2017 Conference Archive

About this page

The University of Newcastle was proud to host the annual conference of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia on 4-6 December, 2017.

The venue for the conference was UON's new city campus - NewSpace. Newcastle is undergoing rapid transformation from industrial town to vibrant, contemporary Australian city. 

Conference organisers: Janet Fulton, Felicity Biggins, Paul Scott and Christina Koutsoukos

Conference emailjeraa2017@newcastle.edu.au


Conference Proceedings


Conference Book


Conference Program (final at 6.12.17)


Congratulations to our delegates who published books this year. Here is a link to a pdf of the presentation we displayed during the conference.


A message from the president of JERAA Professor Matthew Ricketson:

The importance of journalism education and research have never been more urgently needed than today.

Yes, we know the practice of journalism is being pushed and pulled in various directions as the business of media has fragmented and become prey to a global duopoly – Google and Facebook – the  size and scale of which we’ve never seen before, but that is precisely why the activity of journalism, especially journalism in the public interest, is so important today.

The impact of the rapid, continuing changes in the media landscape are not  simple matters which is why the annual JERAA conference is so necessary, for scholars, practitioners and postgraduate students. JERAA continues to represent the interests of its members and, we hope, the wider community, diligently, even vigorously, as you may have seen in our submission to and presence at the Senate Inquiry into the Future of Public Interest Journalism this year. So, please, sign up and come along to our annual conference, being hosted in 2017 by the University of Newcastle.


Conference theme

Registration and Pricing

Social Events

Keynote Speakers

Special Panels

Pre-conference symposium


How to get to Newcastle


What to see in Newcastle


Conference theme

The Second Coming of Journalism? Rebirth, resurrection, renewal, resistance, resurgence.

In a spirit of optimism, the conference theme explores, analyses and contests the idea of a resurging journalism and how that idea fits into the following themes:   

  • Truth in a post-truth world
  • Fake news: opinions vs facts vs alternative facts
  • Comedy and news: a marriage of convenience?
  • Beyond the capitals: is the future of journalism in the regions?
  • Advocacy journalism: collaboration for a community outcome
  • How do we best prepare contemporary undergraduate and postgraduate students?

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Call for papers

(now closed)

You are invited to submit a paper, abstract or panel proposal for inclusion in the 2017 JERAA conference. Papers, presentations and panels that reflect on the conference theme are encouraged but all submissions addressing journalism education and research will be considered.

Submissions are via EasyChair. You will need to set up an EasyChair account if you don't have one.

For notes on submission, click here.

The call for papers is closed.

Key Dates:

Call for papers, abstracts and panel proposals opens: 15 May 2017

Submission closing date: 1 July **EXTENDED TO 9 JULY**

Notification to authors: 15 August 31 August

Registration opens: 1 September

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Registration and Pricing

Registration is now closed. 

Here are some questions to ponder before registering:

  1. Do I want to join JERAA to take advantage of the member prices? Click here to join JERAA (opens a new page).
  2. Do I want to come to the free pre-conference symposium? 
  3. Am I interested in going to the conference dinner on Tuesday night?

Early Bird 


(closes 30 September)  
JERAA member $489.00
Non Member $569.00
Student $349.00


(1 October to 15 November)  
JERAA member $549.00
Non Member $649.00
Student $389.00


(after 16 November)  
JERAA member $599.00
Non member $729.00
Student $439.00

Day rate

JERAA member $299.00
Non member $349.00
Student $199.00

We are organising the conference dinner at Longworth House in the centre of Newcastle in one of Newcastle's most beautiful historic buildings. The night will cost $120.00 and covers a three-course meal, drinks, and entertainment. It is to be held on Tuesday 5 December from 7.00pm and can be booked at the same time as registration. **Conference dinner registration is closed**

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Social Events

Welcome to Newcastle

Join us on Monday night for drinks and canapes. The event will be held at New Space on Level 5 from 5.30-7.00pm.

#CroakeyGO Newcastle

Please join us for a #CroakeyGO walk in Newcastle, talking health and journalism. Melissa Sweet and Mitchell Ward from Croakey will take part in the walk that will leave from the conference venue at 6.30am on Tuesday morning.

Click here for more details: #CroakeyGo Newcastle. Here is the map:


Conference Dinner

The conference dinner will be held at Longworth House from 7.00pm (for drinks) with dinner starting at 7.30pm. Longworth House is at 129 Scott Street, Newcastle.

