panel lauded Dani’s involvement with local community groups and her commitment to highlighting the challenges faced by young people in the region,” Dr Atkinson said.

“The award is managed by the Berwick, Pakenham and Narre Warren Rotary clubs and is presented in honour of Herb Thomas, a respected journalist and newspaper proprietor of the Pakenham Gazette.”

Dani said she believed the ability to create lasting change within a community relied on being able to effectively communicate.

“Like many others, I share the desire to create change and leave the world a better place,” she said.

“As clichéd as it is, over my years of community involvement, I have found a key difference between people who achieve their desire and those who do not.”

Dani said change started with identifying a problem and creating a great solution.

“For me, the problem within my local community was that young people were killing themselves. Young people were left alone, and had nowhere to turn,” she said.

“I understand that these are generalisations and that many other factors were at play, but the bottom-line is that young people were dying unnecessarily.

“As a passionate believer in the power of young people as change agents, this left me heartbroken. After a period of grief and negativity, I embraced this as an identified problem that needed a long lasting solution. This is when I realised the power of investigative communication.”

Dani, who is president of the Monash Union of Berwick Students,  hopes to be a national political reporter in the future.



Getting to know … Dr Andrea Baker

Dr Andrea Baker
Dr Andrea Baker

Name: Dr Andréa Jean Baker

Title: Senior lecturer in journalism

Faculty/Division: Arts

Department: School of Media, Film and Journalism

Campus: Caulfield campus

How long have you worked at Monash? 

13 years. I began working in the journalism section at Gippsland campus in July 2001; and then in 2006 the journalism section moved to the Caulfield campus.

Where did you work prior to starting at the University?

I was a sessional tutor in journalism and media studies at Swinburne and La Trobe universities and at the same time producing (award-winning) freelance documentaries for ABC Radio National plus the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. I was also working one day a week as a registered nurse in oncology. They were busy times, juggling three jobs to make ends meet.

What do you like best about your role? 

Teaching future generations of journalists, watching them learn and grow. I also really enjoy the creative side of research, developing a project that impacts on the way we live and learn.

Why did you choose your current career path? 

It chose me, actually. I was encouraged by a former lecturer at Swinburne Uni (my alma mater) to embark on a career as a radio journalist and then as a journalism academic.

First job? 

At 15 years old, working in Target department stores as a check-out chick

Worst job?

For many years I worked as a registered nurse in a cancer ward and (although nursing is a noble profession) on my last shift at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, I helped to lay out four people who had passed away. It was then that I thought this job was too sad, and I had to get out.

What research/projects are you currently working on and what does it involve? 

I am currently investigating the renowned global music cities such as Melbourne, Austin and Berlin and assessing their contribution to the global cultural economy. I’m pretty excited about chairing a talkfest on this topic at the largest music and media conference, South by South West (SXSW) on 15 March 2014 in Austin, Texas (USA). In 2013 I held research residences at the University of Texas (Austin) (and attended SXSW) and at the Freie Universität’s Institute for Arts and Media Management in Berlin; and interviewed over 50 key music personnel (local council, annual music week organisers, music industry and music journalists) about ‘What makes a global music city’ for my (second) forthcoming book, Music(o)polis (Melbourne, Austin, Berlin).

What is your favourite place in the world and why? 

For years I had a love affair with New York City, having been there over 12 times for holidays and/or research (sabbaticals at City University of New York). However since 2010, I have developed a stronger love for Berlin. Its culture and history are fascinating and the people are super cool and talented.

What is your favourite place to eat and why?  

Claypots in St Kilda, because the seafood dishes are wonderful; it has awesome music gigs, and the place has a European feel.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Believe in yourself and troubled times will pass.” – advice from my dear Mum.   

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know? 

I was in a girl band when I was young, singing (and playing) with my two sisters around the shopping centre circuits in Brisbane. I still sing to this day, and have recently picked up the acoustic guitar (again)… so maybe some gigs in the future!


The Peter Greste case & notions of press freedom

By Dr Andrea Baker

The imprisonment of the Australian journalist Peter Greste in Egypt received news attention worldwide.

The court case was complex and multifaceted and riddled by unsubstantiated evidence, contradictory testimonies and procedural irregularities. As a result, it proved to be a difficult case to report on by three major media outlets such as Al Jazeera English, the BBC and the ABC.

