Centre researchers are involved with other faculty colleagues in a multi-level collaborative research project with scholars from Fudan University, Shanghai, investigating the ways in which media is changing in China and Australia. The Centre's role in this project naturally focuses on journalism.
We are building on our research in bushfire reporting to build a comparative study of how new media can be used to aid communications at times of crisis, collaborating with scholars who have studied media use during China's devastating earthquakes.
Meanwhile Centre Director Margaret Simons is conducting interviews in Chinese and Australian newsrooms investigating how social media alters journalistic work, and effects government regulation of news media and information flow. This project involves gaining an understanding of how government regulation impacts at the level of the newsroom and day to day journalistic practice in China and Australia.
In recent years, both Chinese and Australian media systems have been subjected to substantial transformation. In China, an exclusively state-owned media has broadened to include many privately owned enterprises, including newspapers, websites and social media. This has involved an unprecedented marketisation of media. In Australia, arguably, we have seen a reverse trend, with our government-owned public broadcasters now our biggest employers of journalists. At the same time there have been a number of government and parliamentary inquiries and considerable public debate on issues of news media regulation.
In both China and Australia regulatory settings have been challenged by the affordances and impacts of digital media, particularly social media, which has taken on an agenda-setting role outside the normal processes of newsrooms
Media regulation and accountability in a globalised world
This collaborative research project involving the Centre for Advancing Journalism and City University, London, explores the options for effective media regulation and accountability in the digitised world where the power of nation states to implement effective media regulation and accountability is profoundly challenged by internet-based publishing, and where much that is published comes from small or individual bloggers, outside the conventional media industry structures.
The objective of the research is to identify some key principles upon which public policy in this area might be built, and to identify the probable limitations of policy reach.
Media accountability systems post-Finkelstein and Leveson
The Leveson Inquiry and the Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation (a.k.a 'The Finkelstein Inquiry') identified serious deficiencies in the design and operations of existing media accountability frameworks in the UK and Australia. One of the two main organisations that make up the Australian framework is the Australian Press Council. Before, during and after the Finkelstein inquiry, the Council was undergoing some reforms, a process which led to one of its constituent bodies breaking away and forming its own accountability body.
This research project, a collaboration between Monash University, the Centre for Advancing Journalism, and Birbeck, University of London, aims to assess what impact, if any, the reformed press councils in the two countries have had on media accountability and journalistic practice.