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Professor Sophia A. McClennen

Keynote: Trump is a Joke: Why Satire Makes Sense When Politics Doesn't

Sophia A. McClennen is Associate Director of the Pennsylvania State University's School of International Affairs and the Director of the Center for Global Studies. She has written ten books, two of which focus on satire and politics. In her weekly column for Salon she covers the intersections between media, culture, and politics.
Sophia has recently published, Is Satire Saving our Nation? Mockery and American Politics (Palgrave 2014), co-authored with Penn State communications undergraduate Remy Maisel and also published research on satire, politics, social media, and the millennial generation.
Sophia’s personal website is sophiamcclennen.com and further information can be found at her Pennsylvania State University research page. Find her on Twitter @mcclennen65.

Andy Dickinson

Keynote: Grounding Journalism Education

Andy Dickinson is a journalism academic and trainer and is a well-known and influential voice in the online journalism community. For nearly 20 years, he has helped students navigate the changing landscape of online and digital journalism balancing skills and a critical view of the industry. He also provides training and consultancy, helping journalism organisations and hundreds of local journalists, explore the opportunities and challenges of digital disruption. He is currently exploring the ways local and hyperlocal journalism can embrace the explosion of data and data journalism, to re-imagine accountability at a local level and make a change in the communities they represent. 


For more information, see Andy's University Research Page or his personal site


Saffron Howden

Keynote: Catching the NewsBugs: Why Ignoring Kids is Bad for Journalism 

Saffron Howden is the founder and editor of Crinkling News, the national newspaper for Australian kids. Saffron recently ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to continue publishing the newspaper. 


Kevin L. Davis

Keynote: The Engaging Newsroom

Kevin Davis is the principal of KLJD Consulting, a strategic revenue and development practice specializing in assisting independent news & information companies increase revenue and impact. 
Davis was formerly the inaugural CEO and Executive Director of the Investigative News Network (INN), now known as the Institute for Nonprofit News, a consortium of more than a hundred nonprofit newsrooms in the U.S.
For the organization’s first five years of operation, Davis oversaw efforts to promote the sustainability of its member organizations, and increase the impact of the public service journalism by nonprofits, in collaboration, via digital distribution.
As a former publisher and digital business entrepreneur, Davis has over 20 years of experience in strategic development and growth at news and media organizations. Before joining INN, Davis was responsible for operations at Los Angeles-based news organizations TheWrap.comVariety.com and 411 Publishing.
Davis has spoken and lectured about the nonprofit and independent journalism sector at conferences and institutions globally. 
Currently Davis spends his time working with mission-driven and nonprofit news organizations, public media stations and good government organizations in the US and Europe.
Davis is a regular guest lecturer at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Latvia where he focuses on teaching marketing and revenue development to journalists and media managers from Eastern Cooperative Countries. Davis was also recently a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project.

Chad Watson

Keynote: Campaign Journalism and Community Engagement: When Setting the News Agenda is no Longer Enough 

Chad Watson started as a journalism cadetship with the Newcastle Herald in 1989, about the same time the World Wide Web was invented.
He spent his formative years covering police rounds, football, surfing and rock’n’roll, running the newspapers-in-education program and writing feature stories.
He progressed to newsroom leadership roles with The Sun-Herald and Sydney Morning Herald before returning “home” to the Newcastle Herald, becoming editor in 2012.
The masthead went on to win four consecutive Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Awards as newspaper and news website of the year. Chad was also part of a Herald team that received a Walkley Award for coverage of community and regional affairs.
In 2015, Fairfax Media appointed him group managing editor of Newcastle and the Hunter, a role overseeing a dozen titles, including the Herald.
Chad, a University of Newcastle graduate, serves on the University’s Alumni advisory committee as well as the Communication degree’s external advisory board. He has taught part-time at the University, Hunter TAFE and the Workers Education Association (WEA).
He is a White Ribbon anti-domestic violence ambassador, a Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame committee member and part of Mindframe’s national group advising on the media portrayal of suicide and mental illness. He also sits on the boards of the Joy Cummings Centre Reserve Trust and Newcastle Football.


Keynote: Future Newsroom Research and an Update on the Facebook Journalism Project

Dr Andrea Carson (University of Melbourne)


With the ongoing discussions around the future of journalism, alternative news sources and false news, it will be interesting to hear how Facebook is investing in these challenges. 


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Special Panels and Plenary Sessions

  • Work Integrated Learning
  • Advocacy Journalism: Collaboration for a community outcome
  • UniPollWatch
  • Journalism as Research 
  • Women in the academy - a plenary session to discuss how to increase the number of women j-scholars in the professoriate

We will be holding a QandA style panel, hosted by Felicity Biggins, to discuss issues around the conference theme. 


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Pre-conference symposium


We are organising a half-day pre-conference symposium with the following sessions (these are also dependent on numbers - minimum of 10): 


Master Class on practice-based and practice-led journalism research for HDR/Honours students and supervisors.

Presented by A/Prof Mia Lindgren

Practice-led research provides a mechanism to leverage journalism practice that many j-schlars bring to the academy. Associate Professor Mia Lindgren will lead a hands-on session with other experts in practitioner based research discussing how to supervise students and how to examine practice-led work. 

