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Lifting journalism research in Australia: Confronting issues of quality and international competitiveness in ERA
This series of papers has arisen following an unexpectedly low submission from Australian institutions to the 1903 Journalism and Professional Writing code in the 2015 ERA return. Of only six institutional submissions to the code, none received an assessment of 4 or 5 ("above world standard" or "well above world standard"). Five institutions (Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, University of South Australia, University of Tasmania and University of Melbourne) received a 3; one institution (La Trobe) received a 2. This is a poor result for the code and does not reflect well on the place of journalism research within the academy. It is also a clear flag from the Australian Research Council that in its view none of the submitting institutions is operating above world standard. This may or may not be accurate - certainly, some of the institutions named here are carrying out excellent research, receiving strong external funding from the ARC and have institutional commitment to building on the strength of journalism. This commitment did not reap rewards in 2015, and so some recalibrating will occur at both the institutional and the Field of Research (FoR) level. This paper sets out to revisit some previous discussions about Australian journalism research, and to use recent results from ERA to identify issues which might suggest our best way forward beyond 2018.
Australian Journalism Review