‘Dangerous Journalism’: 40th anniversary JERAA conference at CSU


Wednesday 25 Nov 2015

Margaret Van HeekerenMore than 80 journalists and journalism educators and researchers will gather at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst next week to examine the state of the discipline and the profession.

To reflect the times, the three-day 40th anniversary conference of the Journalism, Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA) has adopted the theme 'Dangerous Journalism'.

One of the conference's organisers, Dr Margaret Van Heekeren (pictured), senior lecturer in journalism in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries in Bathurst, said the event will bring together leading journalists and journalism educators and researchers from around Australia.

"This 40th anniversary conference in Bathurst will celebrate and interrogate the current state of journalism, and the issues facing the practise of journalism and journalism education," Dr Van Heekeren said.

"The theme 'Dangerous Journalism' represents the shift, especially in conflict zones, of journalists being targeted rather than protected and recognises that all genuine journalism comes with an element of risk."

Among the speakers is Mr Martin Chulov, who is flying from Beirut where he is based as the Guardian's Middle East correspondent.

The conference will also recognise the inaugural panel of educators who gathered at the then-Mitchell College of Advanced Education (MCAE), now Charles Sturt University, in 1975 to form what has become Australia's journalism, education and research association.

The 2015 JERAA conference runs from Monday 30 November to Wednesday 2 December. The program is packed with 46 research presentations, seven panel discussions, an international report, the annual general meeting of JERAA, and a special presentation by celebrated Sydney Morning Herald economics journalist Mr Ross Gittins.

At the start of Day One of the conference, participants will be welcomed to CSU by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann, following a warming by Wiradyuri Elder Aunty Gloria Rogers. JERAA President Professor Matthew Ricketson will then open the conference and present the 2015 Ann Dunn scholar award. A plenary session will follow on the topic, 'Bearing witness: dangerous journalism in the Middle East'. There will be 21 other presentations that day.

Day Two (Tuesday 1 December) of the conference will include a 40th anniversary JERAA retrospective. This will explore the aims, successes and challenges of the Association since its formation in 1975, including the ever-present nexus of academia and industry. Panel contributors include JERAA founder Mr David Potts (ex-MCAE), founding members Mr Rod Kirkpatrick and Mr Don Woolford, and past and present presidents Mr Roger Patching (ex-MCAE), Ms Lynette Sheridan-Burns, and Professor Matthew Ricketson. There will also be several panel discussions on a range of topics.

On Day Three (Wednesday 2 December) Mr Ross Gittins will speak at 2pm on (After) Life Among Budgets, Bulldust and Bastardry. He will outline an economic model for contemporary and future journalism. There will be 25 research presentations on this day.


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Media contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Margaret Van Heekeren from the School of Communication and Creative Industries at CSU in Bathurst.

The 2015 JERAA conference will be held at the Centre for Professional Development (building 1285) at CSU in Bathurst from 8am Monday 30 November to 4pm Wednesday 2 December. For more information about the 2015 JERAA Conference please visit:  http://jeaa.org.au/2015-jeraa-conference/