Macleay College hosted talented journalists and educators in-house and online as part of today’s inaugural International Reporting conference.
Two key guests at the college’s Melbourne Campus on Swanston Street were a former Sydney Morning Herald editor and now media entrepreneur Eric Beecher and a freelance foreign correspondent, Steven Viney.
Mr Beecher, who is CEO of Crikey, provided valuable insight into the Australian media’s position on reporting events on the other side of the world. But he also had advice on reporting closer to home.
“We should be covering our backyard a lot better than we do,” he said. “I don’t think any Australian newspapers have anyone in New Zealand, for example.
“But Indonesia, I think we probably do that as well as anywhere else in the world because of its relevance to Australia.”
Mr Viney addressed the importance of accuracy and stories of social impact.
“I think news organisations can always do a better job at pushing the truth further,” he said. “The western perception of what happens internationally is still very superficial. But you can’t entirely blame the media because they’re responding to the market research of what people want to see.
“It’s this kind of tennis game where the audience has to want to demand better coverage and then the news organisation has to give it to them.”
Today’s conference highlighted key issues student journalists need to understand if they hope to report on international news and for international audiences. – Jessica Ankomah and Georgina McCormack
Top photo by Sarah Batt.