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Faith in journalism has been shaken by the rhetoric of "fake news", the undermining of once-relied-upon media institutions, the proliferation of unreliable sources, the disregard for evidence and the denial of accountability - welcome to the era of post-truth.

When it comes to debating issues of great contemporary significance - whether carbon footprints or food supply, presidential campaigns or city planning, health policy or anti-terrorism - evidence has begun to count for less.  Facts, rational thought and expertise are losing out to emotions, tribalism and prejudices.

Why is this happening?  And why is it happening now?  Do facts still matter?  Is truth dead?

Our expert panel, award winning investigative journalists Professor Peter Greste and Marian Wilkinson, led by international journalist, broadcaster and academic Bruce Woolley, will examine the very real threats to justice, democracy and progress in this era of post-truth.


Image of Bruce WoolleyBruce Woolley, Lecturer and course coordinator for Work Integrated Leaning projects, School of Communication and Arts, The University of Queensland

Bruce Woolley has been an international journalist, broadcaster and academic for the past 40 years, working on four continents (Australia, Asia, North America and Europe). He now teaches journalism at The University of Queensland including twice-yearly overseas Field Reporting Courses which have included India, Vietnam and Indonesia. Bruce was a former foreign correspondent for the ABC in Europe. He was also a senior producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for two decades. He has awards from the Australian Journalists Association and the New York Festivals, including a gold and silver medal as well as a Best of the Festival 'Grand Award'. Bruce has also been a consultant, teaching senior Mongolian journalists investigative and specialist reporting.

Image of Professor Peter GresteProfessor Peter Greste, UNESCO Chair of Journalism & Communication, The University of Queensland

Professor Peter Greste is an award-winning foreign correspondent who spent 25 years working for the BBC, Reuters and Al Jazeera in some of the world’s most volatile places. From Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, he reported from the frontlines and beyond. He may be best known for becoming a headline himself, when he and two of his colleagues were arrested in Cairo while working for Al Jazeera and charged with terrorism offences. In letters smuggled from prison, he described the arrests as an attack on media freedom. The letters helped launch a global campaign that eventually got them released after more than 400 days in prison. 

He has since become a vocal campaigner and advocate for media freedom – a stance that has earned him awards from Britain’s Royal Television Society, the Walkley Foundation, the RSL’s ANZAC Peace Prize, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Medal, and the International Association of Press Clubs’ Freedom of Speech Award. He has written about his experiences in Egypt and what he regards as the global war on journalism in a book, The First Casualty. He continues to investigate and report on critical challenges facing Australia and the world.

Image of Marian WilkinsonMarian Wilkinson (Bachelor of Arts 1976)

UQ alumna Marian Wilkinson is a multi-award winning journalist with a career that has spanned radio, television and print.  She has covered politics, national security, terrorism, the environment and refugee issues as well as serving as a foreign correspondent in Washington DC for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.  She also worked as Deputy Editor of the SMH, as well as being the first female executive producer, and then senior reporter, of Four Corners.
She is currently working on a book about Australia’s climate change policies. As environment editor for the SMH Marian reported on the rapid melt of Arctic sea ice for a joint ABC Four Corners-Sydney Morning Herald production which won a Walkley Award for journalism as well as the Australian Museum's Eureka prize for environmental journalism.
In 2016 she worked with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for Four Corners’ coverage of the Panama Papers and shared in the ICIJ’s Pulitzer Prize for that project. She has written several books including the political biography, The Fixer, on one of Australia’s most controversial Labour figures, Graham Richardson, and Dark Victory, on Australia’s response to asylum seekers which she co-authored with David Marr.

About Global Leadership Series

The Global Leadership Series (GLS) is a lively program of events for alumni and community members. Join us for lectures and discussions with the best of the best UQ-related speakers on matters that impact your community and shape your ideas of the world.

The series is an opportunity for you to engage with great minds on global matters, participate in thought-provoking discussions and network with UQ alumni and community members. All alumni, parents, community members and friends are welcome to attend the Global Leadership Series events.

Listen to podcasts of previous GLS events click here


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