Asia Pacific Media Educator


Australian journalism education has developed significantly since its major expansion in the 1980s. The conundrum is many older journalists appear to reckon the only way to learn the business is through the school of hard knocks – the university of life. Chances are, most middle-aged journalists have no idea how many of their colleagues hold journalism degrees. An example of this is the comments of Mark Day, who, fresh from judging the News Limited Cadet of the Year, devoted his 22 March 2001 column in the Media supplement of The Australian newspaper to the training of journalists. The winner was no high-flyer from a national daily or popular newspaper, but a reporter on a humble local rag, Victoria’s Moreland Sentinel. The winner’s stories were not necessarily better written than the other finalists, Day wrote, but what stood out was her news sense and persistence. These are qualities of the successful journalist that cannot be taught, Day said. “You’ve got to be a self-starter. You’ve got to be bold and vigorous. But above all, you’ve got to be a go-getting ideas factory.”