The Future of Cultural Journalism

Co-presented with Australian Book Review, The Conversation, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences,and the University Research Portfolio at the University of Sydney

4 August, 2014

We know the media sector is undergoing massive changes - but what does this mean for cultural journalism?

We hear perennial reports that criticism is dead (along with the novel) and mainstream media outlets are devoting less space to books, film and the arts. Audiences are now able to access cultural journalism through more platforms than ever - in print, on the radio, and online. There are new content creators too; 'expert' critics are jostling for space with bloggers, reader-reviewers, and other online species. And while there may be less money available through traditional funding channels such as sales, advertising revenue, and government grants, new funding models offer new possibilities for cultural critique.

Is it all bad news? What do these changes mean for the traditional relationships between readers and reviewers? Is there still a role for editors? And are there really people who will pay for discerning cultural journalism?

A panel of cultural journalists come together to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead.


Peter Rose

Peter Rose has been Editor of Australian Book Review since 2001. In April 2014 he began a series of editorial residencies at the University of Sydney. Throughout the 1990s he was the publisher at Oxford University Press Australia, in Melbourne. Peter Rose is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Crimson Crop (2012). In 2001 he published a family memoir, Rose Boys, which won the 2003 National Biography Award. He has also published two novels, including Roddy Parr (2010).

Catriona Menzies-Pike

Catriona Menzies-Pike is arts editor of The Conversation website. Prior to that, she was Managing Editor of the daily news website New Matilda. She holds a doctorate in English literature from the University of Sydney and has taught undergraduates at several Sydney universities.

Michael Visontay

Michael Visontay (panel chair), is Editor of the University of Sydney alumni magazine, SAM. Michael has worked in the media for 30 years as a journalist, editor and author. He has been an Assistant Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, editor of Spectrum, Deputy Editor of The Sun-Herald, and editor of Australian Author magazine. Michael has also taught journalism at several universities, and been the ghost writer of four books.