Journalism academics engage with Senate Committee

L to R Dr Fiona Martin (Sydney University); Dr Colleen Murrell (Monash); Dr Penny O’Donnell (Sydney); and Dr Alex Wake (RMIT).

Dr Colleen Murrell from Journalism (MFJ), gave testimony on 11 July before the ‘Senate Select Committee on the Future of Public Interest Journalism.’

Dr Murrell was one of three members of the executive of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA) who were invited to speak to senators at the hearing in Sydney.

Associate Professor Johan Lidberg from Journalism also contributed to the submission but was unable to attend the session because he was teaching classes at Prato.

The committee hearing was overseen by Senator Nick Xenophon and Senator James Paterson who asked questions about initiatives in other countries to help the media industry through its current financial crisis.

JERAA contributed findings from a wide range of countries concerning direct and indirect subsidies, tax deductions, financial incentives for start-ups, tackling fake news and media initiatives being being undertaken in university programs.

During the course of the day the committee heard from seven industry and academic groups out of the 58 submissions that were put forward by interested parties.

The terms of reference for the committee involve probing ‘the current state of public interest journalism in Australia and around the world, including the role of government in ensuring a viable, independent and diverse service.’

The committee will present its final report in December 2017.