Dr Marc Sim, Professor Caroline Finch AO and Professor SImon Laws

Media marvels recognised at ECU awards ceremony

The annual ECU media awards have been held to celebrate the most outstanding research media campaigns and contributors to The Conversation in 2023. This year’s event welcomed new media talent, and welcomed back some ‘Hall of Famers’.

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Media marvels recognised at ECU awards ceremony

The ECU Media Awards 2023 was held in the new year for a special March ceremony which recognised the outstanding achievements of ECU researchers over the entire 12-months – and they did not disappoint.

ECU’s Corporate Relations team, along with Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Caroline Finch have hosted the awards for the past six years.

The latest instalment has been the biggest yet.

“The incredible efforts of all of you combined with the ECU Corporate Relations Team led to a record 22,225 individual media mentions and a whopping global audience of 36.34 billion people,” Professor Caroline Finch exclaimed.

“We are celebrating all of the remarkable people who have helped to spread the news about ECU expertise and research around the world.”

The Conversation Awards

The Conversation’s Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Hopkin attended the event, highlighting ECU academics outstanding contributions to The Conversation, which is the world’s leading publisher of research-based news and analysis.

In 2023 45 ECU academics authored a total of 58 articles in The Conversation, which attracted a readership of 2.56 billion.

“It’s a relationship we really value because The Conversation is the nation’s leading media platform for academic stories published to mainstream audiences, and it has helped achieve great things for many of our researchers,” Professor Finch said.

“We know articles published in The Conversation can have impact beyond media exposure, including invitations to conferences, increased citations on published research, and contact with potential international collaborators.”

The award for Most Widely Read Story in The Conversation in 2023 was shared by two ECU academics from the School of Engineering Dr Muhammad Rizwan Azhar and Mr Waqas Uzair for their article The world’s 280 million electric bikes and mopeds are cutting demand for oil far more than electric cars.

The Most Prolific ECU Author in The Conversation in 2023 was awarded to Professor Paul Haskell-Dowland, Associate Dean for Computing and Security. He authored and co-authored 9 articles during the year.

Best Research Media Campaigns and Outstanding Media Engagement

The winner of Best Research Media Debut Campaign went to Dr Muhammad Rizwan Azhar from The School of Engineering for Move over lithium-ion: Zinc-air batteries a cheaper and safer alternative. Dr Azhar’s first time leading a major campaign attracted 287 media mentions, and an audience of almost half a billion people.

Two new categories were introduced for the 2023 awards season, the first was Best in Broadcast and it went to Associate Professor Nicola Johnson.

Her campaign From pen licence to cyber security licence. A first line of defence for Aussie kids saw television and radio appearances on almost every major news station in just one week and included on-camera live crosses in studio and in the field.

The Best Expert Commentary Award 2023 acknowledges outstanding and pro-active expert comment across all media channels, including print, digital, broadcast and social media.

It was awarded to Associate Professor Natalie Gately from the School of Arts and Humanities, whose breadth of expertise, media skills, and responsiveness have earned her the reputation as the media’s ‘go to’ person in criminology.

During 2023 Associate Professor Gately reached more than 200 million people and earned more than $2 million in editorial space.

Professor Caroline Finch also used the event to congratulate the ECU HDR students who continued to take their research to the media in 2023 and contribute to ECU’s overall impact on society.

“We have remarkable researchers doing remarkable work at ECU, and this is an opportunity to commend you and thank you,” she added.

Highly Commended Awards

Most Widely Read Story by an ECU Researcher
Most Prolific Author in 2023
  • Associate Professor Flavio Macau (School of Business and Law)
  • Dr Sarah Jefferson (School of Education)
  • Dr Shane Rogers (School of Arts and Humanities)
Best Research Media Campaign of 2023
Best Research Media Debut Campaign of 2023
Best in Broadcast Award
  • Dr Masoumeh Zargar (School of Engineering)
  • Associate Professor Natalie Gately (School of Arts and Humanities)
Best Expert Commentary
  • Associate Professor Flavio Macau (School of Business and Law)
  • Professor Paul Haskell-Dowland (School of Science)
  • Dr Mohiuddin Ahmed (School of Science)
  • Dr Stephen Bright (School of Medical and Health Sciences)

Credit: ECU Newsroom

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