Journalism Research Australia National Statement

The purpose of the Journalism Research Australia National Statement is to define and describe the journalism research discipline in Australia. The statement was published in August 2015.

Journalism as an academic research discipline contributes to the body of scholarly knowledge about the contexts, tools, creation, distribution, consumption, impacts and social relations of journalism via journalism studies and journalism practice.

Journalism studies deals with the systematic study of the theory and practice of journalism. It investigates such areas as journalism’s role in society, the history and political economy of journalism in media industries and the social, political, cultural, ethical, legal and regulatory contexts and challenges of journalistic endeavour.

Journalism practice is the process by which information is independently researched, gathered, analysed, synthesised and published, or by which innovative approaches to journalism are developed. The Excellence in Research for Australia framework (ERA) acknowledges in-depth, original journalism practice and publication as equivalent to traditional research outputs.

Journalism research is often interdisciplinary in nature, both in the methods that it draws on in analysis and practice, and in the theories it uses to explain its roles in society. In this way journalism connects with a broad range of disciplines, including but not limited to: communication, cultural studies, history, ethnography, media studies, information technology, international relations, law, literary studies, politics, economics, sociology and philosophy.

Journalism as a research discipline has evolved and grown rapidly over the past 20 years in Australia. Apart from its strong interdisciplinarity, it is also defined by the objective it shares with all scholarly research: the discovery of new insights and new knowledge through freedom of inquiry and expression and open debate in order to contribute to the public good.


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