Monday, 20 April 2009

It is tough for trainees but is studying journalism all about getting a job?

I've done a piece for MediaGuardian today on how tough it is for journalism students to get jobs this year with many trainee places and traineeships drying up.
What saddens me most is that a time when the newspaper industry needs to make the jump to a digital future it is losing out on loads of young journalists who have grown up with the web, have their own blogs, understand social media and have the multi-media skills that might just save the industry.
One academic, Chris Rushton, head of Journalism & Public Relations at the University of Sunderland e-mailed me this morning to point out that studying journalism is not all about getting a job as a journalist.
He said: "I just read your piece and it accurately sums up the depression currently engulfing practitioners, academics and students. The only thing I would have added - and it's something that MediaGuardian always ignores - is that taking a degree in Journalism is as valid as studying English, History or Politics (which probably covers the educational background of a high proportion of Guardian journalists).
"To use the education jargon, a BA in Journalism has as many transferable skills as virtually any degree you care to mention and a lot more than most. The ability to access, analyse and communicate a wide range of information is now valued in all sectors of employment. As I say at all recruitment sessions there is no shame in deciding halfway through a degree course that journalism is not for you - it will still equip you for many different career paths (e.g. other media work,teaching, research, PR)."
Applications at Sunderland are up 62 per cent on last year.
He has a point. I studied politics but am not a politician.

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