Journalism, Art and Indigeneity - PJR's next supported project for 2021


Image of journals for Journalism, the creative arts and Indigenous studies - PJR's next project for 2021

Pacific Journalism Review is supporting a new "Journalism, creative arts and Indigenous studies" seminar and book project for 2021. This project replaces our usual Call for Papers for the next edition as PJR is on sabbatical for the next few months.

Journalism, Art and Indigeneity

This is a proposal for an innovative scholarly publication (articles and book) and multi-site exhibition program in 2021 or 2022.  The overarching research question for the project is: What is the relationship between journalism, art, and Indigeneity?  The outcomes will be journalism that constitutes a rigorous research exercise engaging with art and/or Indigeneity, accompanied by a scholarly reflection on the methodological aspects of the research.  The project has emerged as a result of the 2020 ANZSRC Review of Fields of academic research which confirmed the location of Journalism as a discipline within the Division of Creative Arts and Writing, but also established a new Division of Indigenous Studies that includes Literature, Journalism and Writing (see Nash, 2020). 

The objective of the project is to produce journalism through rigorous research that reveals either new significant information or new significance and interpretation of existing information.  The journalism should engage methodologically with either the creative arts (but not necessarily be about art) and/or Indigenous people’s issues.

There will be an editorial advisory committee guiding the process, with members drawn from the journalism, creative arts and Indigenous professional and academic communities.  We encourage and will facilitate group projects, and especially encourage early career practitioners and scholars.

Journalism we define to be the attempt to make and evidence a valid truth claim that involves four elements: ‘reporting, judging, a public voice and the here and now’ (Stuart Adam 1993).  How each of those elements is to be conceived and executed is open to challenge, e.g.

  • what is the relationship of the ‘here and now’ to the historical and geographical context?
  • Which publics and how are they to be addressed and listened to?
  • Who judges and by what criteria?
  • What are effective modalities for reporting?
  • How to report silences and absences?

Art we define to be an object, statement, performance or event open to aesthetic interpretation.  Clearly there are longstanding areas of journalism such as literary writing, documentary cinema, photojournalism, radio documentary/features/podcasts that are aesthetically self-conscious and engaged.  As well, conceptual art since the 1960s has engaged with information, journalism and data.  The 2020 ANZSRC Fields of Research Review confirms that Journalism Practice is a research discipline that sits within the Division of Creative Arts and Writing.  We strongly encourage innovation in exploring the art dimension of journalism.

Indigeneity we take to be identity related to being a First Nations person in an identifiable social and geographical context.  We are focused, but not exclusively, on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Maori and Pacific peoples.  The 2020 ANZSRC Fields of Research Review distinguishes between non-Indigenous and Indigenous journalism as distinct (even mutually exclusive) fields of journalism practice as research.  There is decades-long experience of Indigenous journalism and art in Australia, New Zealand Aotearoa and the Pacific nations which provides a fertile base for this project.  There is strong contemporary scholarly concern with decolonising methodologies in academic research, and this project seeks to apply those concerns to journalism as a research and publication set of practices.

Contributions to the project may be by an individual or group, and we anticipate and encourage that many participants will prefer group projects. 

Projects must include:

  1. Rigorous journalism in some modality that involves art and/or indigeneity
  2. A written statement or exegesis of a negotiated length (minimum of 2000 words) that analyses the work in a scholarly context relevant to a selected discipline(s) and journalism.

The draft production schedule is:

  1. In-person and online briefing sessions for interested parties early in 2021
  2. Written proposals (500 words) due by end of February 2021
  3. Feedback from project convenors by end of March
  4. Written proposals (2000 words) due by end of April
  5. Presentation for in-person and online seminar for collective group feedback on proposals in mid- to late May
  6. Publication of articles and book from late 2021; exhibition program to be advised

Further Information:

Chris Nash:
Wendy Bacon:
David Robie:


Nash, C. 2020: ‘Gentle sounds, distant roar: a watershed year for journalism as research’. Pacific Journalism Review, 26(20) 132-141.