|Type of business||Not-for-profit|
Type of site
|Analysis, commentary, research, news|
|Available in||English, French, Spanish, Bahasa Indonesia|
|Owner||The Conversation Trust|
|Key people|| Misha Ketchell (editor)|
Lisa Watts (chief executive officer)
|Launched||24 March 2011|
The Conversation is a not-for-profit media outlet that uses content sourced from academics and researchers.
Its Australian website launched in March 2011, 's websites.and has expanded into editions in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2013, United States (U.S.) in 2014, Africa in 2015, France in 2015, Canada in 2017, Indonesia in 2017, and Spain in 2018. The Conversation publishes all content under a Creative Commons license and, as of May 2018, reports a monthly online audience of 10.7 million users onsite, and a reach of 35 million people through republication. In 2015, the site claimed 27,000 academic authors worked with The Conversation
A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted "work". A CC license is used when an author wants to give other people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that he or she has created. CC provides an author flexibility and protects the people who use or redistribute an author's work from concerns of copyright infringement as long as they abide by the conditions that are specified in the license by which the author distributes the work.
The operating company The Conversation Media Group is a not-for-profit educational charity owned by The Conversation Trust. The Conversation is funded by the university and research sector, government and business.
The Conversation was co-founded by Andrew Jaspan and Jack Reijtman and launched to the public in March 2011.
Andrew Jaspan first discussed the concept of The Conversation between 2004 and 2008 with Glyn Davis, vice-chancellor at The University of Melbourne. Jaspan wrote a report on the university's engagement with the public, envisioning the university as "a giant newsroom", with the academics and researchers collectively providing authoritative and informed content that engaged with the news cycle and major current affairs issues.
In June 2009, Jaspan outlined the concept for a new media service to John Brumby, then Premier of Victoria, who was intrigued. In August 2009, Melbourne University and the Victorian State Government both agreed to provide a small financial contribution to facilitate the commencement of work on the website—these agreements were contingent upon the involvement of other organisations. The State Government then introduced the Commonwealth Government Department of Innovation into the process; in turn, the Department of Innovation proposed the inclusion of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.[ citation needed ]. In November 2010, Jaspan and Rejtman secured first-round funding to cover The Conversation’s operating costs for three years. Initial funding came from the Commonwealth Government's Department of Education, the Victorian Government's Department of Innovation, CSIRO, Australian National University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), and University of Western Australia (UWA). Finally, The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) joined the consortium as a Technology Partner, while Corrs Chambers Westgarth joined as a Strategic Partner and agreed to provide legal services.[ citation needed ]
John Mansfield Brumby, is a current Chancellor of La Trobe University and former Victorian Labor Party politician who was Premier of Victoria from 2007 to 2010. He became leader of the Victorian Labor Party and Premier after the resignation of Steve Bracks. He also served as the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. He contested his first election as Premier at the November 2010 Victorian state election. His government was defeated by the Liberal/National Coalition led by Ted Baillieu. Brumby resigned as Labor leader after the election, on 30 November, to be replaced by Daniel Andrews. Within weeks of this leadership change, Brumby left parliament, with a Broadmeadows by-election taking place on 19 February 2011.
The Premier of Victoria is the head of government in the Australian state of Victoria. The Premier is appointed by the governor of Victoria, and is the leader of the political party able to secure a majority in the Legislative Assembly.
The Conversation Media Group opened its Carlton office in November 2010 with a small team of professional editors and developers, and launched to the public in March 2011.
From its Melbourne-headquartered Australian edition, The Conversation has expanded to a global network of several editions, in several languages.
The Conversation's co-founder, Andrew Jaspan, raised initial funding in 2011-12 from five UK universities to develop the Prospectus and business case for the launch of The Conversation UK. Jaspan hired Jonathan Hyams to help develop the project. Jaspan led the UK fundraising initially securing 13 universities to allow the launch. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) matched that sum and the site launched in the UK on 16 May 2013.
Jonathan Hyams was appointed in 2013 as chief executive, Stephen Khan as Editor and Max Landry as chief operating officer.
As of 22 October 2014, the Founding Partners group of The Conversation UK consists of: University of Aberdeen, University of Birmingham, University of Bradford, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, City University London, University of Durham, Glasgow Caledonian University, Goldsmiths London, University of Lancaster, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, University of Nottingham, The Open University, Queen's Belfast, University of Salford, University of Sheffield, University of Surrey, UCL, and University of Warwick.
As of 22 October 2014, the Strategic Partners group of The Conversation UK consists of: CBA, Wellcome Trust, Kingston Smith, SAGE Publications, Alliance for Useful Evidence and Macfarlanes. The website's Media Partner is the Press Association.The Funding Partners group of The Conversation UK consists of: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, HEFCE, HEFCW, Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, Research Councils UK, The Research Councils UK Digital Economy Theme (DET) and Scottish Funding Council.
