Staff profile - Paul Bethell

Staff image

Mr Paul Bethell

Position: Senior Lecturer
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts & Education
Department: School of Communication & Creative Arts
Campus: D4.16, Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 92443929 +61 3 92443929



2008- current                          DEAKIN UNIVERSITY               AUSTRALIA

Senior Lecturer in Journalism,  School Of Communication and Creative Arts

2012                         DEAKIN UNIVERSITY               AUSTRALIA
Acting Deputy Head of School, School of Communication and Creative Arts

2009- 2012                         DEAKIN UNIVERSITY               AUSTRALIA
Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning), School of Communication and Creative Arts

2002-2008                           DEAKIN UNIVERSITY               AUSTRALIA

Lecturer in Journalism , School Of Communication and Creative Arts

2001                     DEAKIN UNIVERSITY                             AUSTRALIA

Sessional Lecturer in Journalism

2000-2001              LA TROBE UNIVERSITY                         AUSTRALIA
Sessional Lecturer in Journalism,  School of Communication, Arts and Critical Enquiry

1999 –2001                    BBC NEWSGATHERING                 AUSTRALIA 
Freelance TV/Radio producer in Australasia. 

1998-1999                       BBC NEWSGATHERING,                   LONDON

Assignments Editor of the BBC’s Newsgathering Social Affairs Unit 

1989-1998                BBC TV 9.00 O’CLOCK TV NEWS            LONDON   
• Assistant Editor (1989) and Deputy Editor (1993)

1982-1989                                  BBC TV NEWS                             LONDON
• Sub Editor (1982) and News Producer (1985)

1981 -1982                   BBC NEWS TRAINING             LONDON
• News Trainee

Biography summary

Paul Bethell is a Senior Lecturer in Journalism in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University.  He has been at Deakin since 2002 and teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students in a range of subjects including news journalism, media law and ethics, TV journalism and multimedia reporting.  He has also taken on a number of service roles including Deputy Head of School and Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning).

In 2010 he received an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation Award for Teaching Excellence: “For engaging and creative teaching strategies that take the newsroom into the classroom and build a bridge between the academy and industry for journalism students”. 

His academic career began after a long career with BBC News both in London and Australia.  After moving to Australia in 1999, he helped produce BBC News coverage on a number of stories including the republic referendum in 1999, the royal tour and Paralympic games in 2000, federal elections in 2001 and 2004 and the Bali bombings in 2002.  In 2004 he worked for BBC News in Northern Sumatra assisting with coverage of the Tsunami disaster in Aceh.

Before moving to Australia he was a senior newsroom editor with BBC TV News in London, where he became deputy editor of the ‘Nine O’clock News’.  He edited nearly seven hundred editions of the bulletin and was involved in broadcasting events such as the death of Princess Diana, the fall of the Berlin Wall, terrorist attacks in London and Oklahoma and wars in the Middle East and the Balkans.  He also edited coverage in the field on a number of different stories including UK political party conferences in 1991 and 1992, the election of Nelson Mandela as South African president in 1994 and the Hong Kong handover to China in 1997

He was also Assignments Editor of the BBC’s Newsgathering Social Affairs Unit from 1998-9, managing a team of 35 Specialist Correspondents and 20 Producers covering a range of subjects including Health, Media, Science, Environment, Education, Crime, Social Policy, Arts, Sport and Royalty.   Editorially, he was responsible for planning and co-ordinating coverage on all stories from the unit for programmes across the BBC’s networks.  As a manager, he had responsibility for editorial policy issues, career development, staff communication, training and safety.

His BBC career began as a News Trainee in 1981.  He completed six months training in radio and TV production and reporting followed by work experience in the BBC’s national and regional TV and Radio newsrooms.   He worked in the national radio newsroom throughout the Falklands conflict in 1982.  He was promoted to Sub-Editor in 1982 and News Producer in 1985 working across a range of BBC News programmes such as Breakfast News, News After Noon, Sixty Minutes, and the 1.00, 6.00 and 9.00 O’clock News.  He produced the on-air reports on stories such as the Reagan/Gorbachev arms control summits, the Zeebrugge ferry disaster, the Chernobyl nuclear leak, the UK miners's strike, General elections in 1983 and 1987, the Kings Cross underground fire. 


  • Bachelor of Law(s), University of Exeter (UK), 1980

LinkedIn profile


Teaching Interests

News journalism, TV journalism, media law and ethics

Subjects and units currently teaching

ALJ111 Contemporary Journalism, ALJ321 Journalism Internship, ALJ319 Broadcast Journalism (Television)

Student supervision

Deakin School News Network 2012-2013 -


Awards and prizes

In 2010 Paul received an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation Award for Teaching Excellence: For engaging and creative teaching strategies that take the newsroom into the classroom and build a bridge between the academy and industry for journalism students. In 2008 he was awarded a Deakin University Award for Teaching Excellence.


Research interests

Paul is a member of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia.  His research interests include mobile journalism and work-integrated learning.



Oliver, Beverley, Bethell, Paul, Fernandez, Joseph M., Harrison, Johnand Breit, Rhonda 2011, Benchmarking journalism courses with a focus on graduate employability : case Studies from three Australian universities, in AUQF 2011 : Proceedings of the AuQF : Demonstrating Quality, Australian Universities Quality Agency, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 1-6.

Bethell, Paul, Hirst, Martin and Burum, Ivo 2011, Making connections : initiatives to use mobile technology in journalism education, in Educating the Professions : New Curricula, New Pedagogies and New Technologies : Deakin Teaching and Learning Conference 2011, Deakin University, Burwood, Vic., pp. 40-40.

Bethell, Paul 2010, Journalism students' experience of mobile phone technology : implications for journalism education, Asia pacific media educator, no. 20, pp. 103-114.

Bethell, Paul and Quinn, Stephen 2008, In search of digital natives : snapshots of generation Y in Australia, Academic studies : National journal of Jyoti Research Academy, vol. 2, no. 2.

Quinn, Stephen and Bethell, Paul 2006, Connected but not online: a snapshot of generation Y in Australia, Asia Pacific public relations journal, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 51-62.

Link to publications

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