Singing her Journalism melody…

Amanda is taken on a sweet escape whilst she listens to her music

Amanda is taken on a sweet escape whilst she listens to her music

It is the desire to become something greater, something so unconventional. It is the passion that drives every ounce of determination. It is the belief that you can become anyone you want to be. “I want my life to take me to new heights, to things I’vonly ever dreamt about”. As Amanda undertakes her 2nd year as a Journalism student, she craves a career and a life, submerged in bliss and accomplishments, aiming to ultimately turn her dreams, into her certain reality.

Since a young age, Amanda has held tightly onto the fantasy of becoming the next, big international pop star. “I’ve always been kind of outgoing and never afraid to belt out a tune every now and then” she tells me with a grin. “I remember as a kid watching Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on MTV, I would copy their dance moves and pretend I was at my own concert”. Amanda mentions with a beaming laugh. “I still hold hope to that dream“. This sweet escape for Amanda provides a connection to her enthusiasm and undying itch for singing and music, which has ultimately been the driving factor in her choice to study Journalism at the University of Wollongong. “I feel like studying Journalism is one step closer to being part of the industry”. Her nonchalant approach to her music lifestyle is her whimsical escape from the pressurised life of the everyday university student.

With music I feel like there is no boundaries, and I find it comforting that I can easily express my thoughts and feelings through lyrical writing. I think everyone has the ability to connect to something and share their emotions. Mine just so happens to be through music“. Amanda reminiscently tells me. Her musical passion has also taken her on a professional journey, able to experience the music industry first-hand. “I interned for a couple of months at Universal Music Records, and I got to see exactly what goes down. It was so scary at first and that’s when it all kinda hit me” she tells me. Despite being caught off guard, Amanda knew then and there that this was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. “After my internship I started doing a couple of gigs, I mostly played acoustically at some retro-like pubs, to crowds of like 20-30. It’s daunting but being on stage is amazing. Love love it!” 

Amanda’s career aspiration’s remain somewhat level-headed, as her substitute dream is to become a music journalist. “I’m not that delusional that I’m only fixated on something that’ll probably never happen, so studying Journalism gives me the background to one day becoming a music journo, which is great for me”. 

No matter where Amanda’s life and career take her, it will most definitely be one lived and filled with creativity and musical melodies. “I want to be a star, in all that I do, and I want others to have the chance to do the same”.

 

 

 

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When I grow up…

Danny testing his Jenga skills, comparing it to his start as a Journalism student.

Danny testing his Jenga skills, comparing it to his start as a Journalism student.

Having a career in Journalism might not typically be regarded as the “usual” occupational choice, given its uncertainty and variety. For some however, it is the unpredictability and creativity that drives them the most, and feeds on their love of storytelling. This so happens to be the case with four very similar, yet credibly unique Journalism students at the University of Wollongong.

“I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be a journalist since I was in primary school”. Natalie, 18, candidly states. “I would carry a notebook with me everywhere and just interview random people” she mentions with a roaring laugh. Natalie is pretty much your average teenager; uni books in one hand and a portable radio player, with updates on the latest AFL and cricket scores in the other. Yes you read that correctly, a girl who is sport crazed and a P.E enthusiast, to say the least. “Most people get shocked when I tell them I’m so in love with sports, it’s cause I’m a girl duh?”. Natalie tells me half-heartedly. Seemingly, this seems to be the case with sports journalism, there is just not enough women, particularly behind the scenes. Her ambition to become the first “Barbara Walters of Sport’” is what puts the fire in her soul, as she tackles her Journalism degree head on.

Like Natalie, fellow Bachelor of Journalism student Danny, 20, faces his own typecasts. “When I tell people that I’m studying to be a political journalist, they literally laugh in my face” he reluctantly states. “I’m a big sports nut, always catching waves when I can, been playing cricket since I was 4, I guess that’s why people don’t really see me as becoming a serious journalist”. Danny reveals feebly. The area of political journalism is one that exudes manoeuvring and fact-finding, something seen as equivocal to Danny’s mates. However, he says he thrives off being the underdog, and is learning so many great things in his Journalism degree. “ I really enjoy writing, so I guess I’ll be heading into newspapers or professional writing in organisations. I’m still trying to figure it all out”.