Andrew Jaspan met in 2011 with the President of the American Association of Universities, Hunter Rawlings, to outline the proposed U.S. edition. Rawlings gave warm support and introduced Jaspan to various universities. He met with the Dean of the School of Communications at Boston University, Thomas Fiedler in 2012 who offered to provide TCUS with an initial Newsroom and base. With that support, Jaspan then visited in 2012-13 some 11 U.S. foundations and secured $2.25m support from six to allow the launch. Those were: Sloan, Howard Hughes, RWJF, Hewlett, Moore and Gates. The U.S. Board, headed by a journalist, author and former colleague of Jaspan, Joe Rosenbloom, gave approval for the launch but insisted Jaspan be the CEO for the launch period. The official launch of the U.S. version was announced on 21 October 2014, the date that the website was first published. The U.S. team was initially led by Andrew Jaspan as U.S. CEO and he appointed Margaret Drain as Editor, formerly Executive Producer and Vice President of National Programs at WGBH; and Bruce Wilson to head up Development and University Relations.The U.S. pilot is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Alfred P Sloan Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and four other foundations.
As part of the announcement of the U.S. Pilot launch in October 2014, Mumbrella explained that both the Australian and UK websites adhere to "a charter that protects editorial independence, author sign off, author disclosure statements and a readability index set to an educated 16-year-old." At the time of the launch, a charter was being devised for the U.S. website.
In January 2016, traffic to the U.S. site reached over a half-million visitors, with millions more reached by licensing its content under a Creative Commons license. They also announced 19 universities as founding partners, who pay up to $35,000 a year for access to analytics on their articles.
The U.S. site launched a section dedicated to Ethics and Religion in 2017, with a grant from the Lilly Endowment.
Expansion continued in 2017, with Canada launching in Juneand Indonesia (in Bahasa & English) in September. In 2018, The Conversation España launched and a French-Canadian edition
Only seven years after launching, TheConversation.com has editors based in 27 cities.
The online publication completed its third readers survey in the first half of 2014 and the results showed that 1.5 million unique visitors visit the website at the time of the survey—according to Jaspan, this total increased to two million by October 2014.The 2014 survey also revealed that 35 per cent of the Conversation Australia's audience is located outside Australia, while 90 per cent of readers possess an undergraduate degree, or a higher educational attainment. The vast majority of the audience is under the age of 45 years; just over half of the readership earns more than A$100,000 per year; and the gender split is fairly even, with the proportion of female readers slightly higher.
The 2015 reader survey results showed an audience of 2.6 million users on site, and a reach through Creative Commons republication of 23 million.
In 2016, The Conversation's FactCheck unit become the first fact-checking team in Australia and one of only two worldwide accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network, which is an alliance of fact-checkers hosted at the Poynter Institute in the U.S.The only other fact-checking team accredited under this process is The Washington Post's Fact Checker. The assessment criteria require non-partisanship, fairness, transparency of funding, sources and methods, and a commitment to open and honest corrections.
The Conversation uses a custom publishing and content management system built in Ruby on Rails. The system enables contributors to collaborate on articles in real time. Articles link to author profiles—including disclosure statements—and personal dashboards show authors' engagement with the public.
Start-up funding was provided by: CSIRO, Monash University, University of Melbourne, University of Technology Sydney and the University of Western Australia.
Funding and support has been provided by RMIT University, CBA, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Education and the State of Victoria Department of Business and Innovation, City of Melbourne.
As of December 2017, the list of members includes:
Guardian Media Group plc (GMG) is a British mass media company owning various media operations including The Guardian and The Observer. The group is wholly owned by Scott Trust Limited, which exists to secure the financial and editorial independence of The Guardian in perpetuity.
Swinburne University of Technology is an Australian public university based in Melbourne, Victoria. It was founded in 1908 as the Eastern Suburbs Technical College by George Swinburne in order to serve those without access to further education in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Its main campus is located in Hawthorn, a suburb of Melbourne which is located 7.5 km from the Melbourne central business district.
Melbourne Airport, colloquially known as Tullamarine Airport, is the primary airport serving the city of Melbourne, and the second busiest airport in Australia. It was opened in 1970 to replace the nearby Essendon Airport. Melbourne Airport is the main international airport of the four airports serving the Melbourne metropolitan area, the other international airport being Avalon Airport.
The University of Melbourne is a public research university located in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 1853, it is Australia's second oldest university and the oldest in Victoria. Melbourne's main campus is located in Parkville, an inner suburb north of the Melbourne central business district, with several other campuses located across Victoria.
The Australian is a broadsheet newspaper published in Australia from Monday to Saturday each week since 14 July 1964, and is the country's most circulated nationally distributed newspaper, available in each state and territory. It rivals with other nationally distributed newspapers like the business-focused Australian Financial Review and The Saturday Paper. The Australian is owned by News Corp Australia.
