15 January 2018

Announcing the 2018 NEWS Conference

Monday January 29


8.30AM – 9.00am


9.00AM – 10.00AM

Join award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Santilla Chingaipe to kickstart The 2018 NEWS Conference.


10.00AM – 10.30PM

You’ve got your own chair, desk and computer but have been puzzled about where to start ever since you were appointed. Join Express Media to uncover what it means to be an editor, meet your network of peers and publications, and set your goals for 2018.


10.30PM – 12.00PM

Journalism is the bread and butter of many student publications, but are your skills up to scratch? We’ve got two jam-packed masterclasses led by Broede Carmody and Bhakthi Puvanenthiran to upskill your reporting. So if you’ve never written a lead, or have more by-lines than fingers, there’s a crash-course for finding, writing, and dealing with the important stories for your publication.


12.00PM – 1.00PM


1.00PM – 2.00PM

On a team with your best mate or complete stranger? Asking your talented friends to contribute? Running a publication can involve managing a lot of people, agendas and aspirations. Learn how to constructively manage and work with a team of editors and writers with Joe Toohey and keep your editorship conflict-free.



1.00PM – 2.00PM

Seeing the same boring pitches and mediocre writing in your inbox? Feel like you only reach five people on campus? Kevin Hawkins will show you how to extend your impact on campus and take you through the basics of reaching out to new writers and readers.


2.00PM – 3.00PM

From defamation, to copyright, to the ethics of being a good journalist, Dr Josie Vine gives you a rundown on how to not get sued, fired, or assassinated by student politicians and your readers.


3.00PM – 3.30PM


3.30PM – 4.30PM

Everyone’s got an opinion and a mighty pen to wield, but how do you avoid #feelpinions? Amy Gray will give you the inside scoop on how op-eds and commentary should be presented by covering representation, voice and what to consider during the editing process.



3.30PM – 4.30PM

Rave review or just raving? Rose Johnstone will guide you through how to commission and edit arts and culture articles and discern the insightful from the inarticulate.


4.30PM – 5.00PM

While student publications all have something in common, sometimes it’s like comparing apples and terrible metaphors. Learn about other publications – their structures, audiences, teams, and goals – in this rapid-fire session as we flip the tables around and you become the experts.



Grab a bite and beverage to celebrate the end of the first day of The 2018 NEWS Conference.

Tuesday January 30




9.00AM – 10.00AM

Join Adolfo Aranjuez to look at the basics of editorial cycles and project management for print and online production. You’ll learn everything from scheduling and deadlines, to following a style-guide, managing a team of editors and writers, and dealing with a printer.


10.00 – 11.00AM

If you make a mistake in print, it’s there forever. Join Adolfo Aranjuez as he shares his top tips for how to master the English language for publication, outline the different stages of editing, explain why proofreaders are your saviours, and guide you through best practice for editing new writers.



10.00 – 11.00AM

So you’ve got a website, a print publication, and are #BREAKING stories all over Twitter. But how do you decide what stories to prioritise, what content works best for which outlet, and maintain the focus and workload of your publication? Join Sam Cooney and learn how you can start a basic content strategy and make the best use your time and energy.


11.00PM – 12.00PM

Kerning, CMYK, left justified…lost yet? Alan Weedon guides you through the basics of graphic design for print and online publications, and gives you practical advice for working with those mythical creatures: graphic designers.


12.00PM – 1.00PM


1.00PM – 2.30PM

Need to layout a magazine, edit artwork, input changes, or export a file for the printer? If you’re taking your first steps into design and are mildly terrified, join Connor Tomas O’Brien to learn the basics and get familiar with InDesign. For experienced users of InDesign, or if you’re in charge of your magazine’s design, join Alan Weedon to level-up to the next stage and get your publication ready for distribution.


2.30PM – 3.30PM

Editing student media may be one of the most rewarding things to do at uni, but it can also be a pretty stressful time. From scurvy and vitamin D deficiencies to insomnia and panic attacks, the tales from former editors can be mildly terrifying. In this important session, Connie Ogan outline strategies and coping techniques to keep your health and enjoyment levels up in the year ahead.


3.30PM – 4.30PM

Do you have a burning question? Something you need to get off your chest? Join the Ex-Editors to chat about any issues not raised in the previous panels, pick the experienced brains, and ask questions of other publications.

