What's so alternative about alternative journalism?

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Title What's so alternative about alternative journalism?
Author Forde, Susan Rachael
Publication Title Journalism education in the digital age: Sharing strategies and experiences
Editor Dr Trevor Cullen
Year Published 2009
Place of publication Perth, Western Australia
Publisher Journalism Education Association
Abstract As journalism educators, a great deal about how we teach students to be 'good journalists' has remained unchanged—at least over the past 15-20 years since I was a journalism student and, I suspect, for some time before that. But the world is changing and the world of journalism, in particular, is changing incredibly quickly. While our students' employment prospects and expectations may have adapted somewhat—ie we now teach students they need to be multi-skilled, working across platforms, developing content for online delivery etc—our advice to them about 'what is news' and how to structure the news has remained relatively static. It follows an essentially mainstream and what we call a 'professional' definition of news. This is despite the fact that the study of community and alternative media forms has blossomed over the past 10-15 years, highlighting different ways that journalists working outside the mainstream have been able to engage their readers and facilitate public involvement during times when people were increasingly turning away from traditional journalism, and refusing to participate in broader democratic activities. This paper attempts to tackle an apparently simple concept—to define what it is about alternative journalism that makes it different. While discussions around this issue have continued for some time now (Atton & Hamilton, 2008; Atton 2009; Forde 1997a and 1997b; Collins & Rose 2004; Harcup 2003; Couldry 2002), authors have focused primarily on the media outlets themselves and not on the work of the journalists, with the exception of the very recent work by Atton & Hamilton (2008). This paper contributes to the discussion on this issue through its attempts to define alternative journalism, although its overarching concern is broader and feeds into an international study which investigates alternative journalism in Australia, the UK and the USA. The paper's purpose is two-fold—an illumination of what alternative journalism really is; and ultimately the implications of this discussion for the way we teach journalism education in Australia.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://jeaa.org.au/
Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the author 2009. The attached file is posted here with permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distribution permitted. For information about this conference please refer to the publisher's website or contact the author.
Conference name Journalism Education Association Annual Conference
Location Perth, WA
Date From 2009-11-30
Date To 2009-12-02
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/31899
Date Accessioned 2009-12-09
Language en_AU
Research Centre Griffith Centre for Cultural Research
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Journalism Studies
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Refereed)
Publication Type Code e1

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