Reporting Islam: Train the Trainer session

Presented by A/Prof Jacqui Ewart

This session will provide training for educators in how to deliver the Reporting Islam curriculum packages. It will explain the approach to delivering the training packages and discuss the types of feedback that educators can provide to students when delivering the curriculum packages. The session will cover the types of questions that training participants typically ask and ways of addressing those questions.

How to make a podcast

Presented by Todd Sergeant, content creator and Breakfast announcer at 2NURFM.
What is a Podcast – Radio repackaging / Content creation; Current Trends; Audience Numbers and Listening Habits; Future of Podcasting; Monetisation; Platforms; Importance of Social Media in Promotion; Attracting Guests; Apple V Android; Equipment; Storage Platforms. 

Final times and further information will be updated before the conference

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We have arranged accommodation at the following:

Crowne Plaza Newcastle

Crowne Plaza Newcastle is situated on Newcastle Harbour. Crowne Plaza is offering the following (per night):
  • $220.00 room only
  • $245.00 room and breakfast for 1
  • $270.00 room and breakfast for 2
Click on the link to organise accommodation: Group Max
Alternatively, if you would prefer to book by phone, call 02 4907 5062 during business hours (Monday-Friday) and quote the booking code JEQ.
There is a wide range of accommodation available in Newcastle close to the University. Some options include:

Travelodge Hotel Newcastle

12 Steel Street, Newcastle
Tel: (+61) 2 4926 3777 

Chifley Apartments Newcastle

Serviced apartments in the Honeysuckle precinct
Building 7, 14 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle
Tel: (+61) 2 4910 4910

Honeysuckle Executive Apartments 

Self-contained apartments in the Honeysuckle precinct
2 Settlement Lane, Honeysuckle
Tel: (+61) 2 4941 6669

Hotel Ibis Newcastle

3-star hotel located in the City Centre
700 Hunter Street, Newcastle
Tel: (+61) 2 49252266 

Backpackers by the Beach

Corner of Hunter & Pacific Street, Newcastle
Tel: (+61) 2) 4926 3472

Noah's on the Beach

Corner of Shortland Esplanade and Zaara Street, Newcastle
Tel: (+61) 2) 4929 5181

How to get to Newcastle

(The following information is from the Newcastle free guide and map.)


Newcastle is 160kms north of Sydney in Australia. It takes about an hour and a half to drive up the Freeway but we also have train services and an airport.


Newcastle is 2 hours drive north of Sydney and is accessible from the following major Highways: M1, Pacific Highway, New England Highway and the Golden Highway.

Newcastle Taxis services all of Newcastle 24 hours a day seven days a week, including Newcastle Airport. Choose from a sedan, station wagon, wheelchair taxi, or maxi taxi to carry up to 11 people at a time. Bookings can be made by calling 133 300 or on-line at Newcastle Taxis website.


Newcastle is part of the New South Wales City Rail network. There are frequent return services daily from Sydney. For timetables and fares visit www.cityrail.info or call 131 500.

CountryLink trains and coach network connect Newcastle via Broadmeadow station to Melbourne, Brisbane and other NSW country centres. For timetables, fares and online bookings visit www.countrylink.info or call 13 22 32.


Newcastle Airport is located 30 minutes from Newcastle city centre and is the fastest growing regional airport in Australia with direct flights from Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, the Gold Coast and Ballina. For a current flight timetable visit www.newcastleairport.com.au.

For direct transfers, the Newcastle Airport Information Services desk is your one stop shop to book your airport transfer, including shuttle and hire car and limousine services. Please call 4928 9822 or email direct on nais@newcastleairport.com.au.

Newcastle Airport is not accessible via State Transit Buses. Port Stephens Coaches service Newcastle Airport from Newcastle Station 11 times a day during the week, and 5 times a day on weekends. For further information on timetables and services, contact Port Stephens Coaches on 02 4982 2940 or www.pscoaches.com.au.


Newcastle is serviced by coach companies throughout Australia with regular connections to and from various locations. For further information visit the Greyhound website at www.greyhound.com.au.

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The University of Newcastle's NewSpace campus is in the heart of the Newcastle Civic precinct and within walking distance of most of the suggested accommodation choices.  

The  New Space Building is on the corner of Auckland and Hunter Streets, Newcastle. The main conference room is X5.02 on the fifth floor of the building with breakout rooms X4.01 and X4.02 on the fourth floor and X6.02 on the sixth floor. There are elevators and stairs for the delegates’ use.

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What to see in Newcastle

Click here to see what you can do in Newcastle during your stay. There are also great dining options at the Honeysuckle Precinct on the harbour or Darby Street, famous for its quirky shopping and great dining.

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