MEETING REPORT 4th FEBRUARY 2014

 
Chair; Justine Murphy
Reporter; John Price
 
VISITORS.
Tony Wells, Assistant Governor, Batman Cluster
Bob Nield from Canberra Sunrise.  Note Canberra Sunrise currently meets at the Deck at Regatta Point on Thursday mornings 7.15 am.
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS.
Kevin Walklate said there would be a vocational visit to a facility in Fern Tree Gully on 26 February, details of which would be published soon.
 
President Doug; 
  • The membership project.  One plan is to encourage members to bring visitors to the breakfast meetings.  In particular he suggested looking at the list of upcoming talks and asking people who may be interested in the topics.
  • The Community Village.   This had been successfully organised by Neil Salvano for this season and grants had been received to ensure the continuation of the project for the next two years.  Information provided by Neil lists grants from the City of Melbourne, Victoria Police, BHP Billiton Matched Giving program and individuals to nearly $8000.00 for the future budget.
  • The police mentoring program has received the endorsement of the Rotary district.
THE ROTARY FOUNDATION.
Richard Stone made a presentation about the Rotary Foundation which is a means of turning donations into projects (see Web sites).  The key projects of the foundation are the program to eradicate polio and a Future Vision plan which includes programs such as peace and conflict prevention, education and community development.  Richard described some of the donation programs. The presentation has been circulated to members.
 
GUEST SPEAKER.
Dr Margaret Simons  "Change in the News"
Dr Simons is director of the Centre for Advancing Journalism and coordinator of the Master of Journalism at the University of Melbourne. She is an award-winning freelance journalist and author whose recent publications include Self-Made Man: The Kerry Stokes Story and an edited collection of stories entitled What’s Next in Journalism?  Dr Simons is the media commentator for the online news outlet Crikey and blogs on journalism and the media at The Content Makers.
 
Dr Simons gave a nostalgic look at her early time at The Age at a time when the building in Spencer Street smelt of ink and warm paper, where the walls vibrated when the presses started up at night.  Outside the building, cars and crowds waited for the first papers at midnight so that they could be the first to apply for the jobs advertised in the thick pages of classifieds.
 
But all is different now.  The business models that have supported journalism since the birth of newspapers are broken. Within the next few years, many of our newspapers will cease to exist in hard copy form. Yet at the same time new digital media start-ups are emerging and the successful ones are growing fast, offering unprecedented opportunities for spreading news and information.  Are we entering a new dark age of myth and misinformation, or a new enlightenment? There are great threats and opportunities in all of these changes.
 
Dr Margaret Simons argued that we may be living through an era of social change at least as great as that sparked by the invention of the printing press and the democratisation of information that that produced. She suggested we all have become occasional journalists; that the future of journalism is about people exercising their citizenship responsibly.