Exploring Aged Care through Process/Slow Journalism

The possibilities of process journalism: Insights from the news media coverage of the Royal Commission into Aged Care

The exploration of this topic is the outcome of a Masters Project by Navin Sam Regi. 

Why it matters? 

The importance of storytelling in aged care coverage is evident as researchers delve into ageism in media discourse and the challenges faced by investigative journalism in the digital age. As researchers delve into the prevalent ageism in media discourse and the challenges faced by investigative journalism in the digital age, it becomes evident that accurate and diverse narratives are essential in aged care reporting. Lichtenstein’s comparative study highlighted the ageism in COVID-19-related media coverage, emphasizing the need for accurate and diverse narratives in aged care reporting.

The media’s underappreciation of aged care issues, as reflected in the lack of attention given to the Royal Commission into Aged Care despite impactful investigations, highlights the urgency to address the challenges faced by the news industry. A process-driven journalism approach emerges as a potential solution, emphasizing collaboration, engagement, and participatory storytelling.

By embracing this approach and adopting a slow storytelling method, we can reshape the news agenda and nurture meaningful conversations about aged care and other pressing social issues. Our project aims to collaboratively create a few visual, poetic, and digital stories about ageing and aged care, capturing a few diverse perspectives and experiences from across Australia.

This endeavor is important because it challenges the prevailing norms of fast media, which struggle to address complex issues comprehensively and often lead to overwhelmed and forgetful citizens. Slow journalism allows us to pay close attention, be creative in our methods, fact-check information, and seek out untold narratives. It encourages collaboration and transparency, transforming journalism into a service that serves the community and invites the audience to actively participate as partners or co-producers.

By prioritizing collaboration, transparency, and transformative storytelling, our project aims to contribute to a more informed and empathetic society. Through engaging narratives, we can drive social betterment, provoke thought, foster understanding, and inspire action. Together, we can reshape the news landscape and create lasting change in aged care and beyond.

Lichtenstein, B. (2021). From “Coffin Dodger” to “Boomer Remover”: Outbreaks of Ageism in Three Countries With Divergent Approaches to Coronavirus Control. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 76(4), e206–e212. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbaa102

Project Overview 

This project explored the potential of process-driven journalism in covering social justice issues, specifically focusing on aged care discourse in Australia. A cohesive integration of 14 interviews, stories, photographs, and background information was conducted to present a strengthened argument for the application of process journalism.

The research included a content analysis of mainstream media coverage surrounding the Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Sourcing practices, framing, and narrative structure were examined. The project also conducted consultations with stakeholders from the aged care sector to identify reporting weaknesses and opportunities for improvement, as well as to assess the impact of the Royal Commission.

Collaborative story sessions were conducted with individuals directly affected by the issues in the aged care sector. These sessions aimed to capture their lived experiences and perspectives, adding depth and authenticity to the project’s findings.

Through various analyses and discussions, the project shed light on the limitations of traditional news reporting in representing complex issues like aged care and advocated for a more collaborative, engaging, and solutions-focused approach. The research emphasized the importance of a more inclusive and diverse representation of voices and perspectives in media coverage.

The project’s findings highlighted the impact of media coverage on aged care and demonstrated how process-driven reporting can provide a more comprehensive understanding of complex issues. By engaging audiences more meaningfully, this approach has the potential to contribute to positive change in the aged care sector.

The implications of the research extend to journalists, media organizations, and policy-makers, emphasizing the importance of adopting a collaborative and solutions-focused approach to journalism that serves the public interest.


Creative Works – Videos, Audio Stories, & Photography

In the first phase of this project, Sam Regi & Sarah Johnstone spoke to a variety of different stakeholders from the aged care service sector including aged care service providers and advocacy services. During these conversations, we asked them several questions relating to the Royal Commission and its coverage by mainstream media. Below are a sample of videos from those interviews.

“What impact do you think the Royal Commission into aged care had?”

“What are your concerns about the news media coverage of aged care issues?”

“What are your recommendations to improve the news media representation of aged care issues?” 

In the second part of the project, Regi sought to capture the stories of those most affected by the current aged care system in Australia, including aged care workers, older Australians and their families. The following are the creative outputs of his conversations with three people:  Lucy–a former Aged Care Worker; Juanita–a 54-year-old living with Dementia & passionate advocate for dementia care; and Danijela a carer for her ageing parents, as well as a translator and advocate for immigrant communities. 



































Listen to Lucy’s Story–’A 19-year-old’s Journey Through Aged Care’:


































Listen to Juanita’s Story:

















































Listen to Danijela’s Story–’Danijela’s Path: Wisdom, Advocacy, and Remembrance’:



  • ‘Time to Listen’: Amplifying Voices from the Royal Commission into Aged Care through Art & Design, at ‘Design for Change: Designing the world we want’ Conference, The Sphere, QUT Brisbane.
  • World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) 2023, Flowstate–Southbank Parklands, Brisbane


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  • World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) 2023, Flowstate–Southbank Parklands, Brisbane