Dr Chrisanthi Giotis wins 2020 JERAA Research Award

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Dr Chrisanthi Giotis, from the University of Technology, Sydney, is the winner of the 2020 Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia Research Grant, receiving $6,000 towards her project: ‘Teaching each other trust in the fake news era.’

This pilot project will test a unique media research technique that sees audiences and journalists examining pieces of reportage together. This engenders a relationship of trust on both sides, while providing the journalist with feedback and diverse perspectives which they can incorporate into their practice. Meanwhile, researchers gain a greater understanding of the linked socio-political drivers behind distrust, news avoidance, polarisation and fake news.

The judging panel commended Dr Giotis’ innovative frame reflection interview methodology, which brings journalists, audiences, students and researchers together to explore the factors that lead to trust and distrust in news journalism. They indicated that the development of this approach could usefully inform journalism practice and research, and help the media build better community relations around the coverage of contentious issues.

Dr. Giotis’ work focuses on changing journalism practice to promote marginalised voices. As a working journalist she covered Indigenous issues in the Dubbo area, and as an academic her reporting on marginalised young people in Western Sydney won the UTS Dame Mary Gilmore Prize for Journalism. More recently she worked with Congolese refugees, seeking their input before reporting on refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This  led to her current postdoctoral position at the UTS Centre for Media Transition, examining best practice journalism at the global-local interface and how this relates to trust in the media.

On receiving the award, Dr Giotis said “One of the greatest threats faced by the media industry is the charge of elitism”, which she indicated undermines audience trust in journalists.

“This grant will allow me to pay a journalist from a mainstream news organisation to trial a totally new practice which, if successful, will give that journalist access to a greater variety of perspectives on their work and at the same time will give audience members more faith in the processes of journalism.“

“Just as important as the cash is the vote of confidence from the JERAA judging panel. As an early career researcher it is a real boost to know that your senior colleagues believe your idea has potential and are keen to see it put into practice.”

The JERAA Research Award was launched in 2011 to promote excellence in journalism studies, providing opportunities for mid-career journalism academics to improve their research experience, strengthen their professional profiles and increase their promotion prospects.

 

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