Journalism students pitch to ABC

12 June 2018

Seven UQ student stories have made their way onto ABC's production floor as a result of the inaugural ABC Pitch competition held at their Southbank Centre last week.

Initiated by UNESCO Chair in Journalism and Communication in UQ's School of Communication and Arts Professor Peter Greste, the competition presents an opportunity for UQ journalism students to pitch story ideas to the national broadcaster and be part of the production process.  

Of the more than 50 pitches entered, 13 were shortlisted to be pitched to the ABC with seven being chosen for production.

Professsor Greste said the experience was a fantastic opportunity for his students to get a leg up in journalism and showcase to leading figures at the ABC what UQ journalism students had to offer.

“This was not just about giving students a chance to use what they have learned in the classroom to produce stories for the national broadcaster. It is also about giving the ABC a chance to cherry-pick fresh ideas from a bunch of talented young journalists. Everybody wins,” he said.

“But beyond those finalists, the competition has also motivated the rest of the cohort of students, because they know that any idea they generate through their course work could well end up in production.”

Professor Greste added the ABC Pitch is the first of many projects he plans to implement for UQ students.

Head of ABC News in Queensland Genevieve Hussey said she was surprised by the quality of the stories pitched by UQ’s journalism students and  was excited to be building meaningful links with UQ.

“The quality of stories pitched far exceeds anything I expected,” Ms Hussey said.

“If these students are representative of the next generation of journalists, the ABC and the news industry are in good hands,” she said.

Third-year UQ journalism student and pitch finalist Angel Parsons said she had learned a great deal about journalistic processes by taking part in the competition.

“To pitch a story to a professional panel of working journalists/producers/editors is a great learning experience in itself, but to now have the opportunity to develop that story and work further with these people is something I really look forward to,” Ms Parsons said.

“For me, working with the ABC has always been a massive goal. Being involved with this project means I'm working towards achieving it,” she said.

Second-year UQ journalism student and fellow pitch finalist Nibir Khan described the experience as surreal and a great way to bridge the gap between the classroom and the newsroom. He said having his story accepted by the ABC was the perfect start to his career.

“I’ve always believed that university was more about learning outside the classroom than inside it, and this project put together by Peter Greste and Richard Murray really goes to show that,” Mr Khan said.

“The invaluable experience and the contacts I made will be something I will cherish forever. I believe this could be the kick-start to my career that I was looking for,” he said

Professor Greste said given the unprecedented interest from students in the ABC Pitch he and pitch organiser, Richard Murray, will be running the event again in Semester Two.  He added the ABC is keen to roll the model out in other capital cities in association with other universities and journalism schools.

For more information on the ABC Pitch please visit or email Richard Murray at