Archive for September, 2008

Journalism: a wise choice?

Posted on September 22, 2008. Filed under: Journalism education | Tags: |

Recent staff cuts at Fairfax (for which I work) and at other mastheads around the world do not bode well for journalists such as myself just setting out in the world of media.

During a recent trip to the UK I met a veteran journalist for an evening newspaper, (something that never took off in Australia), who along with the whole editorial team has been asked to consider voluntary reduncy. At a sister newspaper a complete ban on recruitment has been put in place. He told me it was the worst possible time ever to be starting out as a journalist and suggested I should consider working in public relations instead, afterall, he said, the pay is better.

In Britain several evening newspapers now print a morning edition and are moving away from the evening format. At a time when morning newspapers are often on the back foot alongside up-to-the-minute news availbale on line, waiting until the end of the day until publishing no longer makes much sense.

I told him I would not give up and cross to the “other side” before I’d given it a good go and this has been further impetus to forge an online presence. Despite having written an honours thesis on citizen journalism and the future of media, beginning work at a small time newspaper in country NSW has allowed me to re-cacoon myself into previous ideas of face to face interviews, lengthy deadlines and hand written stamp posted letters to the editor. So it is partly with the knowledge that I am in danger of being as out-dated as some of the old school editors I have previously derided that I try again to launch a blog.

I am anticipating that gradually a theme will emerge and I will write more regularly with startling incisive commentary on the new media environment, society and politics.

But for now these rough drafts of ill-thought out ramblings will stand in place of anything of the sort.

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