On World Press Freedom Day, the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA) applauds those who champion freedom of expression and support media around the world.
JERAA statement about the arrest of Behrouz Boochani on Manus Island
JERAA wishes to express its deep concern about reports that Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian-Kurdish journalist and regular contributor to Australian publications, was arrested on Manus Island early on Thursday 23 November.
He was released later in the day.
The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) chief executive, Paul Murphy, said Boochani appeared to have been deliberately targeted by Papua New Guinea (PNG) police in Thursday’s crackdown because he is well known as a journalist reporting from inside the detention centre.
“Behrouz has been one of the main sources of factual information about conditions inside the Manus Island detention centre for the past few years, and his reporting has been published in Australia and internationally,” Mr Murphy said.
“His reporting in the finest traditions of journalism has been critical when the Australian and PNG governments have done everything they can to prevent media from having access to the asylum seekers on Manus Island.
“If, as the case appears to be, he has been targeted and arrested because of his profile and his role as a journalist in an attempt to silence him, this is an egregious attack on press freedom that cannot be let stand.
Like the MEAA, JERAA calls on the Australian and PNG governments to release Boochani from custody, inform the public about his safety, and allow him to continue doing the journalistic work he has been for so many months.
Just three weeks ago, Boochani was awarded the Amnesty International Australian Media Award for his journalism from Manus Island. JERAA president, Matthew Ricketson, was a guest speaker at the awards in Sydney, and testified to the loud applause that greeted the award as well as the heartfelt admiration of his colleague at Guardian Australia, Ben Doherty, who accepted the award in Boochani’s absence.
Professor Ricketson said: “Behrouz Boochani’s reporting has been brave and inspiring, not least because he has been pursuing it while at the same time he has been detained indefinitely.
“Governments for nearly two decades now have been fighting determinedly to hide from public view – and the possibility of public empathy – what has been happening inside offshore detention centres. Boochani’s reporting is a vital counterweight to this campaign”.
Earlier this year, MEAA, the journalists’ union, co-ordinated an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, calling for him to be resettled in Australia. Dozens of high-profile journalists and writers co-signed the open letter.
Boochani’s work has been published in The Saturday Paper as well as Guardian Australia, while his film about life inside the Manus detention centre, Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time has been screened at the Sydney and London film festivals. He tweets at @BehrouzBoochani
Congratulations John Henningham
John Henningham of Brisbane’s JSchool has been acknowledged for his 40 years of service by being awarded the Clarion for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism. The Courier Mail reports: The judges commented: “It is difficult to over-emphasise the impact that John Henningham has had on Australian journalism… John broke ground by gaining the first Australian doctorate in journalism and becoming the country’s first journalism professor, then continued his pioneering work with JSchool, which for decades has imparted the professional skills that young journalists need, coupled with rigorous academic teaching.”
JERAA expert witnesses at the Senate Inquiry
JERAA Executive members Angela Romano, Alex Wake and Colleen Murrell provided evidence at the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Public Interest Journalism on 11 July 2017.
The JERAA executive subsequently submitted a summary of research about the impact of public broadcasting, in response to a question on notice about the activities of the ABC and SBS, in particular their effect on the financial well-being of private media. The summary of research is available through the Future of Public Interest Journalism website.
This follows a full submission from the JERAA Executive addressing three key terms of reference.
JERAA member statement about the decision by the Walkley Awards Committee to scrap the ‘International Journalism’ category from the 2017 Awards
Members of JERAA have written to the Walkley Awards Committee to express their objection to the decision to exclude the category of ‘International Journalism’ from this year’s Walkley Awards. Read the full statement here.
The Pacific Media Centre's report on the issue can be found here
JERAA Submission to Senate Inquiry
The JERAA Executive has lodged a submission to the Senate Select Committee that is inquiring into the Future of Public Interest Journalism. The submission focusses on three terms of reference:
- ensuring a viable, independent and diverse service;
- the future of public and community broadcasters in delivering public interest journalism, particularly in underserviced markets like regional Australia, and culturally and linguistically diverse communities;
- examination of ‘fake news’, propaganda, and public disinformation
Geoff Craig wins Anne Dunn Scholar Award
Prof Geoff Craig, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand impressed the 2017 award judging panel with his extensive research portforlio.
JERAA president Matthew Ricketson said: "The judges for the Anne Dunn scholar award this year were pleased by the continuing development of the breadth and depth of the entries. This is not only a fitting tribute to the lasting influence of Anne Dunn but demonstrates advances made in scholarly work in the field of communication and journalism”. Read more.
Deb Anderson awarded the 2017 JERAA grant
Dr Deb Anderson, School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash unversity has been awarded the 2017 JERRA research grant. Read more.
Global journalism ethics in spotlight at
JERAA Preconference to WJEC
Prof Stephen Ward called on journalists and journalism educators to promote global journalism ethics, rather than parochial journalism ethics. Prof Ward, Distinguished Lecturer in Ethics at the University of British Columbia, was the keynote speeaker at the JERAA and Pacific Media Preconference in Auckland on 13 July 2016.
The Preconference also featured panels on media coverage of mass shootings, reporting of corruption in the Pacifc (live streamed), and assessment of journalism research. There was also a workshop for early career journalism academics, and papers addressing a wide range of subjects affecting journalism, journalism education and journalism research.
The Preconference was convened by a partnership of JERAA, the Pacific Media Centre (Auckland University of Technology) and Media Educators Pacific. It preceded the World Journalism Education Congress of 14-16 July 2016.