A rundown on a Bachelor of Journalism at Macleay College, Sydney.

Is a Bachelor of Journalism at Macleay College the answer for you? 

I had always been interested in the hidden stories that don’t get attention, so I wanted to give them a voice and help people through my words. I’m a natural storyteller, reading and writing are my passions – so it felt like a natural calling. Being from the country, the last place I wanted to be is stuck in a huge lecture hall in unfamiliar surroundings with no one-on-one time with the teachers. What appealed to me at Macleay was the small classroom sizes, so I felt like they would pay more attention to me.

In my first year I studied radio, video and photo journalism, foundation of news and news research – such as how to search for the story and then follow it through. We also studied professional practise, which teaches you how to build your professional profile and write CVs – all useful things that you never think to dedicate class time to. We also learnt shorthand, which I love! The most amazing things I’ve learnt were things covered outside of the classroom, like proactively chasing real-life stories and getting interviews for the Macleay newsroom – we’re actually living as journalists now, even before we’ve graduated.

A good phone is the most essential piece of equipment for this course. It’s so handy to have immediate access to the camera and recorder, as a story can crop up at any time. It’s definitely useful to have a few apps downloaded – I use a voice recorder called ISaidWhat?!. It’s also useful to have a good laptop to work off, and carry a pen and notebook with you at all times. For me, I also invested in a top quality camera, which cost a fortune, but helps me develop the photo journalist within.

I interned at the Manly Daily, which was a great experience. Initially I was pretty scared then when things got started I realised I was just as capable as the other journalists based on my time working in Macleay’s newsroom – which is its own online media channel. Straightaway, I was asked to go out on the street and get vox pops and produced about 10 articles in my time. I also spent a day at Woman’s Day, where I witnessed the really useful little things, like watching their phone etiquette and how they hold themselves. The best thing about my internship experience was realising that at college you are learning more than what you can see, and until you’re placed in those environments you don’t realise how capable you are, how much you’ve learnt and how ready you are.

There are so many different areas of journalism to move into, from consumer-lifestyle magazines to finance, property, photo and investigative reporting. I like human interest stories and always wanted to be a Foreign Correspondent. However, after my time at Macleay and the exposure to the full spectrum of avenues, I wouldn’t be put off exploring any other fields and would be grateful for the opportunity to extend my portfolio. Macleay is highly regarding in the industry and we are taught by those who have worked as professional journalists, therefore I feel we have the best job-outcome in this instance.

I think it’s important to approach this course with dedication and a positive attitude. It’s your personal qualities and hard-work that will get you through this course as much as your intellect. It’s also important to soak up as much knowledge as you can from those around you. We often have guest lecturers and speakers in class, and you need to listen to every bit of advice. You might not agree, or it might not make sense at the time, but later on it will resonate and make a huge difference. I also advise to get out there and make the most of the internships as this makes a huge difference – that was when I realised that I am a journalist!

Interested in what the Dean of Macleay College has to say about choosing your course? Read it here.


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  1. Pingback: LIZZIE RENKERT | The Footnotes

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