I studied a Bachelor of Media and Communications at UTS, majoring in Journalism. I originally wanted to do a combined Law and Journalism degree, but the entry was an ATAR of 97 so I thought I would do Journalism and transfer across. I ended up finding Journalism so demanding that this was unrealistic, and I decided to focus on journalism and do Postgrad Law.
By demanding, do you mean there was a lot of face to face time?
There are 9 contact hours per week and it really depends on the subjects you are doing regarding outside work. For a communications core subject it could be 1-2 hours per subject but for Journalism video subjects, when it comes to crunch time and you are under pressure, some weekends I would spend up to 8 hours a day filming and editing. It is one of those courses where it is always at the back of your mind that you need to do another interview or find another source because the one you wanted cancelled or wont speak to you etc.
Is the pressure to find sources stressful?
Definitely, because you are relying on other people for source information, you cant just sit down and get work done in one night- you are operating on their time, and sometimes people cancel an interview an hour before it is scheduled. So it is a last minute course by nature. You need to be able work under pressure!
What was your favourite subject?
Media Hub and Reporting with Sound & Image- I liked the video aspect of the journalism course and these subjects were purely focused on producing video content.
Do you own all of your own equipment?
No, there is a great equipment centre at UTS, you hire it for free and the quality is great. I in no way felt disadvantaged because I did not own a kit.
Were all the students like minded?
No, there were only 6 or 7 students who I would call inexorably passionate about becoming a hard-hitting journalist. The majority of students found the course challenging and at times overwhelming as you are thrown right into the deep end. Just under half did not want to practice journalism by the end of the course but were able to use the skills they learnt to enter a new career path. Some students went on to study another degree and others still went into video production or producing .
Did you intern?
Yes, at Channel 9 and BBC Australian Good Food magazine. I think it was beneficial purely as a confidence booster. I wouldn’t say I learnt any new skills I could use in my degree, but it gave me both confidence and something I could put on my CV.
What you wished you knew when you signed up?
I wish I knew how daunting the practical nature of the course is. I expected to go through the process of how to write a story as our introduction to the course but instead, in our first lecture we were told we had 30 minutes to go out into the streets of Sydney and uncover and write a news story. As a person who is not the most confident in the world I found it hard to adjust to this approach to learning. Although at the start of the course I was tempted to transfer to a different course, I wish I knew sooner how beneficial this approach is at the same time. I know this now after completion, but I wish someone told me that it is all worth it in the end as opposed to working that out myself the hard way.