About Trevor

Associate Professor Trevor Cullen
Associate Professor Trevor Cullen
Office of Learning and Teaching Fellow.

Trevor Cullen’s Curriculum vitae – Journalism education 2009 – 2016

Biography

Prof Cullen has received several university and national tertiary teaching awards and he was part of a team of researchers that successfully secured two national research grants (ARC and OLT). 

Associate Professor Trevor Cullen is Head of the Journalism programme at Edith Cowan University and since 2006, he has been a lecturer, Course Coordinator and Programme Director of Communications in the Faculty of Education and Arts. He has also served as Vice-President of the Journalism Research and Education Association of Australia (JERAA).

His work with the OLT 2011 Innovation and Development Grant on journalism curriculum renewal focused on balancing tertiary expectations and industry needs in a technological environment. Prof Cullen’s main research areas include journalism education, HIV journalism and health communications, and he is the author of more than 30 peer-reviewed book chapters, journal articles and conference papers which can be viewed at his research website: www.aidsreporting.com

He is a member of the International AIDS Society (IAS), and he has led United Nations, AusAid, Commonwealth Press Union and South Pacific Community sponsored workshops for journalists in Asia and the Pacific region on reporting HIV and health. Previous projects involved media education and training for AIDS organisations and HIV leaders, and working as the Visiting Professor of health journalism at the Communication University of China (CUC) in Beijing from 2011-2014. He has also organised the annual national conference of journalism educators from Australia, Asia and the Pacific.

Prof Cullen has taught in Africa, Europe, the Pacific region and Australia. This experience has brought to his work a great deal of knowledge, skills and experience about teaching and learning, both in developed and non-developed countries. Before embarking on his academic career, Prof Cullen worked in Central Africa for 10 years as a missionary, teacher and broadcaster and then as an intern at the BBC in London and as a reporter for CNS in Rome.

Degrees

  • STB. (Hons) Theology – Louvain University, Belgium
  • MA. Religious Studies – Louvain University, Belgium
  • MA. International Journalism – City University, London, UK
  • PhD. Journalism – University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Teaching CV – Journalism Education 2009 – 2015

Australian Learning and Teaching Council Grant, 2012 – 2013 ($120,000)

Journalism Curriculum renewal: balancing tertiary expectations and industry needs in a technological environment.

http://www.olt.gov.au/project-graduate-qualities-and-journalism-curriculum-renewal-balancing-tertiary-expectations-and-ind

Working with editors and educators to improve curriculum content and outcomes

I have pioneered an innovative approach that has facilitated discussion groups and I organised, in November 2013, the first-ever meeting of 12 West Australian (WA) news editors and 14 journalism educators from WA’s five universities to examine how news editors view journalism education and their recommendations to make it stronger and more relevant. The educators agreed to revisit their courses and to place a much stronger focus on newswriting and convergent skills. This Fellowship will provide another opportunity to work with editors and educators in WA and also nationally to build upon and consolidate previous consultations

Peer-reviewed journal articles on journalism education

  • Cullen, T. (2014). News editors evaluate journalism courses and graduate employability. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 24 (2).
  • Cullen, T. (2014). Mind the Gap: Health reporting in the Pacific. Pacific Journalism Review, 20 (1), 197-209.
  • Cullen, T. (2013). Exploring ways to improve online health stories. eJournalist, 13 (2), 60-72
  • Cullen, T., Stewart, H., Williams, M., Johnston, M., Phillips, G., Mulligan, P., Bowman, L., Meadows, M. (2012). Indigenous voice closing the gap and putting communication for social change into practice. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 1 (21) 55-68.
  • Cullen, T. (2011). Health reporting: The missing links. eJournalist, 11 (2), 137-147.
  • Cullen, T., & Callaghan, R. (2010). The use of narrative fiction to spread HIV information in Papua New Guinea. eJournalist, 10 (2), 33-44.
  • Cullen, T., & Callaghan, R. (2010). Reporting HIV in Papua New Guinea: Trends and omissions from 2000 to 2010. Pacific Journalism Review, 16(2) 163-177.
  • Cullen, T., & Callaghan, R. (2010). Promises, promises, promises. What universities promise journalism students. Australian Journalism Review, 32 (1), 117-130.
  • Cullen, T. (2010). Student journalists learn about Aboriginal communities and culture in Western Australia. Asia Pacific Media Educator, 1 (20), 153-162.

