Date: 19 May, 2017
Time: 3pm-4pm
Location: Room 601, Michie Building (#9)


When a local community stands up against fake news: The Change Makers’ Project

In 2013 two media events sparked outrage from residents in a community in Brisbane’s south. The low socio-economic community of Logan City, which has long been subject to mainstream media stereotyping in Australia, was again thrust into the national spotlight. A disagreement between two families of diverse ethnicities in one of the city’s residential streets received sustained, national coverage under the guise of ‘race riots’. The coverage was followed-up by a report on one of Australia’s leading tabloid current affairs programs that featured an ‘investigation’ into teenage gangs in the city. It was a concerning story, but there was a problem. The young people showcased were not gang members, but high school students. The teenagers had been coerced by the news channel to appear on the program, where they were grossly misrepresented. This fake news had dire repercussions. The students received threats from the ‘real’ gangs and didn’t attend school for weeks. However, this fake news also produced a proactive response from the community. The affected students hatched a plan to produce their own hyperlocal news publication to counter the mainstream media’s stigmatising of their community. The Change Makers’ Project was born. This paper uses this case study as a pathway to explore how fake news is inspiring communities to produce their own media using collaborative and non-traditional methods. The results, in this instance, have been amazing with the project winning national journalism awards. The paper uses interviews and reflexivity to map the evolution of this hyperlocal journalism project.​



Dr Scott Downman and Mr Richard Murray

Dr Scott Downman
Mr Richard Murray


About Research Seminar and Workshop Series


Writing and communicating about pandemics: 2020 School of Communication and Arts Research Seminar Series

The research seminar and workshop series occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

Semester 1, 2020 Seminars & Workshops


Friday, 13 March

Literature as Media: Chinese Online Literature—Storytellers, platforms and transmedia literary world

(Part of the Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Media Design EVENTS)

Dr Tony Xiang Ren, Western Sydney University, with A/Prof Kim Wilkins, Dr Helen Marshall & Emily Baulch

Friday, 27 March



Dr Cedric Courtois

Friday, 10 April


TBC Dr Beck Wise

Friday, 24 April



Dr Skye Doherty

Friday, 8 May


TBC Dr Andrea Bubenik

Friday, 22 May


TBC Dr Chris Hay

Friday, 5 June

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Imagining the End of the World: Writing the Apocalypse before Covid-19 Dr Helen Marshall

Friday, 3 July

Online via Zoom:

Research Seminar - Developing Disciplinary Literacies in Hybrid Classes

Dr Beck Wise



Level 6, Michie Building (#9)