Dr Penny O’Donnell wins the 2020 Anne Dunn Scholar award



Dr Penny O’Donnell, from the Department of Media and Communications at the University of Sydney, is the winner of the 2020 Anne Dunn Scholar award, which honours scholars who demonstrate a commitment to public service journalism.

Penny was the judges’ unanimous choice, from a strong field. The judging panel acknowledged her international research profile, sustained and impressive body of journalism research with public interest benefits, and the significance and impact of her scholarly work. They agreed Penny had movingly articulated how Anne’s aims and values had influenced her contribution to the field, and also recognised her commitment to journalism education.

Dr O’Donnell is a media sociologist in the field of international media and journalism. Her current research interests are journalism and precarity, artificial intelligence and public interest news, journalism education and Southern theory.

Her major industry-university research collaboration is the ‘New Beats Project’ (2014-2020), a high-impact study, integrating academics across six universities and the ABC, National Library of Australia and Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance as project partners. Forthcoming books include Journalists and Job Loss (scheduled mid-2021 with Routledge) and Upheaval: Journalists’ lives before and during digital disruption (mid-2021, with NewSouth Publishing).

The Anne Dunn Scholar award is given in memory of media scholar, journalism educator and broadcaster, Associate Professor Anne Dunn (1952-2012), and her lifetime dedication to public service journalism. It is jointly sponsored by Anne’s mother and siblings, the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA), and the Australia New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), and includes a $3000 prize.

On receiving the award Dr O’Donnell thanked Anne Dunn’s family, JERAA and ANZCA as well as her co-researchers.

“I am honoured and thrilled to be chosen as the 2020 Anne Dunn Scholar. Working with Anne was a highlight of my academic life as she was an astute and inspiring mentor. I also want to acknowledge the New Beats team and journalism colleagues who made this research achievement possible.”

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