The Centre for Advancing Journalism exists to foster and encourage journalism that is useful to people in being informed and engaged citizens.
At the Centre for Advancing Journalism we are committed to teaching journalism that has the primary obligation of reporting truthfully, without fear or favour, and serving the public good. Journalism’s mission is to be a discipline of verification. It is a monitor on power and a vital means of ensuring citizens are informed and can participate fully in democratic decision making. We aim to foster an environment where students can learn how to cover news with rigour and accuracy and with a thorough understanding of the ethical and legal dimensions of the craft.
The Centre for Advancing Journalism (CAJ) was established in 2009 within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. In 2015, the Centre joined the School of Culture and Communication (SCC).
For regular updates on what’s happening at the Centre, subscribe to our e-news.
We are constantly evaluating what we teach. Student Experience Surveys and our rapidly changing industry continuously influence the content of our program.
To view sample course plans for our Masters please see the Master of Journalism What will I study? and Master of International Journalism What will I study? web pages.
Master of Journalism
Become a journalist of the future. The Master of Journalism degree builds the skills you need to redefine your profession and is designed and delivered by teaching staff who are outstanding professional practitioners. Gain a theoretical and practical grounding in issues such as civics, governance, citizenship, the impact of new technologies, social media and new practices, including data journalism. Investigate key concepts that frame recent developments in fields such as media law, management theory, globalisation, health policy, and climate change.
Master of International Journalism
The Master of International Journalism is targeted at students interested in understanding and producing journalism in an international field of practice, where it is important that key skills are complemented by an understanding of different professional traditions, conventions, cultures and challenges.
The degree combines an emphasis on key skills – news gathering and news writing, video, audio, digital and social media production – with an international outlook on how different media operate in different cultures and markets.
Graduate Diploma in Journalism (Advanced)
The Graduate Diploma in Journalism (Advanced) develops your advanced and practical understanding of how news stories are put together to ensure you can critically reflect on the challenges media professionals face in journalism.
The diploma is associated with the Master of Journalism and comprises four compulsory subjects and four related electives. Together these represent basic journalistic skills and understandings with the opportunity to study a limited number of subjects at a more advanced level. At the conclusion of their study students can choose to articulate into the full Master of Journalism program.
Graduate Certificate in Journalism (Advanced)
The Graduate Certificate in Journalism (Advanced) refines your practical understanding of how news stories are put together and be equipped too critically reflect on writing challenges that journalists face across different media – print and digital.
The certificate is associated with the Master of Journalism and teaches the basic and fundamental skills and understandings of journalism. It is suitable for students with little or no experience in journalism. At the conclusion of their study students can choose to articulate into either the Graduate Diploma in Journalism (Advanced) or the full Master of Journalism program.
Significant applied outcomes are achieved by closely linking research to our program of public activities.
Each project culminates in a workshop, seminar or other public presentation aimed at journalists, media executives and the broader community. This provides an opportunity for those working in the industry, and the interested public, to discuss the research findings and explore potential improvements in the way the media interacts with its community.
A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2020 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2019 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2018 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2017 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2015 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2014 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2013 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2012 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2011 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2010 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2009 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- 2008 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
- More information
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 gift 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.
The first annual A N Smith Lecture in Journalism was held in 1938. The lecture is presented by a leading authority on some important aspect of journalism.
A University Trust Record governs the use of the fund.
2020 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
Saving the Australian Associated Press: re-making an Australian media institution
Emma Cowdroy and Jonty Low, AAP
The Australian Associated Press is a fundamental part of the Australian media landscape. For 85 years it’s provided coverage on almost all aspects of Australian life and supplied reliable news and information for media outlets across the country. When the consortium of major media companies announced it would close in June, AAP looked doomed. But since then there has been an awakening of interest and support; now AAP not only exists, but has a renewed mission to tell new kinds of stories, as well as provide an important journal of record coverage. Join AAP’s new CEO, Emma Cowdroy, and new chairperson, Jonty Low, for a discussion of how AAP was saved and the many challenges that lie ahead.
In the 2020 AN Smith Lecture in Journalism AAP’s new CEO, Emma Cowdroy, and new chairperson, Jonty Low, join in an online panel discussion moderated by the Director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism Associate Professor Andrew Dodd, for a discussion of how AAP was saved and the many challenges that lie ahead.
2019 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
Journalism versus the big banks: Reporting where regulators fear to tread
Adele Ferguson AM
The Royal Commission into the banking industry has demonstrated that regulators have failed us, while the role of protecting the public from corporate greed has often been performed best by journalism. This is despite the fact that the news media has faced major disruption and the kinds of financial constraints that make consistent and forensic analysis of big business much more challenging.
In her AN Smith lecture, investigative reporter Adele Ferguson – who many credit as the initiator of the Royal Commission – asks why it is that journalism stepped up while regulation failed? And what can be done to strengthen journalism to ensure it keeps on performing this vital role?
2018 A N Smith Lecture in Journalism
From the Catholic Church to President Trump – Investigative Reporting vs. the Excesses of Power
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.
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
Freedom from Information - Australia’s War on Transparency
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
“We’re here tonight because we believe journalism matters. And one of the reasons it matters is that it’s one of the last bastions of idiosyncratic public individuals who say what they think without fear or favour. Journalism has always been populated by larger than life souls: often testy, frequently witty and hopefully always readable. They make life richer and more interesting and give us cheer, hope, fury and a sense of what it is to be part of the cavalcade in society’s affairs.”
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
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? And how long is that future?
Do newspapers have a future? And how long is that future? Well, I ask you to imagine Melbourne without The Age and the Herald Sun or Sydney without The Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph. Imagine Australia without The Australian. If you can imagine such a future, in my view, that’s in part because of our failure to produce newspapers which attract the sort of fierce and life-long loyalty they once attracted.
Read the transcript (165kb pdf)
The first A N Smith Lecture in Journalism was presented in 1938
Details of previous lectures from 1997-2011 are available on the University’s Speeches and presentations A N Smith Lecture in Journalism web page.
Journalism Thesis Part 1 (JOUR90015)
Dr Jeff Sparrow
Centre for Advancing Journalism
This video is for students interested in enrolling in Journalism Thesis. It is intended as a supplement to the handbook entry on the subject.
The minor thesis requires the production of a twelve-thousand word essay drawing on considerable reading and research, and making a sustained argument. Many students, particularly if they are not accustomed to academic research and writing, find it a considerable challenge. For others, it can be rewarding and stimulating.
What do I need to know before starting?
Some of the main responsibilities as a research student include:
- Being self-directed in your learning and research. Unlike most undergraduate subjects, a minor thesis depends on you working alone and taking initiative
- Making good progress. A minor thesis is twelve thousand words and cannot be written in a rush. You will be expected to work methodically throughout the entire year
- Being proactive. Your supervisor will give you advice but it will be up to you to raise any issues – good or bad – with your supervisors as soon as they arise
What skills are I required to develop to succeed in the minor thesis journey?
The minor thesis journey requires a high level of skills such as:
- Time management skills
- Library research skills
- Critical analysis of relevant literature
- Key writing skills (eg structuring the thesis and its components, building and presenting arguments, referencing, proof reading)
- Document keeping and version control
- Presentation skills
Fore more information please consult the Handbook entry.
Centre for Advancing Journalism
John Medley Building West Tower
School of Culture and Communication
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
Master of Journalism and Master of International Journalism course enquiries
School of Culture and Communications
Level 3, West tower, John Medley (Building 191)
The Faculty of Arts
The University of Melbourne