Today we’re excited to be launching Next ACT: a collaboration between Crikey and the University of Canberra to bring you coverage of the 2012 ACT Election.

Next ACT is an experiment in more ways than one.

It is an experiment in journalism education. Students and staff of two units from the University of Canberra Journalism course, plus a number of students enrolled in the Sports Media program, will produce content for the blog. Audio and video content will be produced by the students of Advanced Broadcast unit, while written copy, still images and other assorted multimedia elements shall be produced by the students of the Online News unit. The reportage will be ‘real’; it won’t just be an assessment item. Many students are already published journalists, but for some this will be the first time they are presented with a clear and distinct opportunity for real publication. They will learn about the cut and thrust of media reporting and the sometimes shockingly uncivil world of online news.

Next ACT is an experiment in political and election reportage. The student reporters are tasked with producing at least two stories. One story before the election will explore and report on some aspect of an event, announcement or issue in the context of what impact a particular policy platform or track record on the ACT community. The story after the election will be a ‘follow up’ in light of the election result. There is no guarantee that their work will be published.

Next ACT is an experiment in editorial oversight and the organisational structure of the media. Blogs have existed for nearly a decade now and the regular intrigues of the political ‘blogosphere’ should be familiar to all Crikey readers. Working in a university means we have a certain degree of freedom to experiment with perhaps new forms of reporting and editorial content. It is a project-based news assemblage that shall exist for the duration of the ACT 2012 election.

Scott Bridges (Broadcast) and Glen Fuller (Online News) will be in charge of maintaining the blog and producing a limited amount of reporting. Both have experience creating and maintaining blogs of various kinds. We thank Jason Whittaker and the rest of the Crikey team for working with us to create this platform.

We welcome guest contributions. Please contact Scott or Glen with a brief message outlining the story and we shall endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

[email protected] | @s_bridges

[email protected] | @eventmechanics

Lastly, we hope readers and other potential contributors will engage with Next ACT in the same spirit of experimentation. (And make sure you follow us on Twitter: @NextACT2012)

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