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AJE Winter Conference 2017: Reflections from chair Margaret Hughes

The AJE’s Winter Conference on January 20 took place on the same day in which alternative facts became a phrase, so it was a fitting opportunity to explore the future of journalism education.

Our speakers led the sell-out conference through issues around the importance of the freedom of the press and the need to ensure the safety and security of both journalism and journalists, to how we best prepare our students for futures in – and the demands of – a changing news media landscape.

We heard how journalism hears and shares the voices of the voiceless in local and global communities and how the voices we use from social media, particularly when it is young voices, need to be treated with care.

We looked forward by looking backwards as a review of how journalism education has been represented in academic literature has impacted on the development of our subject both within the academy and in its relationships with industry and a clarion call was sent out to ask all of us how we respond to the challenges that journalism and news face in the 21st century.

It was apparent from the first paper that the future of journalism education faces the same challenges as the industry and attendees joined in meaningful discussion around these.

We also spent time discussing our own professional development within the academy and the opportunity to achieve doctoral qualifications comes in a range of guises nowadays.

All of the slides presented by the speakers are now available on the AJE website and we look forward to welcoming members to the Summer Conference on June 29 & 30 (venue tbc) – the theme will be Journalism: A New World Order (call for papers to come soon).