THE writer named Australia’s top HE journalist for record third time

John Ross honoured at prestigious national ceremony for his work examining the sector’s relationship with Australia’s main political parties

December 8, 2022
John Ross, editor (APAC), Times Higher Education

Times Higher Education’s John Ross has won Australia’s top media award for coverage of the university sector, being named higher education journalist of the year for a record third time. 

Mr Ross, THE’s Asia-Pacific editor, claimed the award for a feature article examining the sector’s relationship with Australia’s main political parties during a federal election year.  

The award is presented by representative body Universities Australia (UA) and overseen by a judging panel convened by the National Press Club in Canberra. “John Ross’ intricate knowledge of the Australian higher education sector and funding policy – reflecting his decades of high-quality reporting on the sector – shone through in another compelling body of work over the past year,” the judges said.  

“In a portfolio of deftly reported features…he powerfully explored the relationships between universities and both major parties of government, how the sector navigated the election campaign, how Australian universities had fared during Covid, and the outlook for international education post-­Covid. 

“John’s deep understanding of the history and evolution of higher education policy, the breadth and depth of his contact book and the trust he has forged with key players in universities, policymaking and expert commentators – to report their views with accuracy and nuance – place him at the very pinnacle of higher education reporting in Australia.” 

THE’s editor John Gill said Mr Ross was an “exceptionally committed and talented journalist, whose stories for Times Higher Education cover the full spectrum: from agenda-setting news reporting on issues of enormous public interest, to in-depth analysis spanning higher education in Australia, New Zealand and the wider Asia Pacific region, to interviews that bring to life the individuals at the centre of some of the biggest stories for our sector”.

“Higher education is fortunate to have such a superb journalist writing about and for it, and THE is proud to have him leading our coverage in such an important and interesting part of the HE world. We are thrilled to see him recognised for a record third time with this award from the National Press Club of Australia,” Mr Gill added.

The UA Award for Excellence in University Research Reporting went to the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit team for its coverage of coronavirus science. 

“In skilled coverage on a dedicated Covid-19 channel that generated strong readership metrics, the team reported consistently on the latest university research breakthroughs about the virus itself, the ongoing pandemic, and illuminated how university research was informing policy and debunking dangerous misinformation,” the judges said. 

“It was powerful public service journalism that highlighted the indispensable role of Australian university research to save lives, safeguard public health, and help to shape public policy informed by robust evidence.”

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