[ASC-media] Media forum at University of Melbourne

Jan Thomas jan.thomas at amsi.org.au
Tue Mar 3 06:45:28 CET 2009

"Transforming Data into Stories - How the Media Shapes Truth in the 
midst of an Information Revolution"

Media Forum - Wednesday 25 March, 12-1

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and 
the Centre for Advanced Journalism.

This forum will be moderated by Michael Gawenda, immediate past 
Editor of The Age (1997-2004) and now inaugural Director of the 
University of Melbourne Centre for Advanced Journalism. Panelists 
(who will each present for ten minutes) include:

     * Norman Swan (presenter, ABC Radio National, Health Report; 
investigative journalist)
     * Simon Mann (managing editor and later senior deputy editor of 
The Age, now returned to writing as a senior correspondent).
     * Denis Muller (past Associate Editor of The Age, now runs own 
policy and social research consultancy).

You must register to attend. See below.


For most people, their understanding of the world comes from the 
media, from the newspapers they read, the television programs they 
watch, the radio stations they favor-and increasingly, the internet 
sites they log onto every day. The flood of information grows bigger 
by the day. We are deluged by it, bewildered by it and at times, 
frustrated by it.

Much of that information comes from quantitative data, the result of 
research projects by scientists, medical researchers and social 
researchers. Increasingly, this data is mediated through PR 
companies, hired to ensure the data gets wide media coverage. Often 
the research is specially commissioned by companies, including drug 
companies, business groups, trade union organizations, governments 
and NGOs.

On any given day, journalists are bombarded with data. Their job is 
to transform this data-a fraction of it in reality-into accessible, 
and if possible `human' stories. This is a huge challenge for 

The forum, with some of Australia's leading journalists, will examine 
how well the media have met those challenges, the strengths and 
weaknesses of the way the media finds, analyses and presents 
quantitative data and whether journalists, with more training, could 
be better equipped to handle the deluge of data that comes at them 
every day of their working lives.

This event is an integral part of the new university breadth subject 
"Critical thinking with data". It will be held in the
J.H. Michell Theatre, Richard Berry Building, Parkville Campus, The 
University of Melbourne.

To attend the event you must register by Friday the 20th
of March, 2009 at:

Individual and Group registrations are welcome. Please register early 
as seats are limited. You will be sent an email if your registration 
is accepted.

Enquiries to Robert Maillardet <rjmail at unimelb.edu.au>
Ms Jan Thomas
Executive Officer Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute

61-3-8344 1774 (office)	    041 900 6205 (mobile)
61-3-9349-4106 (Fax)

Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute
111 Barry Street
C/- The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010

AMSI - winner of the 2008 Fast Thinking and Open Universities 
National Innovation Award for Science Innovation

Find out about the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute at 
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