The Australian Academy of the Humanities announced today (12 July, 2021) that the QUT DMRC’s Dr TJ Thomson is the recipient of one of its $4,000 travelling fellowships.
Thomson, also a senior lecturer in visual communication and media in the School of Communication, is a former visual journalist and current academic whose research agenda focuses on how visual journalism is produced—by whom, in what environments, through which processes, and with what results. Thomson’s fellowship project, a small-scale study of the digital divide’s impact on regional Australia, is aligned to his work in two DRMC programs: Digital Publics (led by Professor Axel Bruns) and Digital Inclusion and Participation (led by Prof Michael Dezuanni).
Thomson’s nomination was supported by Dr Alexandra Wake, president of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia, and Dr Yung Soo Kim, associate professor at the University of Kentucky.
Kim called Thomson’s project ‘an important extension into recent work done by A/Prof Helen Caple’, associate professor at the University of New South Wales, and deemed the topics Thomson grapples with in his project—from labour and precarity to the digital divide and centralisation—critical to thoughtfully consider both within the academy and beyond it.
The project contributes to the research on local journalism and on everyday, routine coverage rather than coverage of special events, which Caple (2019) calls an area that is ‘largely neglected’ (p 59). It also complements at the micro level previous macro-level insights that have been gleaned through looking at the production and presentation of journalism in capital cities and by large organisations.
The awards committee was chaired by the University of Melbourne’s Prof Deirdre Coleman FAHA, who congratulated this year’s Fellowship recipients, and noted the importance of investment in the next-generation leaders of Australia’s humanities community, particularly in times of upheaval.
The full announcement can be read here.