With Lucy Ballantyne (ex-Pelican), Claudia Long (ex-Catalyst), Caleb Triscari (ex-Farrago), Connor Tomas O’Brien (ex-On Dit), Elizabeth Flux (ex-On Dit), Kat Gillespie (ex-Pelican), and Fiona Dunne (ex-Vertigo).


4.30PM – 5.30PM

Whether you’re taking part because it’s fun or because it’s a practice run for heading a media empire, editing student media gives you a lot of practical real-world skills. Sammi Taylor chats to Lucy Ballantyne, Meg Watson and Alan Weedon about how they translated skills into the work they wanted and what they wish they’d known when editing student media.




Adolfo Aranjuez | @adolfo_ae

Adolfo Aranjuez is editor of Metro, Australia’s oldest film and media periodical, and editor-in-chief of sexuality and gender magazine Archer. He is also consulting editor of Liminal, subeditor of Screen Education and, previously, deputy editor of Voiceworks and in-house editor at Melbourne Books. Beyond editing, Adolfo is a freelance writer, speaker and dancer; his nonfiction and poetry have appeared in Right Now, Overland, Meanjin and Peril, among others, and he has worked with and performed for Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers’ Festival, National Young Writers’ Festival, Midsumma, Next Wave, Melbourne International Film Festival, Signal, Multicultural Arts Victoria, and various schools and councils. Find out more at adolfoaranjuez.com.

Alan Weedon

Alan Weedon is a publisher and photographer. His work has been published in VICE, i-D, and The Quietus, among others. Currently he’s the Creative Director of Swampland, a new publication devoted to longform Australian music journalism and photography. Follow him on Instagram at @alan_weedon.

Amy Gray | @_AmyGray_

Amy Gray is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, ABC, SBS, Elle, The Lifted Brow and other publications. Her written work focuses on feminism and digital culture, often using memoir as a device.

Broede Carmody | @BroedeCarmody

Broede Carmody is an entertainment reporter for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald. He was the co-editor of RMIT’s student magazine, Catalyst in 2014.

Caleb Triscari | @CalebJTriscari

Caleb Triscari is a journalist, producer, and former editor of Farrago, the student publication of the University of Melbourne. Since then, he has been published in Junkee, The Saturday Paper, Daily Review and regularly reports for Panorama on SYN 90.7FM. He is the subeditor at SmartCompany and a co-director of the National Young Writers’ Festival.

Connie Ogan

Connie Ogan is a holistic counsellor with a special interest in trauma, grief and bereavement. Connie holds an Advanced Diploma in Transpersonal Counselling, a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts, and a Graduate Certificate in Grief and Bereavement Counselling. She has completed Emergency and Critical Incident Stress Training, and is a member of the Australian Counselling Association, the Australian Association of Holistic and Transpersonal Counsellors and the Loss and Grief Practitioners Association. Connie runs a private practice in Fitzroy and works part-time as a grief and trauma counsellor for Road Trauma Support Services Victoria.

Connor Tomas O’Brien | @mrconnorobrien

Connor Tomas O’Brien is a Melbourne-based writer and designer. He runs Studio Sometimes, a print and web design studio focussed on nonprofits and literary organisations.

Elizabeth Flux | @ElizabethFlux

Elizabeth Flux is a freelance writer and editor whose fiction and nonfiction work is widely published. In 2017 she was the recipient of a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, was a judge for The Scribe Nonfiction Prize, was the winner of the inaugural Feminartsy Fiction Prize, and her short story ‘One’s Company’ was selected for Best Australian Stories 2017. She is the editor of Writers Bloc and Reading Victoria, and is a past editor of Voiceworks and On Dit.

Joe Toohey | @joe_toohey

Joe is currently the Executive Director at Regional Arts Victoria and a Board Member at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. He has previously worked as the General Manager of Express Media, Board Member at SYN Media, and a number of other project management roles in the arts sector.

Josie Vine

Dr Josie Vine has been teaching and researching in the RMIT Journalism Program since 2006. Her particular interests are in Journalismhistory and culture, the development of journalism’s ethical value and belief systems, and legislation and regulation of the journalism industry. She completed her PhD in 2009, and is currently researching the historical and cultural significance of Melbourne’s newsrooms.

