The Anne Dunn Scholar

2020 Anne Dunn Scholar Winner: Dr Penny O’Donnell

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.

Background to the Award

The Anne Dunn Scholar Award is jointly sponsored by Anne’s mother and siblings, JERAA, and the Australia New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), and honours Anne’s lifetime dedication to public service journalism.

The award is in memory of a remarkable broadcaster, journalism educator and media scholar, Associate Professor Anne Dunn (1952-2012). Anne was known for building bridges, whether between industry and the academy or across academic disciplines, for her mentoring of younger women making the adjustment from working in news media to academia and for her life-long commitment to public sector broadcasting.

The award includes a $3,000 prize, supported by ANZCA and the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA), as well as by her mother and siblings. It has run for five years and will continue until further notice. As Anne was a former President of ANZCA, and was President of JERAA at the time of her death, both associations felt it appropriate to honour her via a joint prize. Anne was widely respected for her broadcast experience and management skills, including responsibilities at the ABC and as Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sydney. She was well known as a mentor of early career researchers, especially women making the transition from industry to academia, as she had done. The award explicitly aims to honour Anne’s commitment to critical research of high academic standard. It recognises excellence in research about the fields of communication and journalism, including but not limited to broadcast media for the public benefit. This reflects Anne’s passion for public service broadcasting, radio studies and media ethics, and her work in bridging journalism and media studies scholarship.

Previous Winners

2019 Scholar: Dr TJ Thomson, Queensland University of Technology
The judging panel reported that Dr Thomson’s submission showed high-quality publications for a new emerging career researcher and that he had made an excellent case for impact and relevance of your work in the spirit of the Anne Scholar of the Year Award.

2018 Scholar: Dr Caroline Fisher, University of Canberra

Dr Fisher was commended by the panel for her body of work as an early career researcher, which features a range of high-quality national and international publications. Her research highlights the connections between journalism and other communication forms, and aims to increase understanding about the changing relationship between these different forms.

2017 Scholar: Prof Geoff Craig, Auckland University of Technology

Professor Geoffrey Craig is head of research in the School of Communication Studies at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand.

ANZCA president Phillip McIntyre said Geoffrey Craig had produced an impressive body of research. “Geoff Craig’s research analyses major institutions of public communication and he uses theory well. He has helped shape his corner of the field in the region. His work is innovative and his care for his topic, not to mention his engagement with the ABC and other institutions, shines through his application. His work aligns well with the research interests of Anne Dunn”.

JERAA president Matthew Ricketson said: “The judges for the Anne Dunn scholar award this year were pleased by the continuing development of the breadth and depth of the entries. This is not only a fitting tribute to the lasting influence of Anne Dunn but demonstrates advances made in scholarly work in the field of communication and journalism”.

Both presidents, who headed their associations’ judging panels, highly commended the work of Dr Stephen Harrington which they said was well theorised and, for his career point, showed an impressive track record. His research into alternative expressions of journalism is thought-provoking and his advocacy for it in popular as well as academic journals is to be welcomed.

2016 Scholar: Dr Emma Jane

ANZCA president Donald Matheson said Emma A. Jane had produced an impressive body of research investigating online misogyny and cyberhate since 2012. “She shows not only great scholarly energy, but also a commitment to harnessing that research for the public good.”

JERAA president Matthew Ricketson said: “The judges for the Anne Dunn scholar award this year welcomed the increase in the number of entries and were impressed by the quality of the strongest entries, which demonstrated sound scholarship and a refreshing originality of research topics.”

2015 Scholar: Assoc Professor Mia Lindgren

2014  Scholar: Dr Siobhan McHugh

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