Industry needs and tertiary journalism education: Views from news editors

January 1, 2014

Background to the Abstract

This research paper discusses the findings from a 2012 Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) sponsored project that canvassed the views of news editors around Australia about the "job readiness" of tertiary educated journalism graduates. The focus of this paper is limited to responses from news editors in Western Australia. Data was collected via face to face interviews with eleven news editors in Perth, Western Australia. The editors work in print, online, broadcast and television and all of them employ journalism graduates. The aim was to assess whether the five university based journalism programs in Perth provide graduates with the skillset prospective employers were seeking. Editors are uniquely placed as they employ journalism graduates as interns, or as full time employees when they complete their studies, and they know which attributes and skills will help journalism graduates to succeed. The editors, for the most part, agreed that there was a key role for universities in Perth to provide both an educational background and skills based training for people contemplating a career in journalism and early career journalists. There was, however, some disagreement as to what the ideal university based journalism program should consist of.

Recommended Citation

Cullen, T., Tanner, S., O'Donnell, M. & Green, K. (2014). Industry needs and tertiary journalism education: Views from news editors. In Transformative, innovative and engaging. Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 30-31 January 2014. Perth: The University of Western Australia

About the Authors

Dr Trevor Cullen (PhD) is Professor of Journalism at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. Trevor is recognised as a national and international leader in the field of HIV/health Journalism and Journalism education. He has received several University and national teaching and research awards. These include two Australian Government awards – A National Teaching and Learning Fellowship (NTF) and the Australian Award for University Teaching. (AAUT).

Stephen J. Tanner
University of Wollongong

Marcus O'Donnell
University of Wollongong

Kerry Green
University Of South Australia

View publication