Peer-reviewed conference papers on journalism education

  • Cullen, T. (2014). Industry needs and tertiary journalism education: views from news editors in Western Australia. Peer- reviewed paper presented at the Teaching and Learning Forum 2014, University of Western Australia, Perth, 30th January.
  • Cullen, T. (2013). Online health information: Shortcomings and challenges. Peer-reviewed paper presented at the Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) Conference, Fremantle, Western Australia, 5th July.
  • Cullen, T. (2009). HIV Surveys and Communication Theories. What journalists and Journalism educators need to know. Peer-reviewed paper presented at the 17th AMIC International conference, Manila, Philippines, 15 July.

Research papers at national journalism and conferences

  • Cullen, T, (2013). Views from news editors in Western Australia about what skills and attributes journalism graduates need in the digital newsroom. Talk presented at the annual Journalism Education Association of Australia conference, Mooloolaba, Queensland, 4th December.
  • Cullen, T., Tanner, S., Green, K., & O’Donnell, M. (2013). Australian journalism programs: are they listening to the needs of industry? Talk presented at the annual Journalism Education Association of Australia conference, Mooloolaba, Queensland, 3rd December.
  • Cullen, T. (2013). Assessing the quality of medical journalism in Australia: ten years of ‘Media Doctor’. Talk presented at the annual Journalism Education Association of Australia conference, Mooloolaba, Queensland, 4th December.
  • Cullen, T. (2012). Is it time to review and rewrite what Australian universities promote as selling points to journalism students? Paper delivered at the Australian Journalism Education Association conference, Deakin University, Melbourne, 3rd December.
  • Cullen, T. (2011). The value of practical placements: What student journalists learnt while working with Aboriginal communities. Peer-reviewed paper presented at the 2011 Teaching and Learning Forum, Perth, Western Australia, 1st February.
  • Cullen, T. (2010). The unhealthy state of health journalism: peel away the layers of PR, press releases and spin and what is left? Paper presented at the Investigative Journalism and Technology Conference, Auckland University of Technology, 4th December.
  • Cullen, T., & Callaghan, R. (2010). Reporting HIV in Papua New Guinea: Trends and omissions from 2000 to 2010. Paper presented at the national Journalism Education Association conference, University of Technology, Sydney, 24th November.
  • Cullen, T., & McManus, J. (2010). Student journalists learn about Aboriginal communities and culture in Western Australia. Paper presented at the national Journalism Education Association conference, University of Technology, Sydney, 26th November.
  • Cullen, T. (2010). Journalism student placements with Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. Paper delivered at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day 2010 Global Conference. University of Queensland, 1st May.
  • Cullen, T. (2009). The catalyst Clemente project: Making journalism education accessible to disadvantaged Australians. Peer-reviewed paper delivered at the annual Journalism Education Association of Australia conference, Perth, 1st December.

International research positions

  • Research Fellow of the Pacific Media Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
  • International board member for the Pacific Journalism Review

National research recognition

  • 2010 Journalism research at ECU recognized as above international standards by ERA
  • 2009 Appointed as an Assessor for Australian Research Council grants.

