Challenges for Journalism Creative Practice Research in the Academic Context: A Clash of Cultures and the National Statement’s Potential as Mediator

Josie Vine
RMIT University

RMIT University’s School of Media and Communication has lead the way in terms of Creative Practice Research. Research in Media, Advertising, the Music Industry and Creative Writing have all achieved high numbers of research outputs under their respective FoR codes. Journalism, however, appears to lag behind. This paper outlines the impediments to engaging in Journalism Creative Practice as Research in an academic context generally, and in the RMIT context specifically. As this paper finds, these impediments are embedded in the tertiary education’s Ethics Application processes, and conflicting ethical cultures between professional journalism and academia. However, as this paper finds, the National Statement has in-built flexibilities to overcome such cultural conflicts. This paper analyses these flexibilities to propose strategies by which RMIT can overcome impediments to its journalism academics engaging in Creative Practice as Research by comparing it to similar tertiary Journalism programs, and concludes by offering specific recommendations that could allow journalism as an academic discipline to develop to its full potential.