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The end(s) of journalism

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, July 16th, 2010 - 6 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: ,

Journalism’s future at stake

Is serious journalism dying? Was it in any good it the first place? What must be done to ensure its survival?

These are some of the questions to be tackled at The University of Auckland’s forthcoming Winter Lecture series on ‘The end(s) of journalism’.

The six-lecture series will examine the decline in serious journalism brought about by digital convergence, media proliferation, fragmented audiences and the global recession.

It will look at the long-term implications of these developments, given how vital the media are to democratic deliberation. Alternative technological possibilities, programming forms and funding alternatives will be canvassed.

Academics from the University’s Departments of Political Studies, Film, Television and Media Studies, and Māori Studies will present the lectures along with Colin Peacock, presenter of Mediawatch on Radio New Zealand National and Gavin Ellis, former editor-in-chief of the New Zealand Herald.

The lunchtime series begins on 20 July with a lecture illuminating journalism’s present predicament and prospects by returning to its roots. Subsequent lectures will consider the current state of New Zealand journalism, the Māori presence in media stories, citizen journalism on the internet, news satire, and the near-term future of serious journalism.

‘The media in forms old and new affect everyone, and play a key role in supporting democratic purposes,’ says series organiser, Dr Joe Atkinson. ‘This is a timely series in a period of extreme upheaval for traditional media and the lectures will be of wide general interest.’

Further information: www.auckland.ac.nz/winter, phone (09) 373 7599 ext 876

6 comments on “The end(s) of journalism”

  1. randal 1

    the media has always been the tool of its owners and they make the rules. it belongs to them.
    when we look at the manques and parvenus currently inhabiting the mediaverse in New Zealand we see a crop of ignorant little upstarts who got shoulder tapped because basically they were compliant to the wishes of the proprietors.
    apart from the fact that their main accomplishment is an ability to do shorthand they have no other real qualifications at all except a burning desire to get a scoop and no scruples about how they obtain it.
    they know everything and what they dont know doesnt matter.
    sad buut true.

    • Rex Widerstrom 1.1

      Shorthand?! 8-O

      The manques and parvenus have digital recorders these days randal. Possibly even typewriters. Or those keyboardy thingos :-D

      You’re right though. And the owners must certainly bear the bulk of the blame. Sadly, though, so must the Polytechnics who run journalism “schools”. What they teach is crap, and the people they hire to teach it, well… I may run into some of them occasionally so I’ll bite my tongue.

      One (now retired) grandee of Wellington Polytech’s course couldn’t, in the old days, even calculate how many words filled a column. The poor typesetters were regularly left with 30 metres of expensive overset lying on their floor after she’d submitted her copy for the one page of writing she still had published each issue of a certain title. She’d just ramble on and let the subs worry about making sense of it. And she was teaching the new crop.

      I’ve long had a policy of preferencing polytech journalism grads last, preferring to look for a keen but un”trained” self-starter I can mentor and thus ensure I don’t have to ger them to un-learn most of what they were taught before they become productive.

  2. Maggie 2

    I worked in newspapers for 25 years. Newspaper owners in NZ have no reason to interfere in a paper’s news coverage, they simply employe as editors toadies who know what is expected of them without being asked.

    There is a code of ethics journalists are supposed to adhere to, but I doubt many of them have ever read it. Interestingly, the code was written by the NZ Journalists Union, the employers were asked to sign up to it and declined.

  3. Johnno 3

    Are any of the speakers working journalists in a daily newsroom?

    • loota 3.1

      I hope John Campbell is there to lead the way.

    • Carol 3.2

      It’s all in the programme at the link. But, to help you out, here are some of the media workers involved in the lecture series:

      Lecture 2, Tuesday 27 July
      Colin Peacock, Mediawatch presenter, Radio New Zealand National: Watching the watchdogs.
      Chair: Dr Brian Edwards, distinguished radio and television broadcaster.

      Lecture 3, Tuesday 3 August
      Dr Sue Abel, Department of Māori Studies, and Department of Film, Television and Media Studies, The University of Auckland: A question of balance.
      Chair: Carol Hirschfeld, Head of Programming, Māori Television.

      Lecture 4, Tuesday 10 August
      Dr Luke Goode, Department of Film, Television and Media Studies, The University of Auckland: Citizens as gatekeepers.
      Chair: Russell Brown, Media7, Hard News on Public Address, Wide Area News.

      Lecture 5, Tuesday 17 August
      Dr Joe Atkinson, Department of Political Studies, The University of Auckland: Politics as comedy.
      Chair: James Griffin, Outrageous Fortune, Sione’s Wedding, Funny Business, Spin Doctors, bro’Town, Diplomatic Immunity.

      Lecture 6, Tuesday 24 August
      Gavin Ellis, former Editor-in-Chief, New Zealand Herald; doctoral candidate, Department of Political Studies, The University of Auckland: Paying the piper.
      Chair: Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Auckland.

      Not exactly people currently working in a daily newsroom, but there is some good and relevant experience in the industry there. And are working journalists, in the current context, likely to be the most enlightening speakers on the subject?

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