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

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

The seminars occur on a Friday afternoon from 3-4 pm in Room 601 in the Michie Building (#9).

Semester 2, 2017 Seminars & Workshops


Friday, 11 August

Technologies for the Analysis of Communication

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Dan Angus

Friday, 18 August

Hotel October: The Deaths and Dates of Jacques Derrida and Walter Benjamin

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Prof. John Schad
(Department of English Literature and Creative Writing, Lancaster University)

Friday, 1 September

The Writer on the Road

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr James Cowan

Friday, 15 September

Birds of a feather? Trump, Chavez and the populist communication style in times of discursive disruption

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Elena Block


Friday, 29 September

Making Hollywood Mobile: Labour in Global Film and Television Production

Room 740, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Kevin Sanson
(School of Communication, QUT)
Friday, 13 October

The Datafication of Religious Media:
Pulpit Plagiarism and the Spiritual Commons in American Sermons

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Andrew Ventimiglia
(TC Beirne School of Law, UQ)
Friday 27 October

Cirrus: Innovative, Digitally Engaged Assessment for High Level Thinking

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Natalie Collie, Dr Jennifer Clement, Kerry Kilner
Friday, 3 November

"The State of Fun": How Singapore's Fun Campaigns Legitimise an Emerging Casino Economy

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Juan Zhang

Friday, 10 November

Historical Moods in Film

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Robert Sinnerbrink
(Macquarie University)


Level 6, Michie Building (#9)