HDR Scholarship - Local news sustainability

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Local news sustainability'.

Research topic

This Phd project will contribute to understandings about how Australia’s main public broadcaster, the ABC, can best support public interest journalism in rural and regional communities, with a specific focus on fragile and underserved areas of the nation’s local news ecosystem. Expected outcomes include a framework to identify and define areas of news need, an assessment of existing interventions and road-tested approaches to improve information quality and understand rural and regional audiences’ news practices. The project should provide benefits by supporting forms of local journalism that ultimately enhances the demographic health and social fabric of small towns and cities.

This research is partially funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council. This Phd scholarship is attached to an Australian Research Council Linkage grant LP22010053 “Supporting the sustainability of Australia’s local news ecosystem”. It is led by Deakin University in partnership with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and support from Griffith University.

Project aim

The project is seeking a suitable candidate to undertake research that may relate (but not limited to) the following areas:

  • Exploring the role of public service media internationally in supporting public interest journalism in rural and remote areas.
  • Understanding the news media-related practices audience and community stakeholder news media-related practices in rural and regional areas and/or audience perceptions on quality news provisions.
  • Research examining key media sources that drive civic, social and political discussion in rural and regional areas.

Important dates

Applications close 5pm,  Friday 30 June 2023


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $33,500 per annum tax exempt (2023 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic candidate. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

How to apply

Please apply using the expression of interest form


Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact Prof Kristy Hess

Prof Kristy Hess
Email Prof Kristy Hess
+61 3  556 33118