The Conversation turns one!

In summary:

  • Government and university funded news and opinion portal The Conversation has turned one
  • UTS is a foundation partner of the web site which provides a way for academics to share their work with the wider world

Well-known thought leader Eva Cox tops the list among UTS academics for attracting the largest number of readers – 11,800 of them – for her opinion pieces published via news and opinion portal – The Conversation.

The web site which provides a way for academics to share their work with the wider world and of which UTS is a major sponsor, has just turned one year old.

UTS is in the top five most prolific providers of content to the site, with midwifery academic Caroline Homer receiving the gong for most read piece (6,470 views) out of current stable of 74 UTS contributors.

In wishing The Conversation's team a happy birthday, UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Milbourne said he was  pleased the University was a founding partner in a vital new avenue for well-researched, reasoned and timely information to be shared with a community hungry for material with depth.

"The Conversation is a great addition to the traditional media," Professor Milbourne said. "With digital technologies pushing the boundaries of communication, The Conversation provides opportunities for our academics to influence public debate as never before."

Statistics provided by The Conversation show that in its first year success has been considerable - including 2.2 million readers, 4 million total visits, and over 7.9 million page views.  Traditional media are also increasingly taking notice of material posted to the site and reproducing work for wider audiences.

Andrew Jaspan, co-founder of the web site and former Executive Editor of The Age newspaper said as well as achieving a sizeable audience for authors his team had introduced a new, independent voice/channel into the public arena.

"When The Conversation launched a year ago we had a simple goal: to improve the quality of public debate by getting more people with real knowledge and expertise to take part," Mr Jaspan said.

"With our 15 commissioning editors we have now built the largest virtual newsroom in Australia. More than 2,500 academic authors have registered as contributors to the site. And we have become a well-known resource of ideas, contacts and new talent for the newspapers, TV and radio.

Around 40 per cent of the academics and researchers who write for The Conversation report they’ve received follow up requests from other media outlets."

The UTS media office works closely with journalists at The Conversation to grow the ranks of academics at the university with a profile and actively contribute news and opinion.

UTS Media Manager Robert Button said the new portal provided an excellent new platform for early career researchers and senior academics to work with trained journalists in a controlled way and to hone communication skills that are vital for dealing effectively with traditional media.

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