Mar 16, 2012

Journalism education honour roll: why teaching media matters

Graduates from journalism and media and communications courses are no longer confined to wannabes and to the latest generation. And they do find jobs -- all over the place.

Margaret Simons

Journalist, author and director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism

There’s been a bit of a dust-up this week about journalism education, kicked off by a Cameron Stewart piece in The Australian¬†attempting to build a case that there is some kind of divide between hard-bitten “real” journalists who learn in the school of hard knocks, and post modern lefty academics who teach journalism, but either never practiced it or were never much good at it.

Having founded one journalism major at Swinburne University of Technology (the first graduates will finish this year), and now overseeing the launch of another at the University of Melbourne (the first intake was three weeks ago) I am obviously not an unbiased commentator on this.*

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15 thoughts on “Journalism education honour roll: why teaching media matters

  1. Colleen Murrell

    Sorry, I didn’t realise you were compiling a long list and thought you just wanted the odd example (I’ve been in meetings)! I am emailing you a list of a further seventeen recent graduates who are working in The Herald Sun, the ABC, The Age, Today Tonight, Channel 9 News and an assortment of local papers. We can easily work up a longer list going back over the years. Regards Colleen Murrell (Deakin University).

  2. Cleaver

    Interesting that you claim the students as the evidence. How many students have graduated and how many employed? What proportion of senior journalists, people like Cameron Stewart or Laura Tingle, went to J school? I think you might be faking it.
    It also seems that the complaint is not in any case about students, but teachers. Certainly the evidence above would not get past a junior sub on any decent opinion page?

  3. joob2345

    are you a jouralist @Cleaver????

  4. bmason6

    Declaring my bias, I’m a Philosophy student at Swinburne university. Apparently our ethics course wasn’t up to scratch for journalists and they invented their own one. I don’t think what your doing proves anything at all. Who cares if people get a job somewhere? Does that make a course good? I’m more interested in what kinds of journalists are produced. I don’t understand what a journalism course does that an arts degree doesn’t do. Surely the specialty stuff can be learnt on the job? I think what the appeal for this will be is that it alludes the magic question that trouble any potential Arts student, what are you ganna’ do after or whats the point?

  5. William Fettes

    Thanks for pouring shit on Cameron’s juvenile distraction exercise Margaret!

  6. joob2345

    I don’t understand why people who have not studied a journalism, are not journalists, are choosing to ridicule journalism courses on a journalist outlet that is run by journalists with journalism degrees??? it is Crikey???
    i have done a masters in journalism and written articles on this site that you probably have read. @bmason6 i found my degree invaluable and when you choose a degree you tend to think about what career will eventuate from that degree – that is the point of studying. good luck finding a job with a philosophy degree. you are implying that ALL journalist have distorted ethics – thats untrue and offensive.

  7. Doug

    Not to mention many foreign graduates from places such as Rhodes University South Africa.

  8. Cleaver

    Hey JOOB, back to skool.

  9. Syd Walker

    There’s one simple way of evaluating what the educationalists who train Australian journalists get up to: ask how many have raised the alarm over the Port Arthur massacre?

    That was, lest we forget, the largest mass murder in modern Australian history. Yet it has occasioned no coronial inquiry or inquest, no trial – at which crown evidence was tested in court – and no subsequent public inquiry.

    Clearly a LOT of people in the establishment are keen this case remains well buried. It is a key test of the public interest that the mysteries surrounding the atrocity are ventilated in the public domain.

    How many journalism professors have mentioned the issue in public and openly discussed the anomalies of the case?

    I could be wrong, but I believe the answer is a big round zero.

    That’s a strong educational record. 100% conformists reproducing their own kind…

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