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Event Description


In a world characterised by automated content, rampant fake news and a flood of media consumption, the role of the journalist as truth curator and guardian of public information has never been more vital. However, as robots and machines continue to demonstrate their increasing intelligence, autonomously generating images and text from mere prompts, a haunting question arises: Can journalism endure without the human touch?


Join us as we unravel the layers of AI's impact on journalism.


Dive into a thought-provoking conversation with local media experts and journalists as they explore the ways in which AI is reshaping the news media landscape and its profound implications for truth and the future of journalism.


Panel Hosted by University of Newcastle Student Ben Clifford:


  • Adam Mcilrick, Managing Editor SBS World News

  • Michael Davis, Research fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, Centre for Media Transition

  • Jessica Brown, Digital Editor, Newcastle Herald

  • Cecilia Connell, Multi-platform Journalist, Australian Broadcasting Corporation


This is a free event as part of Chromatic Festival, but registration is essential for catering purposes.

Q Building, The University of Newcastle

16B Honeysuckle Drive Newcastle, NSW 2300

Friday, 3rd November

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Time and Date

Adam McIlrick


Adam McIlrick has worked at the heart of the biggest stories in a generation, leading teams in newsrooms and in the field, around the world. Adam is the Managing Editor of SBS World News, responsible for the production of the broadcaster’s flagship program, along with its network of newsgathering teams around Australia and abroad. A proud UON alumni, Adam got his start in regional television in his final year at the Callaghan Campus in 2001, going onto spend most of his formative years at NBN in Newcastle as a reporter and presenter. Since then, Adam has had stints at CNN and Al Jazeera, but spent most of his time as a senior producer at the BBC. Having missed the sunshine far too much, he relocated back to Australia in 2021, taking up his current post with SBS - a place he describes as one of the most purposeful organisations in the world.

Cecilia Connell


Cecilia Connell is a multi-platform journalist and has been reporting for the ABC for the past 10 years across radio, television and the digital space. In this time, she has worked throughout regional NSW and spent a number of years in ABC’s Sydney newsroom covering everything from international affairs, federal and state politics, courts and crime to energy and environmental issues.  Cecilia is currently based at ABC Newcastle as she completes a Master in digital communication. 

Michael Davis


Michael Davis is Research Fellow at the Centre for Media Transition, where he leads the information disorder research program. Broadly, his research is focused on improving our understanding of the public sphere and developing effective policy responses to the challenges we face in the age of misinformation. Current projects include studies of the implications of artificial intelligence for knowledge integrity on Wikipedia and on the use of generative AI in newsrooms.

Jessica Brown 


Jessica began her journalism career in 2009 as a cadet at The Port Stephens Examiner before moving to London for a two-year stint working in magazines and digital publishing. The Lake Macquarie local returned to Australia where she took up a reporting role at The Maitland Mercury. She worked across several rounds including local council, police and property before moving into digital journalism and joining the team at The Newcastle Herald in 2017 where she now has the role of digital editor.

Chromatic Festival and The University of Newcastle acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal Nation, Darkinjung Nation, Biripai Nation, Worimi Nation, Wonnarua Nation and Eora Nation. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.


Chromatic Festival and The University of Newcastle recognise that First Nations sovereignty was never ceded. This continent always was and always will be Aboriginal Land. 


We respect their cultural heritage, beliefs, and continuing relationship with the land, and recognise that they are the proud survivors of more than two hundred years of dispossession.

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