The Department has developed several communication initiatives to progress the journalistic skills of our students. Prime examples of this are Upstart magazine, Melbourne Webfest, New Beats project and our Strategic Communications Agency.
Our award-winning documentary web series Magnify Melbourne is created by second year Media and Communication students. It won the award for Outstanding Student Series at the 2016 LA WebFest, which took place at the prestigious Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood. And, it has also won awards for Best Documentary at both Kwebfest (Seoul) and Austin WebFest in 2016.
Through a number of biographical short videos, the series aims to document the lives of Melbournians, and to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary.
'For many of our students, working on Magnify Melbourne was their first foray into narrative video production. This award is a recognition of the hard work and dedication that they all put into the project, and it shows that university assignments really can reverberate in the real world.'
La Trobe Media and Communication Lecturer, Magnify Melbourne Executive Producer
The Upstart Hub
The Upstart Hub will be new home of upstart – the digital media network run by Journalism, Media and Communication students at La Trobe. Live broadcasts, news and our online magazine will be produced there from 2017 onwards.
The new facility and the Upstart Media Network (UMN) positions La Trobe as a leader in the field of journalism education, further emphasising our department’s dedication to practice-based teaching and learning. The venue is also an opportunity to showcase the whole university through programming on the UMN. It will provide a platform for our ground-breaking research, innovative projects and creative approaches to teaching and learning in live broadcasts and via the upstart website as well as the UMN’s social and on-demand channels.
La Trobe is the home of the upstart magazine for emerging journalists. The magazine publishes material every weekday, and is edited by a different team of students each semester.
Melbourne WebFest was founded by our colleague Dr Steinar Ellingsen who is a pioneer of the format, thanks to his groundbreaking series The Inland Sea. The annual event, which is held in July, includes an international guest list and has quickly become one of the most exciting annual screen culture events in Melbourne.
New Beats project
Staff research projects include the New Beats project which is a five-year study of journalism redundancies in Australia led by Associate Professor Lawrie Zion. This project has received funding from the Australian Research Council and conducts surveys and interviews with journalists whose have lost their jobs during and since 2012.
Strategic Communications Agency
In 2014 our department established the Strategic Communication Agency, which now has dozens of projects with clients within government, as well as the not-for-profit and commercial sectors. Students are promoting new apps, arranging ministerial conferences, initiating fund-raising campaigns and other public relations events and challenges. Students must place all their work on a time billing system in order to face precisely the same challenges as working in an agency.