Their news coverage was reduced to a Western versus Egyptian view, according to a new study, with less than half the reportage focused on the allegations against the three journalists

As a former ABC and BBC journalist, Greste, along with Egyptian-Canadian national, Mohamed Fahmy, and Egyptian, Baher Mohamed was working for Al Jazeera English when they were arrested by Egyptian authorities on 29 December 2013 for allegedly producing false news that was detrimental to the country’s transition to a democracy.

The trio were also accused of associating with the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest and largest Islamist organisation, which had been blacklisted as a terrorist group since late December 2013.

The long trial concluded on 23 June 2014 and the journalists were sentenced to seven years (Greste and Fahmy) and 10years (Mohamed) in jail in Egypt.

This case marked the first time a Western journalist (such as Greste) had been imprisoned due to terrorism-related offences in Egypt, amid fears of a frenzied press freedom crackdown by military authorities afterthe Arab Spring of 2011.

Journalism academic Dr Andrea Baker from Monash University’s School of Media, Film and Journalism analysed the coverage of the trial by Al Jazeera English, the BBC and the ABC from the day of the arrest (29 December 2013) until a week after their final sentencing (30 June 2014).

“The networks were chosen because they were credible, public broadcasters, Greste has worked at all three; and it would be insightful to examine how the outlets reported on a court case of their employees, both past and present,” Dr Baker said.

Of the 294 articles analysed, 40 per cent of the stories came from Al Jazeera English, 38 per cent from the ABC; and 22 per cent from the BBC.

Proportionately, 70 per cent of the AJE stories focused on the innocent victims’ news narrative; 60 per cent of the ABC reports centred onGreste and his family, and60 per cent of the BBC coverage concentrating onpress freedom issues.

The findings also highlight how parochial the Australian media are, with 55 per cent of the ABC’s coverage focused on Peter Greste while the other two broadcasters focused on all three journalists.

Dr Baker said the findings suggested the media outlets had allowed a Western bias by focusing on innocent victim, family or freedom of the press angles while downplaying the Egyptian point of view.

The complete outcomes of this research is published in a monograph titled, The best things in life are free (The case of Peter Greste and notions of press freedom) for the upcoming Australian Journalism Monograph, 2015 Volume 15, Issue 1, (which is published by the Griffith Centre for Cultural Research, Griffith University, QLD, in association with the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia).

Find out more:



Alana and Naomi are finalists in the Young Walkleys

Alana Mitchelson is a Walkley finalist in the Student Journalist of the Year Award.
Alana Mitchelson is a Walkley finalist in the Student Journalist of the Year Award.

Monash University journalism alumnae Alana Mitchelson and Naomi Selvaratnam have been named finalists in the Young Walkley Awards to be held in Sydney on July 29.

Alana, who will soon formally graduate from her Monash journalism degree, is one of three Walkley finalists in the Student Journalist of the Year Award. 

Her Walkley entry includes three stories Family of WWI veteran Jim Kerr finally reunited with his treasure trove of Anzac memoriesGrowing demand for employment support for adults with autism, and Knitting fake breasts to provide support.

Other finalists in the student category include Derrick Krusche from The University of Melbourne and  Sai Mi Jeong, from the University of Technology Sydney.

The student finalists, who produced “distinctive and original journalism”, are regarded as the best emerging talent of the new generation of journalists.

Alana, who will soon commence her prize-winning Pulliam Journalism Fellowship at the Indy Star in Indianapolis said it was an “incredible honour” to receive a nomination for a Walkley award.

“Each of the writing samples I provided within my application were stories that I will always hold close to me and it is so rewarding to be recognised for my work,” Alana said.

“I hope that through my nomination, these pieces may continue to raise awareness for supporting women who have had a mastectomy and adults with autism struggling to secure long-term employment.”

Naomi Selvaratnam is a finalist in the Young Walkleys in the radio/audio journalism category.
Naomi Selvaratnam is a finalist in the Young Walkleys in the radio/audio journalism category.

Naomi Selvaratnam,  an SBS World News TV journalist, is a Walkley finalist in the radio/audio journalism category. She is recognised for her entry Blackmailed: Sexual assault victims held to ransom with footage of their rape.

Naomi, who graduated from Monash in 2012, was a finalist in the same Walkley category last year.

“It’s an honour to be a finalist, and to be recognised by journalists whose work I greatly admire,” Naomi said.

“I hope that this nomination will draw attention to the issue of sexual violence in Australia, especially for migrant and refugee communities, who face particular vulnerabilities to this form of abuse.”

The winner of each category will qualify for the Walkley Young Australian Journalist of the Year and will undertake work experience with CNN, Twitter and Huffington Post in the United States.

The winners will be announced at the Walkley Mid-Year Awards in Sydney on July 29.