University and national teaching and learning awards

  • 2010 – ECU Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Engagement in Learning and Teaching – for providing students with authentic work place integrated learning that facilitates understanding and respect of different communities.
  • 2009 – First recipient of ECU’s Professional Development Scholarship Award
  • 2008 – Carrick Institute Citation Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning – for the development of an award winning journalism programme that is sensitive to student and industry needs.
  • 2007 – ECU Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student – learning for the development of a journalism programme that listens to student feedback, responds to changes in the media industry and enhances student-centred learning and interaction.
  • 2007 – ECU Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

 

Sharing research on teaching and learning at public lectures /seminars

  • Cullen, T. (2013). What must graduates do to secure jobs in the media: views from news editors in WA. Public talk presented at the John Curtin Policy Institute, Curtin University, Perth, 13th September
  • Cullen, T. (2012). Practice-led research: Talk presented to staff in the School of Communications at Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. 24th
  • Cullen, T. (2012) Working with the Media. Talk presented to students in the School of Population Health at the University of Western Australia, Perth, 19th
  • Cullen, T. (2011). The unhealthy state of health journalism. Paper presented at The John Curtin Institute of Public Policy, Curtin University, Perth, 2nd
  • Cullen, T. (2011). Working with the Media. Public seminar for health science students at University of Western Australia, 14th April.
  • Cullen, T. (2010). Finding ways to improve knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal communities and culture in Western Australia. A public lecture delivered at The John Curtin Policy Institute, Curtin University, Perth, 24th
  • Cullen, T. (2010). Global health: HIV in the Media. A public lecture delivered at the Global Health Short Course, University of Western Australia, Perth, 31st
  • Cullen, T, (2010). Organizing professional placements: are they really worth all the effort? A public lecture delivered at Edith Cowan Research Week, ECU, 17th
  • Cullen, T. (2009 – 2014). Working with the Media. Public talk for dance and music students at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

Visiting professor of health journalism at the Communication University of China

In 2012, 2013 and 2014 I taught a two-week course to Masters and PhD students at CUC on Health Communications. One key reason for this was to enhance ECU’s partnership with one of the top universities in China for media, journalism and communications. I presented a research paper on journalism education in Australia at the International MLeague Global Education Forum in September 2013 and 2014.

Visiting professor of health journalism at Koblenz Landau University, Germany

In 2014, I was one of four successful ECU researchers, led by Prof Lelia Green, that secured an European Commission sponsored IRSES project that aims to build the theory, research and practice on the use of narratives in health communications. I worked with Prof Markus Appel at Landau University where I conducted two research seminars on health narratives for staff and PhD students. I also taught a short course on health journalism.

National student journalism awards for ECU journalism students

Each year the Journalism Education Association of Australia (JEAA) and a panel of industry experts judge and award prizes for the best tertiary journalism students in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. Since 2009, ECU journalism students have won 18 national tertiary student journalism awards since 2007. http://www.jeaa.org.au . Some of the winning categories include: Best Online Story; Best Print News Story; Best Feature Story; Best Student Magazine; Hunter Institute Prize For Best Health Story; Best Photojournalism; Best Broadcast News Story; Best Broadcast Current Affairs Story.

ECU journalism programme rated highly in Australia

The national organization, Graduate Careers Australia, which is recognized by the Vice-Chancellors of Australia, rated ECU’s journalism programme as one of the best performing programs in its 2010 and 2012 findings. It was the best performing university in terms of teaching and graduate satisfaction. These are the latest figures to date. ECU’s journalism programme was rated as one of the best performing universities for graduates to find media jobs when they completed their degree or postgraduate studies. The list included – Queensland University of Technology (159), RMIT (150), UTS (111) and Edith Cowan University (92). List compiled by Dr. Margaret Simons (journalist, author and journalism lecturer at Swinburne University).

Organizer – National Journalism Education Association of Australia Conference (JEAA)

In 2009, the JEAA executive appointed me as convener of the national JEAA annual conference. This involved organising the annual three-day national education conference which attracted media academics from the 29 universities in Australia that run journalism programs, together with overseas journalism and media academics from New Zealand, England, United States, China and the Pacific region. The work involved finding a venue, forming an organising committee, setting up peer-review panels for abstracts and full papers, finding guest speakers, structuring and overseeing the three-day programme, arranging consultative meetings with the Head of Journalism at Curtin and Murdoch universities and seeking financial support since the JEAA did not finance the conference. This was the first time that journalism staff at all three universities had worked together, and especially, on such an important educational project. The conference, entitled Journalism education in the digital age: Sharing strategies and experiences was held at the Burswood Intercontinental Hotel from 30 November – 2 December.

