News made modern

UQ journalism students walk down an alley holding cameras during the Jakarta fieldwork trip 2018. UQ journalism students walk down an alley holding cameras during the Jakarta fieldwork trip 2018.

UQ students participate in the UQ in Jakarta field reporting course in April 2018.

UQ students participate in the UQ in Jakarta field reporting course in April 2018.

The media landscape is undergoing a digital revolution. UQ’s School of Communication and Arts is home to leading industry practitioners and scholars who are teaching students how to craft compelling stories that meet the expectations of the modern news cycle.

Journalists of the future need to be multi-skilled and, according to Professor Jason Jacobs, Head of the School of Communication and Arts, UQ’s Bachelor of Journalism has been designed to prepare students for success across all media.

Journalism students begin by building a solid foundation in the fundamentals of journalism, which includes investigative methods, story design and production techniques.

The program then extends these skills by offering advanced training in foreign and in-depth reporting, design thinking, and data journalism.

“Broadcast industry experts teach our courses at UQ in audio, video and multimedia reporting and production. The focus is on developing the full suite of skills required of today’s cross-platform journalists,” Professor Jacobs said. 

“These include the ability to research deeply and write well, but just as importantly, to know how to use the latest equipment and technologies to produce elaborate and engaging stories for any media.”

In continuing its commitment to the study and practice of world-class journalism, UQ welcomed high-profile foreign correspondent Professor Peter Greste to the School of Communication and Arts as the UNESCO Chair of Journalism and Communication in January this year.

In this role, Professor Greste will help guide the future of journalism education through a range of teaching, research and engagement activities. 

“I’m incredibly excited to have joined UQ to pass on some of what I’ve learnt over the years to the next generation of journalists,” Professor Greste said.

“With the University’s incredible research capacity and the platform that the UNESCO Chair of Journalism and Communication gives me, I am also looking forward to using those resources to help shape the future of an industry that is so vital to a functioning democracy.”

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is a key part of the program, with students given the opportunity to undertake industry placements and fieldwork programs. Former foreign correspondent, and senior producer for the ABC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Bruce Woolley is project manager for the WIL fieldwork programs, and is a UQ lecturer in journalism.

“Our practice-based WIL courses in journalism at UQ include, but go much further than, traditional internships and work experience opportunities. Those, of course, are essential to paving the way for journalism students to build rich and vital careers, and even to reinvent the industry itself,” Mr Woolley said. 

“But so too are UQ’s innovative WIL courses that include International Field Reporting in Vietnam, India and Indonesia, where final-year students learn what’s required to rise to the very top of the profession – as foreign correspondents.”

UQ Bachelor of Journalism/Arts (International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies) student and inaugural Clare Atkinson Memorial Scholarship winner Chantelle Bringas was one of 15 students chosen to participate in the UQ in Jakarta field reporting course in April 2018.

She says that the experience not only strengthened her ability to produce quality cross-platform content, but also raised her confidence and provided her with a new network of friendships internationally.  

“The opportunity to work in Jakarta not only expanded my practical journalism skills, but also solidified my career goal to delve into foreign correspondence and one day transfer into war correspondence,” Ms Bringas said. 

“One of the most prominent lessons I learnt was to be flexible with scheduling, including the need to be perceptive and carry an open mind when immersing myself into a rich, but starkly different, culture. I learnt that producing and pinning down interviews is often much harder overseas, and yet it only enriches the content of the stories you create.”

According to Mr Woolley, the WIL program is an excellent example of a ‘signature pedagogy’ – or a course that teaches journalism students how to think and perform like the highly qualified practitioners they intend to become.

These programs are generously funded by the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan and supported by partners at Amity University in India and Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta.

“The experiences they have while overseas, and which they reflect on deeply as part of their assessment, form the talking points in job applications that will set them apart from most other candidates,” he said. 

“Our recent graduates have had considerable success in 2018, winning sought-after cadetships at ABC News, SBS News and ABC Rural in Queensland. They really have proven they can do it all, and employers have noticed.” 

Help  provide more opportunities for journalism students entering an increasingly competitive industry; learn more about UQ’s School of Journalism; or explore UQ's journalism courses.