Jenan Taylor awarded the Guy Morrison Prize

Jenan Taylor has won the Guy Morrison Prize for Literary Journalism.
Jenan Taylor has won the Guy Morrison Prize for Literary Journalism.

Monash University’s Jenan Taylor has earned national recognition for her unique pauper story, winning the Guy Morrison Prize for Literary Journalism.

Jenan,  a Master of Journalism student, was presented with her prize at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on May 22, which coincided with UTS’s anthology launch.

Her award-winning story, A Quiet Farewell, was published in The Weekend Australian Magazine.

Jenan’s prize follows her recent success as the Melbourne Press Club’s 2014 Student Journalist of the Year, awarded for the same investigative story.

Applications for UTS’s Guy Morrison Prize are invited from Australian undergraduate or postgraduate students who are studying either journalism, communication or writing.

Jenan is thrilled to win the prize for her investigation into what happens when a pauper dies.

“My story on the pauper funeral of a single mother was an attempt to highlight what we take for granted in contemporary Australia isn’t necessarily within everyone’s reach, not even after we die,” Jenan said.

“It’s difficult journalism that keeps throwing up, among other challenges, its own range of moral and ethical questions, the more I practice it.

“However, I’m absolutely elated to have to won this award and feel particularly encouraged to keep pursuing this kind of journalism.”

Judge Chris Feik described Jenan’s article as a “wonderful piece of reporting”.

“It does what the best journalism does: it tells us things we didn’t know,” Mr Feik wrote.

“It explains what happens when a pauper dies. We witness in vivid close-up the embalming of an anonymous woman who ‘could not afford to die’.

“Throughout the piece, the writer addresses the deceased subject. ‘Am I ready to touch your skin,’ Jenan asks, and decides: ‘I am’. Such a device could easily seem forced, but is handled skilfully here.” 

Jenan said it was too easy in this age of 24-hour news to lose sight of the complexities and nuances behind the headlines.

“For me literary journalism is about revealing these insights and even throwing a spotlight on lives which we would normally never think twice about, which is why I’ve always been attracted to it,” she said.

Jenan said Monash journalism staff Associate Professor Philip Chubb and Dr Monica Jackson were encouraging as she researched her story, and thanked them for their support.


Students retrace historic footsteps of the Great War

Monash journalism students have produced historically significant work in News Corp publications to mark the centenary of the Great War and the contribution of Australian soldiers.

Alana Mitchelson.
Alana Mitchelson.

Sir Keith Murdoch Journalism Scholarship recipient Alana Mitchelson worked tirelessly to produce outstanding research for the Herald Sun and other News Corp publications, including and the Geelong Advertiser.

Alana, who spent three months researching stories on the Great War, contributed to a segment on The Today Show on Channel 9 after program producers followed up on her research.

Alana Mitchelson compiled information for the Herald Sun's poster and page of the Gallipoli landing. Source: Herald Sun
Alana Mitchelson compiled information for the Herald Sun’s poster and page of the Gallipoli landing. Source: Herald Sun

Alana said the Herald Sun assignment put her investigative skills to their first true test.

“The work was at times quite challenging but was extremely rewarding,” Alana said.

“I was able to track down the relatives of a WWI veteran and reunite them with a treasure trove of their grandfather’s possessions, including his military medal, which had been lost to the family for over 30 years.

“This was an especially moving story to be a part of and the grandsons were very grateful to me for my persistence.”

Alana was also recognised for her contributions to the Herald Sun’s Gallipoli magazine.

“It was so special to see my byline among all of these highly experienced senior journalists’ names in the Gallipoli centenary supplement, such as Andrew Rule and Patrick Carlyon,” Alana said.

“This experience has definitely reinforced my strong desire to continue pursuing a career in journalism.”

 CEW Bean Prize recipients Elizabeth Johnson, Louise Almeida, Robert Moseley and Jason Walls filmed Monash students at Gallipoli in Turkey last year, who shared their views on one of Australian history’s significant stories.

The students’ work was published in the Herald Sun and the Courier Mail in Queensland in the lead-up to Anzac Day on April 25.

Elizabeth Johnson.
Elizabeth Johnson.

Elizabeth, who spoke at a RSL centenary event on Anzac Day, said it was an honour to share her experiences and research.

“In terms of my experience, today of all days really brings together the experience and draws our major project to an end,” Elizabeth said, who shared her story with the Herald Sun.

“I feel I have learned a perspective that is just not taught in schools, that is, the true horrors of war, or in Bruce Scates’s words ‘a slow, sordid and remorseless war of attrition’.”

