Outside the square

The workforce offers infinite possibilities. It is no easy feat to reach a clear decision about how you’re going to spend the rest of your life.

The journalism industry is diminishing at a rapid pace, and slowly but surely society moves from traditional practices into the face of a technological revolution. The nature of the beast is that not everyone is able to land his or her dream job; this holds true within journalism. Students of today are all too often placed in a difficult position when deciding upon possible career paths that will shape their futures – risk the possibility of an unstable career, or journey down an alternate route that may bring opportunities never before imagined?

A journalism degree will equip you with an array of tools and skills, allowing you to enter the industry as a qualified journalist where a job may be possible. But what about those who don’t want to be journalists?

Journalism degrees equip students with an array of tools to enter the workforce with

Journalism degrees equip students with an array of tools to enter the workforce with

Kelly Stratton always knew she would study journalism, but when the time came to decide, she found that it took a supporting role after choosing to combine it with a law degree at the University of Wollongong. ‘Coming into the course, I always wanted to work in print media… Now, I would love to have the skill set to go and be a news producer or do legal work with media law.’ The skills that Kelly will learn through her journalism degree are vital in enabling her to successfully and efficiently relay her points in whichever avenue she is to choose.

Scoring a cadetship at Wollongong City Council allowed Jennifer O’Sullivan to enter university life later than anticipated. Jennifer’s role is in community engagement, where she must communicate with the public and relay their stories to the council so that the feedback can help to shape communal decisions. On taking up a journalism degree, Jennifer says that ‘My aim was never really to get into the journalism industry to start with – more to gain journalistic skills and knowledge that I can apply to my role in Community Engagement.’ The skillset acquired through a journalism degree, along with her twenty plus years experience in the field, will hold Jennifer far above all others in the field.

Effective communication careers, however, are not the only alternate jobs that may be considered for students undertaking a journalism degree. Brian Wilcock never planned to build a career as a reporter or feature writer when he began his journey as a journalism student. Brian, rather, wishes to work in refugee advocacy in international destinations, a task that will entail more than the ability to communicate. Brian hopes ‘that the knowledge gained, and ability to research and write in formats as required’ will make him more employable at the end of his degree.

And then, there are those who have been completely turned off the concept of leading a career in journalism. Katherine Lewis has changed her mind as a result of the journalism component of her degree. ‘I have been completely turned off any journalism career due to the fact we appear to be discouraged with constant reminders that journalism or print journalism is a dying industry.’ Katherine hopes to enter into the field of advertising, where she will relay a specific story within limitations outlaid by a publisher; journalistic practices put to use in an alternate form.

The skills entrusted to an individual through a journalism degree prompt them to grow into a budding journalist in the diminishing industry, but this is not the only route to be considered. Consider all the possibilities before settling.


The Every Day Journalist

The increase in demand for news that is constantly available has resulted in the inevitable growth of citizen journalism. Average members of society are breaking stories via technology before newsrooms are able to provide detailed insight to the audience. Is this threatening the authenticity of the journalism industry, or are both able to peacefully co-exist in the modern world?

The public has grown to accept that news will always be readily available to them, and social media outlets allow for this to occur. Along with this, dedicated citizen journalism sites such as allvoices enable the public to contribute to the growing outbreak of news, ultimately increasing the existence of citizen journalism in society.

This too extends beyond the newsroom. Citizen journalism also threatens the integrity of documentaries and profile pieces produced by professional journalists.

A peaceful co-existence can, however, be found in the midst of journalism panic. The average person is able to provide round the clock access to real life events turn breaking news story, and with media outlets such as YouTube available on a global scale, newsrooms can utilise the information and sources in order to provide their readers with the stories they demand.

Companies such as The Guardian have capitalised on the growth of the new journalistic practice in hopes of bringing light to the issue. Individuals can now download a specified app, which enables them to submit information, photographs or video footage to The Guardian about any news they see worthy, breaking or not.

