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Science journalists band together at SJAA

By Elliott Richardson in Media News on
Though scientific journalism has been under threat in recent times due to cutbacks in media budgets, important scientific issues like climate change and anti-vax campaigns have reaffirmed the significance of science journalism, and brought about the birth of the Science Journalists Association of Australia.

The association grew out of a Facebook group established five years ago by ABC science editor Darren Osborne and Nature editor Steven Pincock said interim SJAA president, Bianca Nogrady.
“A group of us (science journalists) had been tossing around the idea for a while of setting up an organisation for science journalists in Australia. For a long time, science journalism had been on the back-foot in Australia; there were very few in-house science journalist jobs in the mainstream media, with many previous science journalists having either been made redundant or taken redundancies as part of the crisis that was affecting— and continues to affect —the mainstream media,” said Nogrady.
“But in recent years, that trend seems to be turning around for science journalism, at least in some areas of media. There is more science coverage, more interest in science, more science-focused outlets— particularly in the digital space —and more science journalists, particularly freelancers.
So after a couple of conversations at the Quantum Words science writing festival in October 2018 (at Writing NSW), we decided the time had come to set up an organisation to support this growing community.”
The organisation was formally incorporated in June 2019 and, as Nogrady explains, and was conceived to assist scientific journalism in Australia.
“The Science Journalists Association of Australia aims to support and foster the professional interests of practising and aspiring science journalists in Australia, and to champion and advocate for independence and excellence in science journalism,” she said.
“We want to provide networking and professional development opportunities for Australian science journalists; we want to champion the importance of independent science journalism in Australia and celebrate its excellence; we want to encourage more people into science journalism and support aspiring science journalists to pursue a career in this area; and we want to give this growing community every opportunity to be bigger, better and brighter.”
Nogrady said the association will look to provide opportunities such as professional development courses uniquely designed for science journalists, networking events, as well as provide encouragement and support to the community.
“Independent, rigorous science journalism is more important than ever, and we believe we can play an important role in nurturing that in Australia. At a time when our media is increasingly fragmented, we also provide a place where science journalists can support each other in producing work that is interesting, ethical and provides a valuable resource for Australians.”
Full membership is open to all science journalists across the full spectrum of print, digital, radio, television, podcasting, blogging and vlogging and those teaching science at the tertiary level. Associate membership, without voting rights, is also available to those who wish to support science journalism as well as student memberships.
The current interim board consists of Nogrady as president, Nicky Phillips as treasurer and Sara Phillips as secretary. The foundation committee is made up of  Jonathan Webb, Carl Smith and Natasha Mitchell from the ABC, Stephen Pincock, Nicky Phillips and Sara Phillips from Nature and freelances Dyani Lewis, Fran Molloy, Wilson da Silva and Nogrady.
The inaugural AGM of the SJAA is slated to be held in April this year.
The SJAA can be contacted via their website.

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Pearce departs IDG for CommsDay

By Craig Daveson in Media News on
Computerworld Australia editor Rohan Pearce announced on Twitter this morning that he will be finishing his current role at the end of the week to join telco newsletter Communications Day as executive editor. 
After working at Green Left Weekly for six years, Pearce first joined IDG in 2008, eventually becoming the editor of Computerworld Australia.
“We've long admired Rohan from a distance for his accurate, perceptive and granular approach to covering the tech sector. So we're absolutely delighted that he can join the CommsDay team where he will immerse himself into the telco sector,” said CommsDay publisher Grahame Lynch.
“With Simon Dux having joined recently we're building a fantastic A-team to take us into the 2020s.”
Speaking to Influencing, Pearce said that it feels strange to finally leave the company where he has spent so much of his professional life.
“I’ve been at IDG for almost 12 y

James to host 2SER breakfast show

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Sydney station 2SER 107.3FM’s breakfast show will have Alex James in the booth.

She was moved up to the post after months of doing substitute hostings for the show. 

James is already a familiar voice at 2SER having produced the Tuesday Daily for years, with one prominent show being the station’s 40th anniversary last year. 

Tune in to James on LinkedIn.