Elizabeth said hiking the cliffs on the Gallipoli peninsula was such a challenge, but it was one she felt privileged to have the opportunity to do.

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

“It makes me think about how many of those boys and men had that same feeling of anticipation, but i wonder how many of them felt lucky in the end,” she said.

” I walked where they walked, I fell where they fell, but I got back up, dusted the dirt off and kept on going. Lest we forget those who couldn’t and didn’t get back up.”

Masters of Journalism student Luke Mortimer.
Luke Mortimer.

The 2015 CEW Bean Prize recipients are Masters journalism students Luke Mortimer and Uma Muthia, who will film in Gallipoli and the Western Front in July.

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

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.


How Hackett made it back to championship swimming

By Julie Tullberg

Grant Hackett’s foundation training for the 1,500m freestyle event, which started more than 20 years ago, has been a key reason for his shock return to the Australian swimming team.

Experts and swimming fans alike have been amazed at Hackett’s ability to bounce back after just six months of training and a six-year break from competitive swimming.

Hackett qualified for the Australian men’s 4x200m freestyle relay after finishing fourth in the 200m final at the 2015 FINA World Championships selection trials in Sydney earlier this month.

Hackett, at 34, is the oldest athlete in history to qualify for the Australian swimming team and will contest the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia in July.

How could this possibly happen?

Fitness in the pool

There are two physiological reasons which may explain why Hackett returned to form so quickly. As one of the fittest swimmers in the world during his ten-year reign as 1,500m freestyle king, Hackett developed a high-level endurance capacity.

Hackett says his lung capacity has been developed to an exceptional level and interestingly, it has not declined during the past six years.

His blood health hasn’t changed, which indicates his enormous ability to cope with fatigue under physical stress during competition.

Hackett told the Sydney Morning Herald:

“All of a sudden, you see yourself improve and your body holding up more and more and you actually think, ‘I’m physically okay’.

I did all the testing. My bloods, my lung capacity … it was the same as when I competed before.”

There is a reasonable explanation of why Hackett’s physiological capacities have avoided decline. Hackett maintained a good level of fitness during his six-year retirement, which helped him return to near-peak condition.

Athletes may reach their physical peak between 25 and 35 years of age. But swimmers normally peak before they reach 25 because of the intensive nature of swimming, the risk of shoulder injuries and the expense to continue long-term in the sport.

There is no reason why Hackett cannot continue to improve in the lead-up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Research shows it is physically possible for Hackett to be competitive in the 200m and 400m freestyle events -– if he is willing to give himself that chance.

But it may be too late for Hackett to return to the 1,500m freestyle, as it takes years to build for this specialised event. The shorter freestyle distance events are more achievable for Hackett.

Hackett’s return has generated excitement within the Australian team, as the swimmers are looking forward to his leadership and wisdom. He will prepare in a professional manner, and inspire those around him with his meticulous approach and positive demeanour.

Hackett returned from the United States a year ago after having treatment for addiction of Stilnox sleeping pills. His specialised medical treatment occurred after the culmination of ugly public incidents, including his marriage breakdown to singer Candice Alley.

Hackett’s reputation was damaged and he was determined to look forward and rebuild his life positively.

Back on the Gold Coast

Hackett returned to familiar surroundings on the Gold Coast after receiving valuable advice from his support group.

He rejoined his boyhood swimming squad at Miami, under the tutelage of Australian coach Denis Cotterell.

After speaking with US Olympic great Michael Phelps last year, Hackett began swimming training for the pure joy of it. He was a retired athlete and the past pressures were behind him.

Hackett quickly found his rhythm and those foundation years of training served him well as he surprised himself with incredible times at the trials in Sydney. He even scored a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle final.

A happy athlete is a successful athlete, and this has proven to be the case with Hackett. Back in his home town, with family, friends and a supportive partner, Debbie Savage, Hackett appears settled and content.

A highly intelligent athlete, Hackett’s recent choices and wise outlook have proven to work in his favour. He says the joy to swim without pressure has been a factor in his impressive results in the pool.

Not all comebacks are successful

While Hackett has made a stunning comeback, former champion Ian Thorpe struck a rocky path during his comeback attempt for the 2012 London Olympics. Thorpe trained overseas, hoping to rebuild his form and fitness in relative isolation in Switzerland.

But it proved a big mistake. Thorpe failed to make another Olympic team. He cited his lack of racing practice and physical preparation in the lead-up to the London trials.

