Beyond cats and Kardashians: can journalism satisfy audiences without dumbing down?

Peter Fray, Professor of Journalism Practice

As the Federal government attempts to reform Australia’s media ownership laws, evidence is emerging that journalists are moving away from the traditional watchdog role of the press towards satisfying the demands of audiences. Decades of debate about whether journalists ought to give audiences what they like rather than what journalists think they need is being resolved in favour of what US journalism thinker Jeff Jarvis dismisses as the “cats and Kardashians” model of digital journalism.


But is giving audiences what they want the same as dumbing down? Read the rest of the article at The Conversation. 

How to stop businesses stealing from their employees

Sarah Kaine, Associate Professor for Business and Social Innovation
Emmanuel Josserand, Professor of Management
Martijn Boersma, Lecturer

A Senate inquiry has revealed that wage theft and underpayment are so prevalent in some industries that they have become the norm. Around 79% of hospitality employers in Victoria, for instance, did not comply with the national award wage system between 2013 and 2016. Regulators and unions don’t have the resources to combat this issue, and so we need another method to tackle wage exploitation.


One way is to introduce a multi-stakeholder certification scheme, using market forces to reward companies that have committed to fair working conditions and punish those that don’t. Read the rest of the article at The Conversation. 

What would it take to raise Australian productivity growth?

Roy Green, Dean of UTS Business School

While productivity is once again growing in Australia, we face a big challenge in getting it to a level that would restore the rate of improvement in our living standards of the last few decades.


Yet the measures required to meet this challenge may not be the ones usually promoted by economists and editorial writers. We need innovation not just in the technologies we use but in our business models and management practices as well. Read the rest of the article at The Conversation. 

National poll vs sample survey: how to know what we really think on marriage equality

Louise Ryan, Distinguished Professor of Statistics

The plan to use the Australian Bureau of Statistics to conduct the federal government’s postal plebiscite on marriage reform raises an interesting question: wouldn’t it be easier, and just as accurate, to ask the ABS to poll a representative sample of the Australian population rather than everyone?


Given that the vote is voluntary and non-binding, its sole purpose appears to be to find out what Australians actually think of the idea. On the face of it, conducting a sample survey sounds like an easy and cost-effective alternative to the A$122 million postal vote. Or is it? Read the rest of the article at The Conversation. 

For a true war on waste, the fashion industry must spend more on research

Mark Liu, Chancellors Postdoctoral Research Fellow

The rise of fast fashion in Australia means 6000 kg of clothing is dumped in landfill every 10 minutes. The ABC’s War On Waste visualised this statistic by piling a giant mound of clothing waste in the middle of the city. So what to do about it? Sustainable fashion experts advocate abstaining from buying fast fashion, promoting clothing swaps and repairing old clothing. Others suggest buying organic and ethically-sourced clothes or designing clothing using zero waste techniques. The hope is that greater transparency in supply chains will lead to an end to sweatshops and unsustainable fashion practices. Read the rest of the article at The Conversation. 

For more reading, head over to UTS: Newsroom where all contributions to The Conversation from UTS academics are listed.

Feature image credit: Jonathan Simcoe.

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