Hit WA appoints new breakfast hosts

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The Hit Network has appointed Allan Aldworth and Michelle Anderson as the new hosts for its Hit WA breakfast show, effective 16 March 2020.

Aldworth recently finished hosting his own breakfast show at Hit Bunbury while Anderson is relocating from Brisbane, where she was at River 94.9.

The show will be syndicated on Hit 106.5 (Karratha), Hit 101.3 (Broome), Hit 91.7 (Port Hedland), Hit 96.5 (Geraldton), Hit 95.3 (Albany), Hit 95.7 (Bunbury), Hit 100.5 (Bridgetown), Hit 102.3 (Esperance), Hit 97.9 (Kalgoorlie), Hit 94.9 (Katanning), Hit 105.1 (Merredin), Hit 100.5 (Narrogin), and Hit 96.5 (Northam).

“There was clear chemistry between Allan and Michelle when we heard their first demo. This is going to be incredibly fun radio for WA,” said Hit WA content boss Tim Arnold.

Swan speaks on becoming The Australian’s tech editor

By Elliott Richardson in Media News on
David Swan will be looking to make the technology section of The Australian compulsive reading as he takes over from the departing Supratim Adhikari.
Swan paid tribute to his long-time editor and colleague Adhikari, who is moving to Nine’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
“He’s got a fantastic analytical mind which comes from covering tech for over a decade and I’ve learnt plenty from him. 
“He'd been there [The Australian] for five years, with me, in the tech sector and it felt like the right time for him to try something new. We'd also worked together at Technology Spectator, so it wasn't too much of a surprise when he announced that he was moving on,” Swan says.
His appointment as The Australian’s new tech editor was a fairly straightforward process with Swan saying he was happy to “throw his hat into the ring, or whatever cliche you’d like to use,” and that he had the back

3AW hires Ox and Marco for footy show

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Footy commentators David Schwarz and Mark Allen, AKA Ox and Marco, are coming to 3AW for the new AFL season.

The duo will go on-air from 5:30PM to 7:30PM every Saturday, which will be a lead-in to the weekend matches. They have not been working since Nine absorbed Macquarie Sports Radio late last year, which also claimed their drive show.

Schwarz and Allen’s signings are part of 3AW’s comprehensive AFL coverage. 

Gerard Healy is locked in for the Thursday-night games in Melbourne, while Tim Lane joins Bruce Eva on Friday nights. Daniel Haford, Mark Robinson, and Jimmy Bartel are up again for the Sunday pregame discussions.

Power 94.9 FM sets up new breakfast hosts

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Power 94.9FM has tapped Kaley-Jade Baker as a new co-host for Andy Sands on the breakfast show, reported Radio Today. 

Baker, formerly an associate producer at the ABC, stepped in as the station sought a replacement after Katie Fleming’s exit last November. Fleming was on the post following her Diploma in Radio graduation from AFTRS earlier in the year.

“We like to think of ourselves as fire and ice with Andy being cool, calm and collected and Kaley the firey, outspoken and outgoing one. As a first provincial radio gig for us both, we hope that in our time on this show, we’ll be able to grow as young broadcasters and set up the foundations for successful careers into the future,” the tandem said.

Atlassian Confirms Support of 2020 Samsung Australian IT Journalism Awards

By Mike Woodcock in Media News on

Australian software giant Atlassian has today confirmed their support of the 2020 Samsung Australian IT Journalism Awards (the Lizzies). 

Joining Name Sponsors Samsung AustraliaWatterson Communications,  Enex Testlab and Amazon Web Services, Atlassian's support ensures the 2020 Lizzies will be a night to remember.

Atlassian Head of APAC Communications, Louise Halloran, said: "We are thrilled to support such an important night for Australian technology journalism. These awards recognise journalists who have made outstanding contributions in the space ensuring Australians have an accurate and balanced understanding of technology, which we unashamedly believe is critical in shaping Australia’s future economy." 

We look forward to working with Louise Halloran and the rest of the Atlassian team to deliver a memorable evening.

Entries for the Lizzies are now closed; with finalists expected to

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