The Civic Impact of Journalism

Research theme: Knowledge and expertise
Duration: August 2013 to August 2014

Research team

  • Dr Margaret Simons, Faculty of Arts, UoM

  • Professor Helen Sullivan, Faculty of Arts, UoM

  • Professor Denis Muller, Faculty of Arts, UoM

  • Professor Rodney Tiffen, University of Sydney

  • Professor Michael Parks, University of Southern California

Project summary

The Civic Impact of Journalism project addresses an urgent issue as the business models of traditional media decline. While the importance of journalism to democracy is constantly proclaimed, there is little research that quantifies or explores its impact. This innovative project, spanning the disciplines of journalism studies and political science, is therefore of international significance, as evidenced by the participation of Professor Michael Parks, University of Southern California, who plans to apply our methodology to the USA.

The project will provide empirical evidence of the impact of journalism on Australian civic life, and is directed at answering the following questions:

  • What is the impact of journalism on civic life in a liberal democracy?

  • What is the impact on civic life of a reduction in journalistic capacity, including from the collapse of the business model of traditional media?