A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

Arthur Norman Smith was a founder of the Australian Journalists' Association, served as its first general president and for five years as its general secretary. Thanks to a generous bequest from the Smith family, the prestigious A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism is presented each year by a leading authority on some aspect of journalism.

2018 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

From the Catholic Church to President Trump - Investigative Reporting vs. the Excesses of Power

Date: 30 May 2018, 6.30-7.30 pm

Walter Robinson
Walter Robinson

For decades, American cardinals and bishops - and their peers across the Globe - engaged in an international criminal conspiracy to keep secret the sexual abuse of countless thousands of children. But investigative reporters exposed the crimes. Then in 2016, the economic and journalistic fortunes of US media could not have seemed bleaker - until Donald Trump unwittingly became the new patron saint of the First Amendment. His coarse attempts to undermine the Constitution have awakened the slumbering watchdogs of the Fourth Estate. Now, all the dogs are barking. And the public wonders: Without investigative reporting, without a strong and aggressive press, can Democracy survive? And if investigative reporting cannot hold powerful Popes and Presidents accountable, then who can?

Presented by Walter Robinson, Editor-at-Large of the Boston Globe and leader of the Spotlight Team's investigations into abuse in the Catholic Church.

More information and registration

2017 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

Live and Dangerous: Journalism and the Real-Time Social Web

Modern journalism is enabled by the reach and power of technology platforms and social networks to broadcast anything from anywhere in the world. Terrorist attacks become horrifying theatre, our attention drawn to events and their aftermath as they unfold, and the 'breaking news' organisation is anyone with a mobile phone and a social media account. As Facebook Live becomes the window on all events, and mobile technology turns anyone into a potential broadcasting unit, how do we decide what to report and what to edit? Who is in control and what is the role for legacy broadcasters and news organisations in this new world?

Emily Bell is the founding director of Columbia University's highly regarded Tow Center for Digital Journalism and a leading authority on digital journalism.

2015 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

2015 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

When The Killing Season aired on ABC TV this year Prime Minister Tony Abbott lifted his arms to the press gallery and declared "Thank you to the ABC". This was the ABC's 4th landmark TV series on political leadership but will there be another? Will our current and future leaders feel the same obligation of history? Or will future leaders no longer trust their legacy to a media they don’t control?

Walkley Award winning journalist Sarah Ferguson, whose documentary series on the Rudd/Gillard years The Killing Season made waves earlier this year, presented the 2015 AN Smith Lecture in Journalism.

2014 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

The Net Effect: An Optimist in the News Business

The disruption of 'legacy' newspapers by the Internet should be welcomed and celebrated. Morry Schwartz believes that this problem will be solved with the development of highly targeted and personalised advertising on the internet, and importantly with the advent of a paid-content model, which will bring with it many blessings. The greatest being that in order to be successful, media companies will need to offer such valuable and desirable content that people will be willing to pay for it!

Morry Schwartz, Publisher The Saturday Paper

2013 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

The rise of the reader: journalism in the age of the open web

In this globalised era, most news organisations have international ambitions, from Al Jazeera to Buzzfeed. Katharine Viner argues that journalism that is open to the web is the best way to make a global impact. But what does that mean? Who is our audience in such a world? What do they want from us? What kind of business models best serve 'post-industrial journalism'? And why is Guardian Australia here?

Katharine Viner is editor-in-chief of recently launched Guardian Australia and has been deputy editor of the Guardian worldwide since 2007. Having previously worked at London's Sunday Times, Katharine joined the Guardian in 1997 and has worked as a writer, editor of Weekend magazine, features editor, head of comment and Saturday editor. Read the transcript (210kb pdf)

2012 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

The Future of News

Kim Williams, AM, Chief Executive of News Limited.

Read the transcript (130kb pdf)

2011 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

If you ask me about the future of newspapers you have asked the wrong question

Greg Hywood, CEO Fairfax Media

2010 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

The end of journalism as we know it - and other good news stories

The media landscape is changing rapidly. Newspapers are under increasing financial pressure. The old paradigms for journalism are under threat and in the middle of this media revolution, no-one can say what the future of journalism looks like.

Annabel Crabb, ABC Online's Chief Political Writer. Read the transcript (430kb pdf)

2009 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

The Fall of Rome: Media after Empire Part 1
The Fall of Rome: Media after Empire Part 2

ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott discusses the future of journalism in an age when the media moguls have fallen, private equity dominates and increasing numbers of people access news and entertainment online. Read the transcript (135kb pdf)

2008 A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism

Do newspapers have a future?

Michael Gawenda's 2008 A.N. Smith Lecture
Read the transcript (165kb pdf)

More information

The first A.N. Smith Lecture in Journalism was presented in 1938. Details of previous lectures from 1997-2006 are available on the University's Speeches and presentations A. N. Smith Lecture in Journalism web page.