Publication Details

Tanner, S. J.., O'Donnell, M., Cullen, T. and Green, K. Graduate Qualities and Journalism Curriculum Renewal: Balancing Tertiary Expectations and Industry Needs in a Changing Environment.. 2013.


This project explores the attitudes of universities and media organisations towards journalism curriculum renewal. In part, the project is inspired by an apparent schism that exists between some journalists and editors on the one hand, and journalism academics on the other regarding the role of journalism training and education, specifically, where it should most appropriately be taught – in-house, that is by the media organisation, within a university environment, or elsewhere. This project provides the first comprehensive analysis of the journalism education sector in Australia to consider the question of curriculum renewal and the relationship between universities and industry on a national scale. The timing of this project was fortuitous, given the impact of technological innovation and economic restructures on journalism worldwide and the consequent impact of these changes on the following questions:

(1) What is a journalist?

(2) What skills are required to become a journalist?

(3) How can those skills be acquired or developed?

This project addresses these questions and begins the development of a shared language of curriculum renewal in the journalism education sector and between industry and the sector. In conducting this study, the researchers conducted a series of interviews with senior journalists, editors and industry trainers, as well as with Journalism educators. The survey questions are included in Appendix A. Ethics clearance for the project was obtained through the University of Wollongong (see Appendix B).