Journalists and the media generally have been taking something of a hammering in recent weeks about our coverage of the election campaign.
How many voters understood, for example, that the health policies of the three major parties (I assume it’s fair to call the Greens a major party these days) had some significant differences?
How might we do it differently next time? How might we better engage the community in discussions about health policies – not to mention all the other policies that influence our health?
As an avid follower of developments in health reporting in the US (where so much of the innovation seems to be happening, as this example shows), it’s clear that it is well past time to start thinking about these things now. After all, perhaps the next election will be sooner than we think.
That’s me on my soapbox, and I hope to be saying more about these issues at the NewNews2010 conference in Melbourne next week which, as I’ve previously mentioned, is an initiative of the Public Interest Journalism Foundation and Melbourne Writers Festival.
But what about you?
Given the chance for a soapbox, what would you like to say about journalism, the media, and opportunities for creating new types of public debate around complex policy issues?
Or maybe you’ve some ideas for how to focus public attention on those who so often go under-served in our society, those who don’t have the resources or power to influence an election campaign.
Here’s your chance.
NewNews will have a series of “unconference” sessions, enabling those attending the conference to make short presentations.
You may want to simply have a cathartic rant, or talk about innovative work you’re doing in the space of public debate or advocacy, or to comment on issues raised by the conference speakers. Or you might use the sessions as an opportunity to solicit feedback from journalists and others about your pet project. Or go all out, and organise a mini-panel of your own.
This press release has some more details about how to get involved. The short version is that you just need to turn up at the conference at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in the heart of Melbourne on September 2 and 3, and put your details on the unconference list.
If you know of others who might be interested, please feel free to send them this post. Thanks…