Media, political and legal discourses liberally use the term ‘the public interest’ as a justification for an act or outcome that has an over-riding public good. But what exactly is ‘the public interest’? In New South Wales alone, the term ‘the public interest’ is included in almost 200 Legislative Acts (Wheeler 2006: 22) but, almost without exception, the term is not defined. Pervasive, but poorly understood, and mysterious in its own way, the public interest is described as “one of the most used terms in the lexicon of public administration, [but] it is arguably the least defined and least understood” (Wheeler 2006: 12).

This seminar paper examines the public interest as it relates to public relations and communication, but also, more broadly, as it exists within related discourses surrounding social capital, law and political philosophy. The presentation is illustrated with narratives and case studies that take the audience from West Africa, to Helsinki, to the Australian outback, to the Republic of Ireland, and to the world’s largest online encyclopedia.

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A/Professor Jane Johnston’s book Public Relations and the Public Interest is published by Routledge (2016) and a follow-up journal article Public interest: A new way of thinking for public relations? is in press. Her next book on the topic, co-edited with Magda Pieczka from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, draws together a collection of leading international scholars to continue the exploration of the public interest across a range of social, political and economic systems. Johnston’s interdisciplinary research explores public relations, media, communication, law and justice – often at their various intersections.  She consults to government and the courts on justice communication.

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.

Unless otherwise advertised, the seminars occur on a Friday afternoon from 3-4 pm in the Digital Learning Space (Room 224) in the Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37).

Semester 2, 2019 Seminars & Workshops

 

Friday, 26 July
3-4pm

School Forum

 

Friday, 2 August
3-4pm

Who Owns Your Face? Personal Identity Rights in the Era of Augmented Reality and Facial Recognition Technology

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Gordon Finlayson

Friday, 16 August
3-5 pm
 

3:00pm-4:00pm (Panel)

4:00pm- onwards (CAPS launch event)

CommArts Postgraduate Society Panel: “How to Write a Journal Article and Target the Right Journals”

CommArts Postgraduate Society Launch/ new HDR student welcome

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Angela Hannan (SCA Librarian)

Dr Elena Danilova (Scholarly Publishing, Library)

Dr Ted Nannicelli (Editor, Projections: The Journal for Movies and Mind)

Associate Professor Kelly Fielding (Communication scholar)

Dr Jennifer Clement (Literary Studies scholar)

Associate Professor Pradip Thomas (Communications, Media and Cultural Studies scholar)
Friday, 23 August
3-5 pm

All in One Quire: Emotional Communities in John Donne's Easter Sermons

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Jennifer Clement

Friday, 6 September
3-4pm

Examining intergenerational cultural transmission in refugee families: A study of Congolese, Burmese, and Ethiopian refugee families resettled in Australia

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Aparna Hebbani and Mairead MacKinnon

Friday, 13 September
3-4pm

CANCELLED

AustLit and BlackWords—Platforms for Storying Research

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Kerry Kilner and The AustLit Team

Friday, 27 September
3-4pm

Centre for Critical and Creative Writing Hosted Roundtable: The State of Australian Arts Criticism

The Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio

 

Dr Stephen Carleton with panellists Miriam Cosic, Alison Croggon, Carissa Lee and Kathryn Kelly
Friday, 4 October
3-4pm

Enacting a Sense of Home Among Older Chinese Migrants in Australia

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

A/Prof Shuang Liu
Friday, 11 October
3-4pm

Selfies, Affordances, and Situational Properties

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Katrin Tiidenberg, Tallinn University

Friday, 18 October
3-4pm

To Not Die of History

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Cherry Smyth

Friday, 25 October
3-4pm

POSTPONED UNTIL 2020 - TBA

Why Paintings Matter: Filming Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow (1565)

Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2),
Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)

Dr Andrea Bubenik

 

Venue

Room: 
Room 601, level 6, Michie Building (#9)