The Reporting Diversity (RD) Project was a partnership project between the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and incorporated a number of Universities and other community organisations including Griffith University, the University of Canberra, the University of South Australia, the University of Western Sydney, Media Monitors and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). The lead university for the project was Murdoch University in Western Australia. More details on each of the partnership organisations can be found in the ‘Member Organisations’ section. The project used a similar consultative structure to the first project (See Consultative Structure).
The aim of the project was to raise awareness in both the journalism industry and the general public of fair and appropriate reporting of issues concerning community diversity.
The project sought to do this through substantial consultation with key stakeholders in both the media and the community at large. The results of this consultation would form
the basis of research projects to identify the state of play in Australian media in relation to the reporting and representation of cultural diversity. This in turn would be used in
the creation and dissemination of resource materials specifically designed for the education of journalism students and the professional development of journalists in industry.
The RD Project built on the resources that were developed through the Journalism in Multicultural Australia (JMA) project, also funded by DIAC in 2005 (see ‘Project History’)
The Reporting Diversity (RD) Project took the earlier JMA Project a stage further. The main objectives were to:
- increase our understanding of the links between media reporting and community perceptions of diversity, harmony and multicultural issues;
- demonstrate – through investigation, communication and education – the impacts of those links on individuals and diverse sectors of Australian society;
- provide media practitioners, academics and students with tools to enhance their understanding of multicultural issues and equip them with skills to improve reporting practice;
- provide members of the community with information about how the media report multicultural issues and the impact this has on community harmony;
- further evolve curriculum resources for undergraduate students;
- increase the applicability of resources to cater for masters level students and beyond;
- use Reference Group expertise and knowledge to identify important contemporary topics for research over the life of the project; and
- work closely with Reference Group members on the ongoing development of the research materials (especially the Reporting Diversity Bibliographical Database and Media Analysis).
A central part of the RD Project was the development of a series of resources for use by journalism educators for the education and training of journalists in universities and newsrooms. These resources are available to download from the ‘Research Projects’ section.