Journalists should not fear the growth of citizen journalism. If employed correctly in the newsroom, this new source of information may be able to boost productivity, and hence take journalism to the next level.

Long Live The Print

The public relies on journalists to provide them with information each day. Society has become so fast-paced and independent that, evidently, this reliance has grown into a 24/7 dependence on our newsrooms. Supply is failing to satisfy the demand, and the people have therefore turned to alternate methods to seek out the information they desire.

Traditional methods of relaying news and entertainment, i.e. through print or television, are on the decline. People are no longer sitting down with a coffee each morning and reading the paper, or hushing the kids once the 6pm news starts at night. Newsroom offices therefore do not require the same amount of workers or space that was previously needed to complete work of the same caliber. The rise of the technological age has resulted in an influx of readily available news systems that, as it seems, better suit the needs of the modern society. Ultimately, traditional journalism is on the decline.

It is rare to come across any individual over the age of thirteen nowadays that does not own a mobile phone or tablet device. Society is consuming more news today than it ever has before, and journalists worldwide must adopt the new transitions in order to uphold the dignity of the industry in the future.

The growth of technology is in no way going to degrade the practices and works of the past. News has grown into a social element that allows the community to engage with one another, and this will, no doubt, see greater opportunities emerge for journalists and the journalism industry.

The technological revolution is bringing a new era of journalism to light. The traditional practices of the past continue on their slow decline, and yet society is enhanced with greater knowledge than ever before. It is an issue of perspective, not statistics.

The Guilty Pleasures of Life

Natalie Hanna, 19, makes sure she keeps up to date on all popular culture gossip

Natalie Hannan, 19, makes sure she keeps up to date on all popular culture gossip

As children, we all idolised the big-name celebrities that graced our television screens and radios, and we have continued to do this as the years have passed by. In the 80’s we were thrilled by Michael Jackson, whilst the 90’s encouraged us to spice up our life. Popular culture brings us into a world that is beyond us, and allows us to escape reality, if but for just a moment.

We have all been caught indulging in guilty reality television pleasures at one point in our lives. Yes, even you have found (and enjoyed) the glories of Honey Boo Boo and the catchy tunes produced by the One Direction boys! Natalie Hannan, 19, epitomises the stereotypical popular culture fan, without the over-obsessive and obnoxious behaviour, and the uncontrollable emotional outbursts that come with the title.

Natalie first became interested in the glitz and glam of the popular culture scene at age twelve, when she discovered pop-star Katy Perry’s hit single ‘I Kissed A Girl’. Her love of music grew into a fascination with the lives led by big time celebrities, namely those in the music industry. ‘It’s the songs that make you know the people, and you grow fascinated and end up keeping up to date with all of their gossip.

Growing into a fully-fledged love of all things Katy, Natalie confesses that  ‘she was the reason I got twitter 2 years ago.’  It was through dedication to keeping on top of all new information on social media platform Twitter that Natalie won a competition to meet her idol in October of 2013.

Like all things, however, Natalie has learnt to acknowledge the downfalls of the intriguing world that is popular culture. She tells us about her fear for the future as people begin to become too invested in lives that are not their own. ‘These celebrities still have personal lives, and privacy is becoming a major issue as people are losing their identities because they’re focused so much on popular culture and their interaction with it.

Despite the pitfalls of investment in high profile lives, Natalie continues to dote upon the likes of Katy Perry, Usher and the One Direction boys. Passion radiates; it is a difficult task to convey it if ceases to exist, and this bright spark is without a doubt passionate about the future of music and the individuals who produce it for our pleasure.

So what does the future hold? Natalie assures us that her love will not be diminishing anytime soon; she plans on attending concerts by renowned artists Katy Perry and One Direction later on this year when they bring their global tours down under.

Natalie hopes for a future where labels and stereotypes are removed from society, and all can enjoy the diverse musical styling’s available in today’s market without fear of judgment. ‘People should be able to enjoy good music without the fear of being placed under a label. Why allow it to exist if not for ALL to enjoy?’