Vice-President of Journalism Education Association of Australia (JEAA)

Elected as the JEAA Vice-President in 2009, this position was both an honour and recognition of my 10 years membership and commitment to the organisation. It is the sole body in Australia that speaks on behalf of media and journalism academics. One of my main jobs was to convene a monthly, two-hour phone conference with the JEAA executive committee in order to make decisions concerning the organizations and its members, and to report on JEAA activities in Western Australia. www.jeaa.org.au

Reviewed journalism programs at University of South Australia

This review was commissioned by the outgoing Head of the School of Communication, Information and New Media, Professor Kerry Green on the instruction of the Pro Vice Chancellor of the Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, Professor Pal Ahluwalia. The site visit occurred between 14-18 February, 2012.

I was told that I was asked to be a reviewer because ECU’s journalism programme was rated as one of the best performing tertiary journalism programs in Australia by Graduate Careers Australia in 2010 in terms of graduate satisfaction with the course and the standard of teaching. The review report was sent to UniSA on 28 March.

During the visit we reviewed the structure of three undergraduate programs, including:

  • The Bachelor of Journalism (MBJO)
  • The Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelor of International Relations (MBJI)
  • The Bachelor of Journalism, Bachelor of Arts (Writing and Creative Communication) (MBJW).

Working with socially disadvantaged students at Mission Australia

I taught 15 students in first semester 2009; 10 students in first semester 2011 and 15 in first semester 2013. I ran a 13-week unit on Introduction to Journalism and also one on Health Journalism. I attended the last three Catalyst Clemente graduation ceremonies. In 2013 I became the programme course coordinator.

The Catalyst Clemente programme is for people whose social and economic circumstances have kept them from following traditional routes to Higher Education. The programme gives them the opportunity to do accredited university courses in the area of the humanities. It is funded by Woodside’s community initiative programme. All the students have reached at least Year 10 and now, through this programme, they can return to study, and if possible, qualify for first year university units at ECU. Ages range from 26 – 60 years and classes are frequently interrupted with smoke and coffee breaks. This works because the people who come are so keen to learn, despite struggling with personal problems or difficult domestic situations. Sometimes it is hard work to keep the people focused. I helped 8 students to graduate and begin their first year studies at Edith Cowan University.

Health journalism education projects in the Pilbara and Geraldton regions

From 2005 – 2011, I worked with the Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health (CUCRH) and the journalism programme at Edith Cowan University (ECU) to promote a better understanding of Aboriginal culture and communities in Western Australia. The long-term aim of this project was to improve media reporting of Aboriginal issues as many non-Aboriginal journalists never manage to meet and talk with Aboriginal people about their lifestyle and beliefs, and this often results in narrow and misinformed reporting. In an attempt to respond to this current situation, eight final-year ECU journalism students were offered an opportunity by CUCRH to participate in a one-month journalism placement with Aboriginal communities in two Western Australian towns in July 2009, 2010 and 2011. At the end of the placement, the students were asked to prepare a brief written report on what they had learnt from the experience. A common response was that the students had gained substantial knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal people (and about themselves), and that this new awareness would, they said, influence their reporting of Aboriginal issues.

Academic roles

  • Director – CREATEC March 2016 – Current
  • Program Director (Communications) 2011 – 2015
  • Head of Journalism 2006 – 2015
  • Acting Head of School Sept 2011, 2012
  • Member of University Academic board 2009 – 2012
  • Head of Faculty Ethics Office 2006 – 2009

Membership of national and international education organizations

  • IAMCR – International Association of Media Communication Research since 2001
  • JEAA – Journalism Education Association of Australia since 2001
  • AJA – Australian Journalists Association since 2005
  • NTEU – National Tertiary Education Industry Union since 2002
  • HERDSA – Higher Education Research and Development since 2008

Link to Trevor Cullen’s ECU CV

Associate Professor Trevor Cullen
Associate Professor Trevor Cullen
ECU – School of Communications and Arts.
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