Journalism students at the University of Wollongong know that having a degree will not guarantee employment in the journalism industry. This however, does not deter them from having ambitious career goals.
The fiercely competitive world of music reporting is where Arielle Jones sees herself. Specifically, she aspires to write for Kerrang, a London based, heavy metal music magazine. According to Arielle, writing for Kerrang would require a great amount of research and good communication skills. She said,
“A great knowledge of music and constantly keeping up to date with musicians is important in my chosen field.”
Arielle admitted that the narrow employment opportunities are worrying, though she said “there will always be a demand for music journalism, it will just change from magazines to digital.” Recently, Kerrang formed radio and online programs to combat the dwindling magazine sales with the rise of digital media.
To give herself the best possible chance of employment, Arielle writes for a popular Australian music website, Kill Your Stereo. She said,
“I feel like that gives me a bit of an edge, I can show I have already done music journalism before I even started my degree.”
Similarly, Jake Cupitt aspires to work for the music and popular culture focused magazine, Rolling Stone. Like Arielle, Jake is concerned about his chances of gaining employment at the completion of his Journalism degree.
A strong character and individuality is what Jake believes will make his basic writing and storytelling skills shine. To gain the attention of employers, he said he would rely on his vast knowledge of music, particularly his extensive research on the musical and business ventures of American musician Jack White.
“I think I have a uniqueness about me, for example, there aren’t too many young people who like the blues like I do.”
Another facet of the industry, sports journalism is a field that Thomas Hudson hopes can fulfil his “infatuation with sport.” Thomas created and manages his own horse racing website, theoneone.net, which he feels will give him an advantage when seeking a job in sports journalism. Maintaining the website is hard he said, though he acknowledged this as an indication of the work expected of him as a journalist.
Thomas is positive about his job prospects, and said that competition for jobs within the journalism industry is “healthy as it guarantees a higher quality of work produced.”
Networking and building a good list of contacts is also essential, according to fellow Journalism student Georgia Holloway. Georgia has a general interest in journalism, but said,
“I guess political journalism has always captivated me.”
She hopes to gain some work experience through a contact of hers at News Corp and plans to start a blog in the near future. She said that to she wants to show initiative to future employers and showcase her knowledge in current affairs and politics.
Of the highly competitive employment opportunities, Georgia said, “It’s pretty intimidating to think about,” but she conceded, “everybody feels the same way.”