We all know that the last decade has been a turbulent time for journalism. The steady stream of journalist job losses in Australia was the catalyst for the development of this project four years ago. Since then, the increasing concentration of online advertising flowing to Google and Facebook, and controversies involving ‘fake news’ have emerged as additional challenges for the sustainability of public interest journalism.
In response, a Senate Select Committee, chaired by Labor’s Sam Dastyari, has been investigating the future of public interest journalism in Australia. The inquiry’s terms of reference can be found here.
On August 21, the New Beats team’s Lawrie Zion and Merryn Sherwood appeared before the committee in Melbourne, where they were invited to discuss the New Beats submission to the inquiry, which focused on the consequences of the loss of so many experienced journalists from newsrooms. Also discussed was the project’s redundancy timeline that chronicles media coverage of journalist redundancies over the last five years. The tabled text version of this document can be found here.
The Senate Select Committee is due to deliver its reports on or before December 7.