Kat Gillespie | @kattgillespie

Kat has worked as a staff writer and editor at VICE Australia for the past two years. She’s also a freelance book critic for The Australian and ex-poetry editor at Voiceworks. A devoted student media nerd, she co-edited the University of Western Australia’s student newspaper Pelican with Lucy Ballantyne in 2015.

Kevin Hawkins | @Hawkins_Kevin

Kevin Hawkins works as an events coordinator for WaterAid, where he runs their annual ‘Water Challenge‘ fundraising campaign. Prior to this, he was the Head of Live Below the Line at Oaktree and one of the editors of Farrago Magazine. Kevin is a Media and Communications graduate from The University of Melbourne, where he was heavily involved in student media, including youth radio station SYN.

Lucy Ballantyne | @lucykballantyne

Lucy Ballantyne is a writer and book publicist from Perth, WA. She currently works at Text Publishing, where she has run successful publicity campaigns across the fiction and non-fiction lists. Her writing has appeared in Kinfolk magazine, and recently in The Kinfolk Entrepreneur.

Meg Watson | @msmegwatson 

Meg Watson is an Associate Editor at Crikey. She’s previously worked as the Editor of Junkee, Arts and Culture Editor at Concrete Playground, and has contributed to The Age, The Saturday Paper, Frankie and Daily Life. She co-edited Farrago in 2013.

Rose Johnstone | @RoFloJohnstone

Rose Johnstone’s interest in writing about arts and culture began at the University of Melbourne, where she wrote articles for Union House Theatre while studying a Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing. She moved from working in the book publishing industry into journalism via a sub-editing position at Farrago, then an internship at Time Out Melbourne. After being the Editor of Time Out for three years, she took on the role of Acting Editorial Director of Time Out Australia in January 2018. These days she spends most of her time working on Time Out’s editorial strategy, working alongside the commercial team on branded content, squeezing in as much arts writing as possible and spending her evenings at the theatre.

Sam Cooney | @SamuelCooney

Sam Cooney runs not-for-profit literary organisation TLB, which produces quarterly literary magazine The Lifted Brow, publishes books under its Brow Books imprint, posts commentary and criticism online every week, stages events, awards writing prizes, and more. He is publisher-in-residence at RMIT University, teaches sessionally at several universities, and is a freelance writer and literary critic. He judges literary prizes, sits on a couple of advisory boards, chairs events, and in 2017 took part in the Small Press Network mentorship program as well as the Australia Councils ‘Future Leaders’ professional development program. He’s just returned from a publishing delegation tour of India.

Samantha Taylor | @sammiiitaylor

Sammi Taylor is a journalist and producer from Melbourne, with industry experience in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia. Sammi is a radio producer with 3AW’s Drive program and a freelance writer with bylines in The Age, VICE, Broadly and The Jakarta Post. Sammi is the former Marketing and Development Coordinator of Express Media and Voiceworks.

Fiona Dunne | @ffgeorgie

Fiona Dunne is producer and arts manager from Western Sydney, focused on the development of young and early-career artists across the spectrum of Australian storytelling. She holds a Bachelor of Communications (Writing and Cultural Studies) from the University of Technology Sydney. Fiona is the current Creative Producer of Express Media, joining the organisation in 2014. Previously, Fiona has worked with literary journals, festivals, and arts organisations focused on the production, publication and support of new Australian work across both literature and theatre, and has previously held roles with Seizure, Playwriting Australia, The Emerging Writers’ Festival, Art + Australia, and Belvoir Street Theatre. In 2016 Fiona was selected for Footscray Community Arts Centre’s Emerging Cultural Leaders program, and was a delegate of the Australia Council’s India Literature Exploratory, supported by the UNESCO Melbourne City of Literature.

Santilla Chingaipe | @schingaipe

Zambian-born Santilla Chingaipe is an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. She spent seven years working for SBS World News, which saw her reporting from Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia and interviewing some of Africa’s most prominent leaders. She reports extensively on Australia’s diverse African community and recently presented a one-off documentary for SBS, Date My Race, which aired in February. Santilla is currently directing and producing a documentary on the complexities of Australia’s South Sudanese community.