There are huge differences in the nature of Hackett and Thorpe’s comebacks. Hackett returned to familiar surroundings, where he had achieved so much success previously, whereas Thorpe chose the opposite approach – and isolated himself.

Thorpe also had sponsorship commitments and placed pressure on himself as he returned, while Hackett is now swimming for pleasure.

A caring and functional home environment is often the most comforting place for athletes, as they aim for success on the world stage. That’s why Hackett is thriving once more.

This story first appeared in The Conversation.


Monash graduates make their mark at News Corp

Monash journalism graduates are scoring key roles and winning awards at News Corp publications, particularly the largest newspaper in the country, the Herald Sun.

Several graduates have secured positions this year, while other journalists have won major awards in the Quills and Walkleys, and in the News Corp annual awards.

Caroline Schelle.
Caroline Schelle.

Masters student Caroline Schelle has recently commenced a News Corp traineeship based at the Herald Sun’s Southbank offices.  The program runs for a year before the journalists vie for positions in News Corp newsrooms.

Caroline will rotate among various Herald and Weekly Times publications, including The Weekly Times, mX,  Leader Newspapers, the Geelong Advertiser and also join the Herald Sun’s digital team.

Jade Gailberger.
Jade Gailberger.

Jade Gailberger, who also secured a News Corp traineeship,  is currently based at The Advertiser in Adelaide.

Jade, who is gaining experience in news and sport, writes stories that also appear in other News Corp publications, including the Herald Sun.

Sophie Smith, who graduated from Monash in 2007, has worked for Time Inc UK as a sports reporter.

Sophie recently secured a news reporting position on the Herald Sun after returning from London.

Sophie Smith.
Sophie Smith.

Sophie has returned to Melbourne after covering major sporting events in Europe and Asia, including the Spring Classics (2013, 2014), Giro d’Italia (2013, 2014), Tour de France (2012, 2013, 2014), UCI Road World Championships (2012, 2013, 2014), Saitama Criterium and the 2012 London Olympics.

Sophie has recently covered the Essendon Football Club saga, in the aftermath of the AFL anti-doping tribunal’s result.

Masters student Caroline Zielinksi is a Herald Sun-based digital journalist and producer, creating stories for five News Corp mastheads, including the Herald Sun,, The Daily Telegraph, the Courier Mail and The Advertiser.

Caroline formerly worked as a breaking news journalist at The Age and is skilled at delivering high-quality content at high speed.

Kate Salemme has been appointed as and AFL content producer at News Corp,  generating digital packages for all News Corp mastheads, including the Herald Sun.

Kate, who has worked in digital communications at Hawthorn Football Club, completed a successful sports internship at the Herald Sun in 2010. She will be based at the Herald Sun.

Tiffany Korssen.
Tiffany Korssen.

Masters student Tiffany Korssen, a recent finalist in the Melbourne Press Club Student of the Year, has been appointed as an editorial assistant at the Herald Sun.

Tiffany has produced many interesting stories in the Herald Sun in recent weeks.

Brendan Casey.
Brendan Casey.

Brendan Casey, who graduated at Monash in 2010, is working as a social media producer at the Herald Sun.

Brendan has been innovative in his work for the Herald Sun’s department of the internet.

Other prominent Monash graduates include Herald Sun national politics reporter Annika Smethurst, award-winning AFL reporter Sam Landsberger,  Quill winner and news reporter Monique Hore,  Walkley and News Corp young journalist of the year Ashley Argoon,  and Herald Sun city reporter Christopher Gillett.

Herald Sun editorial assistants Chad van Estrop and Phillippa Butt have also produced many stories for Melbourne’s largest metropolitan newspaper.

The Sir Keith Murdoch scholarship winner Alana Mitchelson has recently finished her three-month internship at the Herald Sun.

Alana has won Pulliam Journalism Fellowship, and she will soon work at the Indy Star in Indianapolis, the United States.

Monash journalism alumni Jonno Nash has recently accepted a TV reporting role at Channel 10 after working at the Herald Sun for several years.

Other Monash University alumni and Herald Sun journalists include Gold Walkley winner and Underbelly author Andrew Rule, general news reporter Shannon Deery and AFL digital editor Alistair Paton.


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.


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 Mia Lindgren Head of School of Media, Film and Journalism
Associate Professor Phil Chubb Head of Program
Joint coordinator of coursework masters program
Coordinator of PhD program
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 publication mojo
Dr Stephanie Brookes
Dr Monica Jackson
Dr Johan Lidberg Research coordinator journalism
Professor Chris Nash
Ms Julie Tullberg