Journalisim students Kim Smith and Adam Evans interview Brenda Nadjiwan at World Press Freedom Day
Journalisim students Kim Smith and Adam Evans interview Brenda Nadjiwan at World Press Freedom Day
30 April 2010

UQ students will take advantage of a rare opportunity to speak with and learn from world-renowned journalists when they cover World Press Freedom Day, held at the St Lucia campus from May 1-3.

John Austin, from the UQ School of Journalism and Communication, said the event was a great opportunity for students to participate at a practical level at a world-class conference.

“They will see the organising of a really big event first hand and talk to some of the most courageous journalists in the world,” Mr Austin said.

JAC Radio will broadcast the opening ceremony, plenary sessions, WFPD prize ceremony and closing ceremony.

Student journalists will report on all other events, interview keynote speakers, delegates and visitors.

Coordinator and executive producer of radio broadcast Anthony Frangi said live coverage would commence from 8:30am to 5:30pm on Sunday, and 9:00am to 5:30pm on Monday.

“World Freedom Press Day has never been held in the Pacific region, so this is a golden opportunity for our journalism students to experience and participate in a global event,” Mr Frangi said.

“Journalists use radio to report the truth, educate, raise public awareness and promote diversity.

“Radio remains a powerful force and reaches more people than any other medium.”

The reporting team includes six volunteers working with the Indigenous Voice project, which aims to equip students with the skills to accurately and sensitively cover Indigenous issues.

They have been gathering news from the Indigenous Voice Workshop, held yesterday and today, and will also cover the Indigenous Voice Forum on May 1, where Aboriginal employment in the media and reporting Indigenous issues will be discussed.

Project Leader Heather Stewart said the student journalists were “very dedicated”.

She said they were working very long hours recording audio, video and stills from the conference, which would be made into a video documentary and streamed on the project’s website.

She said the team would be interviewing some of the world’s best Indigenous journalists and leading academics in the field.

Master of Journalism student Zoe Hancock said she volunteered because she felt there was a real need to improve coverage of Indigenous Issues.

“Bringing such an important group of people together indicates that the journalism profession is serious about making changes,” Ms Hancock said.

“I believe it is an important area which I want to be part of in the future as an Australian journalist to really make a difference.”

Carla Sunwoo, also a Master of Journalism student, said the practical experience with real deadlines and networking opportunities made the hard work worthwhile.

“It’s exciting being able to be a part of something so big and geared towards shaping the global society," she said.

"I’ve also met leading journalists and keynote speakers from Indigeneous media and organisations from all over the world.

"As this is my last year, it’s been a great experience helping out and networking at the same time.”

Reporting is not the only way UQ students are supporting World Press Freedom Day, with six student volunteers assisting on the event management front.

Led by Chantal Dickson and Dr Charles Arcodia from the School of Tourism, they are helping to coordinate all aspects of the event logistics.

“Our team includes students from the School of Tourism and Journalism and Communication,” Ms Dickson said.

“The event management has involved a variety of tasks, all geared towards making the conference run smoothly.

“Coordinating such a high-profile event creates a lot of pressure, but the students have been fantastic.”

For more information on World Press Freedom Day, please visit

The radio broadcast can be heard at

Media: Allison Rock or Penny Robinson at UQ Communications (07 3365 9723,