GIER has recently partnered with the Media Centre for Education Research Australia (MCERA). The goal is to connect education researchers with the media to enhance the quality of education reporting and enable the public to better understand important matters in education.

By serving as a conduit between the media and education researchers, MCERA assists public understanding of education issues and informs policy and practice.

Recently MCERA conducted a training session with GIER members, which sought to provide our researchers with more skills and information on developing, honing and raising their media profile, and effectively presenting in the media landscape.

Judith Ireland, Education Editor of The Conversation, spoke to the group about pitching and writing for The Conversation and Shannon Schedlich in discussion with Associate Professor Karen Mucia, spoke about key strategies for engaging with the media.  Adam Carey, education editor with The Age spoke about the ways that newsrooms work, and how researchers can effectively engage with journalists, as gwell as the sorts of stories they look for.

MCERA provided useful tips to GIER researchers including:

  • Be timely. What current issues are influencing education? Can you put a new spin on an old issue? Perhaps you can offer a ‘fact check’?
  • Put your original research ‘up in lights.’ Sometimes the media are looking for stories concerning matters that get less attention. Make sure your language is universal, not discipline-specific – the general public doesn’t use terms like praxis, intersectionality, or pedagogy.
  • A parent-focus can be helpful. Articles that gain attention often offer support to parents to support their children. When writing articles about school aged children, it’s good to suggest practical tips for parents and offer ideas they can ask their child’s teachers.

In terms of the support MCERA offer GIER, all researchers are encouraged to sign up for the MCERA database. Researchers can be supported to create media engagement strategies around new research or their areas of expertise through a variety of medium. MCERA can provide at-elbow support when engaging with the media, from initial pitches through to training for interviews,

In writing op eds or pieces for outlets like The Conversation, researchers do not have to draft the whole article as MCERA will work with them all the way through – by spending time helping to communicate ideas clearly, in a structured and successful format.

To find about more about the MCERA services and support offered to GIER members please email GIER.