Monash journalism students report on federal election for UniPollWatch and The Guardian

Monash digital journalism students are  researching and writing on federal election stories.
Monash digital journalism students are researching and writing on federal election stories.
Monash University’s journalism students are part of Australia’s largest newsroom, reporting on the 2016 federal election campaign through the UniPollWatch project, a groundbreaking national student project.

The project, which includes several hundred students from 28 universities, aims to cover every lower house seat across Australia with electorate and candidate profiles and reporting on key policy issues. 

Click here for UniPollWatch website

It will also feature key Senate candidates and “explainer” articles to make politics accessible to readers and first-time voters.

In partnership with Guardian Australia, student work on UniPollWatch has the potential to reach a diverse and wide audience through digital and social media platforms.

Dr Johan Lidberg.
Dr Johan Lidberg.

Monash UniPollWatch campus editor and Victorian co-editor, Dr Johan Lidberg, said the project was a “win-win”.

“Our journalism students get to learn in the real world, build their publishing portfolio and make an important contribution to the diversity of election coverage during this long campaign,” Dr Lidberg said.

Monash’s digital journalism coordinator Julie Tullberg and mojo editor Corinna Hente are guiding students as they write electorate and candidate profiles.

The Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA) is proud to publish the UniPollWatch project.

The first UniPollWatch project was conducted in Victoria for the state election of 2014.

Journalism educators saw that the success of that project could be extended nationally to provide coverage of the 2016 federal election.

UniPollWatch editor-in-chief Andrew Dodd said the project was a world first which originally started with four universities covering the 2014 Victorian election. 

“It worked so well we’re now replicating it on a larger scale with JERAA as the publisher,” said Associate Professor Dodd, who is Swinburne University’s journalism program director.

“It is now the biggest university student journalism project ever undertaken in Australia.

“Throughout the election campaign it will offer insights into relevant people and issues through the eyes of journalism students, many of whom will be voting for the first time in this election.”

Associate Professor Dodd said UniPollWatch would provide in-depth coverage of every electorate, most candidates and key election policies.

“It’s clear and accessible online platform provides at-a-glance information,” he said.

“We understand the constraints for political journalists in covering the whole nation, so UniPollWatch offers a mosaic of local stories, which will add to overall coverage, while giving journalism students around the nation a chance to actively report on the election.”

JERAA president Matthew Ricketson said UniPollWatch was a great initiative for journalism students around the country. 

“This is where journalism education is heading in the 21st century,” Professor Ricketson said. 

“Journalism schools and their students can play an important role in providing comprehensive coverage of newsworthy events and issues in a way that no other media organisation in the country has resources to undertake.”

Student reporter work will also be featured in the Monash journalism news and current affairs site mojo … mojonews.com.au

For further information contact:
Dr Johan Lidberg 
Phone: 0404949250
Email: johan.lidberg@monash.edu