The University of Canberra (UC) is a public university in Bruce, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The campus is within walking distance of Westfield Belconnen, and close proximity to Canberra's Civic Centre. UC offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses covering five faculties: Health, Art and Design, Business, Government and Law, Education and Science and Technology.
The Sunday Herald was a Scottish Sunday newspaper, published between 7 February 1999 and 2 September 2018. Originally a broadsheet, it was published in compact format from 20 November 2005. The paper was known for having combined a centre-left stance with support for Scottish devolution, and later Scottish independence. The last edition of the newspaper was published on 2 September 2018 and was replaced with Sunday editions of The Herald and The National.
Andrew Jaspan, is a British-Australian journalist, the co-founder of The Conversation, an independent not-for-profit website of analysis and news from the university and research sector and its Editor-in-Chief from The Conversation's launch in March 2011 until March 2017. The Conversation was established in response to what Jaspan describes as “increasing market failure in delivering trusted content.” In May 2013, The Conversation expanded with a launch into the UK, into the US in 2014, into Africa and France in 2015, into Canada, Indonesia, New Zealand and Spain in 2017. Jaspan resigned from The Conversation in March 2017.
Arq Group, formerly known as Melbourne IT, is an Australian Internet company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Formed in 1996, its primary business is domain name registration in most of the major national and global top-level domains. It also offers web and email hosting services and online marketing services.
HuffPost is an American news and opinion website and blog, with localized and international editions. The magazine is edited from a liberal political perspective. It was founded in 2005 by Andrew Breitbart, Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and Jonah Peretti. The site offers news, satire, blogs, and original content and covers politics, business, entertainment, environment, technology, popular media, lifestyle, culture, comedy, healthy living, women's interests, and local news.
University Alliance is an association of British universities which was formed in 2006 as the Alliance of Non-Aligned Universities, adopting its current name in 2007.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XXI Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Gold Coast 2018, were an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth that were held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, between 4 and 15 April 2018. It was the fifth time Australia had hosted the Commonwealth Games and the first time a major multi-sport event achieved gender equality by having an equal number of events for males and female athletes.
PolitiFact.com is a nonprofit project operated by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, with offices there and in Washington, D.C.. It began in 2007 as a project of the Tampa Bay Times, with reporters and editors from the newspaper and its affiliated news media partners reporting on the accuracy of statements made by elected officials, candidates, their staffs, lobbyists, interest groups and others involved in U.S. politics. Its journalists evaluate original statements and publish their findings on the PolitiFact.com website, where each statement receives a "Truth-O-Meter" rating. The ratings range from "True" for completely accurate statements to "Pants on Fire" for false and ridiculous claims.
Martin George Bean is an Australian education administrator and the current Vice-Chancellor of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Victoria, Australia. He was previously Vice-Chancellor of the Open University —the largest university in the United Kingdom.
Coursera is an online learning platform founded by Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller that offers courses, specializations, and degrees.
Airtasker is a Sydney-based Australian company which provides an online and mobile marketplace enabling users to outsource everyday tasks. Users describe the task and indicate a budget, community members then bid to complete the task.
The University of Gibraltar is a not-for-profit independent tertiary institution that was established by The University of Gibraltar Act 2015. The Act provides for the establishment or designation of bodies to safeguard the academic standards of the university and to regulate the conduct of its affairs. The Act also grants the university the right and the power to award degrees, diplomas and certificates. The university curriculum portfolio specialises in areas that build on place and partnerships, with a focus on professional engagement and recognition of regional research policy and practice needs, as well as, the building of local capability. In addition, the university has the objective of contributing to Gibraltarian identity, history, current affairs and its role in the future economic, social and sustainable development of Gibraltar.
The White Helmets, officially known as Syria Civil Defence, is a volunteer organisation that operates in parts of rebel-controlled Syria and in Turkey. Formed in 2014 during the Syrian Civil War, the majority of the volunteers activity in Syria consists of medical evacuation, urban search and rescue in response to bombing, evacuation of civilians from danger areas, and essential service delivery. As of April 2018, the organisation said it had saved over 114,000 lives, with 204 White Helmet volunteers losing their lives in the process. They assert impartiality in the Syrian conflict, though only operate in rebel-held areas.
Full Fact is a charity based in London to check and correct facts reported in the news.
Power Ledger (POWR) is an Australian blockchain-based cryptocurrency and energy trading platform that allows for decentralized selling and buying of renewable energy. The platform provides consumers with access to a variety of energy markets around the globe and is meant to be scalable to various energy infrastructures and regulations. The market is based on a dual-token ecosystem operating on two blockchain layers, POWR and Sparkz. POWR tokens allow consumers and hosts providing energy to interface with the ecosystem and are protected through Smart Bond technology. POWR tokens can be converted into Sparkz tokens, which can be used for frictionless transactions in the energy exchange market. The initial coin offering for POWR tokens became the largest crowd funding project in Australia and the 14th highest in the world.