Michelle Grattan outside Parliament House. Photo: Jay Cronan
Press gallery stalwart Michelle Grattan is joining the University of Canberra as a professorial fellow.
She will take on a diverse role which will include teaching and research projects in politics and political communication, lecturing, public commentary and strategic advice.
It is understood Grattan has told colleagues that she is in talks with management about when she will leave Fairfax to begin her new role.
Michelle Grattan addresses the media outside Parliament House. Photo: Jay Cronan
At a press conference outside Parliament House on Monday, Grattan said she wants to maintain "a diversity of voices covering politics" this election year.
"I think The Conversation gives a new emerging voice, a new opportunity, to broaden the voices in political coverage," she said.
"Diversity matters because we need many voices, as many as possible, commenting on politics, interpreting politics and I think at the moment what we're seeing is too much concentration of voices.
"It's a bit of an irony that we're getting this concentration, especially in the mainstream media, while we're getting the fragmentation of the media in other senses with the internet."
The Age editor-in-chief Andrew Holden said: “Michelle Grattan is a profoundly talented political journalist. She’s a leader of the Canberra parliamentary press gallery and her astute commentary will be missed by The Age and its readers.
''Michelle is a long-serving Fairfax employee and has worked on several Fairfax mastheads. We wish Michelle all the very best in her new pursuit at the University of Canberra - academia is richer for having her part of it.”
According to a statement issued by the university, Grattan will continue as a practising journalist, joining The Conversation as Associate Editor (Politics) and Chief Political Correspondent and commenting in radio and television, alongside her academic role.
Grattan said part of her reason for moving to The Conversation was because of the media's 'digital era'. She wanted to make the shift "feet-first".
In addition to her new role at The Conversation, Grattan will join the University of Canberra this year as professorial fellow.
"I think that the university sector is really important, obviously for this country, obviously for coming generations, but also to encourage independence of views and thinking," she said.
Grattan has previously taught at ANU and been associated with the University of Queensland's journalism school.
"I did start out as an academic so it will be really good to get back among students and Canberra University will be a great place," she said.
"It's the start of an election year and I start this year in a new organisation providing political coverage and I simultaneously have the chance to also contribute to the University, hopefully to help a few students."
The university recognised Grattan's contribution to her profession with an honorary doctorate in 1994.
UC Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Parker said: ''I am delighted to welcome Michelle Grattan to the University of Canberra.
''She will add to our contemporary and real-world teaching and research and be an invaluable source of advice.''
Michelle Grattan said in a statement: ''I am delighted to be associated with the university and look forward to contributing to its academic life, and especially to engaging with its students, while being able to continue to pursue political journalism.''
Professor Grattan will give guest lectures and tutorials at UC and advise Professor Parker and colleagues. She will also work on research projects, including research in political communication for the University's ANZSOG Institute for Governance.
She has already agreed to give a public lecture in the National Security series run by former chief of army Professor Peter Leahy, the director of the University of Canberra National Security Institute and also a professorial fellow.
Ms Grattan AO is one of Australia's most respected and awarded political journalists.
She has been a member of the Canberra parliamentary press gallery for more than 40 years, during which time she has covered all the most significant stories in Australian politics.
She is a former editor of The Canberra Times and has worked with the Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and as political editor of The Age since 2004.
Best wishes to Michelle Grattan, a true stalwart, whose career exemplified the best of the journalistic craft.— Peter Garrett AM MP (@PGarrettMP) February 3, 2013
This makes me a bit more excited about returning to uni this semester - the legendary Michelle Grattan joins UC theage.com.au/act-news/press…— Amy McQuire (@amymcquire) February 3, 2013
#auspol Michelle Grattan leaves The Age. Like her or not, it's who's left behind in Canberra that's the real worry..— Tony WTF (@rustedon1962) February 3, 2013