A change in the definition of research in Australia has helped pave the way for the country's first Graduate School of Journalism being launched next week at UTS.
Head of the new school, Professor Alan Knight, said that after some years of lobbying from the profession the Australian Research Council (ARC) has redefined research to include quality journalism, allowing a research track record for reporters, editors and producers.
"More than 20 years ago UTS created a Masters program to help educate our best and brightest journalists, and since then, dozens of our graduates have found work in Australia and overseas," Professor Knight said.
"Now we are ready to take Australian journalism education to the next level, underpinning our successful post-graduate journalism teaching with research on journalism by journalists.
"The ARC decision has opened the doors to Australia's leading working journalists, creating a stream of higher research degree candidates drawn from the top ranks of the industry – professionals who will be able to advance knowledge about journalism through research, teaching, and mentoring."
The Graduate School of Journalism builds on the long history of journalism education at UTS which spans more than three decades. UTS is recognised as a leader in research and teaching of investigative journalism in particular, with many of Australia's acclaimed journalists being UTS graduates.
"The UTS Graduate School of Journalism is founded on the belief that independent quality journalism is vital for democracy and the functioning of civil society and that, despite major changes in communications technology, traditional and new forms of journalism continue to be essential for public communication and maintenance of an informed public sphere," Professor Knight said.
"We are working with an advisory board comprised of leading media professionals as well as academics to shape the future of journalism education in Australia. Our aim is not only to produce the media workers of tomorrow, but to help them create the media industries of the future."
The Graduate School of Journalism will collaborate with a range of journalism education institutions in Europe, Asia and the Americas to provide students with an international perspective. It will also work in close association with the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at UTS to engage industry, media professionals and policy-makers in seminars, conferences, symposia and research projects that contribute to the future of journalism.
The UTS Graduate School of Journalism will be officially launched on Wednesday 7 March at 5.30pm. The opening address will be delivered by Monica Attard, Managing Editor, The Global Mail.