CONFERENCES on “the future of journalism” have become a growth industry. In many ways, the news media’s own digital evolution has become one of its biggest stories. The collapse of the twentieth century funding model for (quality) journalism is pre-occupying western news operations. Rupert Murdoch is leading another attempt to try to make online news content pay its old media creators as well as its new media recyclers. But the myriad micro-realities of changing journalism practice in a digital age mean journalism academics and practitioners have plenty to describe and argue about. The School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne’s recent conference, Journalism in the 21st Century: Between Globalisation and National Identity, brought together career academics, journalists-turned-academics and a range of news practitioners and executives from Australia and overseas. Peter Clarke was there to gauge the latest thinking on possible futures for journalism.
Peter Clarke is a Melbourne based broadcaster, writer and educator who teaches at RMIT and Swinburne universities. He pioneered national talkback on Australian radio as the inaugural presenter of Offspring (now Life Matters) on ABC Radio National. Podcast theme created by Ivan Clarke, Pang Productions.