Alongside Danny’s writing aspirations, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Communication’s student Justin, 19, is also looking to enter the scriptural field, as a freelance journalist. “I love the freedom and opportunity about writing anything you want” Justin excitedly proclaims. “I’m most passionate about music, travel and the whole arts culture thing. So I would love to travel the world, go to gigs, go to art museums and just write about them”. The significantly smaller category of freelance journalism is one of the most popular and it provides the opportunity of independence and pretty much no holds barred. “I don’t like the feeling of being attached to one company for a long time, I want to showcase my work at a variety of organisations” He ecstatically declares.

In comparison to Justin, Bachelor of Communication Studies student, Alanna, 19 has a vision of deadlines and early morning meetings, as she studies to become a fashion magazine journalist. “I absolutely adore fashion and all things about it. I’m not going to lie, I call myself a bit of a fashionista” Alanna tells me with a grand smile. Fashion journalism is often associated as the “glamorous” side of journalism and may not be deemed as serious as its other forms. This however won’t stop Alanna from reaching for her Chanel notepad and taking notes at the latest Valentino fashion show. “I’ve had previous work experience at Dolly Magazine and I made a promise to myself that I would do anything I could to become the next editor-in-chief”.

These students may all have differing career aspirations, but they are all aiming to achieve the same thing, success and experience to enrich their Journalistic lives.

‘She works hard for the money’…Women in Journalism

The role of women in journalism has been regarded a highly topical issue, with a significant battle to improve the ongoing imbalance, and gender inequality that is present in today’s media.

Journalism is constantly evolving, as is the role of women within the journalistic workplace, but the two don’t seem to develop in unison. According to Poynter, “The media is failing women across the board…/ the numbers tell a clear story for the need to change on every media platform”. These statistics demonstrate that in 2013, newsrooms were 63.7% male and only 36.3% female. Sports journalism seems to be at the top of the offender list, with 90% of their journalist’s seemingly caucasian and male, and at the moment there is a lack of female sources, female experts, and even women considered as newsworthy subjects (except for the usual celebrity ‘best dressed’ moments, and when Miley Cyrus decides to bust out a controversial move).

There are still enduring stereotypes; with women predominantly writing lifestyle or beauty pages, and whoam are far less likely to write about sport or crime. Despite the fact that there are more women than men who are in the midst of taking Journalism degrees, and enter the workplace in higher numbers, there chance for senior roles or filling the pay gap remain stubbornly wide. 

However, as the world goes through a digital whirlwind, more and more job opportunities and new forms of journalism, open up, and allow women to floruish as credible, appreciated journalists. Where there are existing structures, women tend to catch the short end of stick, but now there are chances for women to reinvent themselves, create brands through social media, monitor blog sites, go to war in online columns and magazines.

The prospects remain endless, and if social media stays around, and I’m guessing that it won’t be going anywhere for a LONG time, who knows what kinds of opportunities and growth will become available via the web for women journalists. Maybe one day we will be at the top of the food chain in the world of Journalism?

 

The Social Media Epidemic…

Today’s world is engulfed in all things social media and Internet-based. With around 1.4 billion Facebook users worldwide, and 46% of people getting their daily news fix online, it is easy to see that we are in the midst of a digitally revolutionised era, that is taking over the way we connect with our news, current affairs and creating citizen journalists.

Make no mistake there’s a battle raging for the soul of new media”. Tracing back to as recently as 2009, the planet was just catching a glimpse of what social media was, and what was yet to come. Traditional forms of media were already starting to feel the struggle, when traffic to news sites from social media rose around 57%, in which 9% of those used Twitter or Facebook to get access to that news, all stemming from user-generated content. Thanks to social media, everyone has access to their news by reaching into their pocket, and pulling out there phone. People are receiving news as it happens, and much of time, even before traditional news organisations have a chance to report it. At the same time, everyday people are writing this supposed “news” which delves into a deeper issue, as to whether online, social media news is completely reliable. 

Anyone has the ability to post a ‘tweet’ regarding the announcement of the Royal Wedding or Osama Bin Laden’s death (which actually were actually broken over Twitter), but in some circumstances, news stories can be fabricated and fictitiouss, just for the reason that they can be, without any legalities. The most common of these stories is showcased in celebrity death hoaxes. In fact, 49.1% of people who heard breaking news over social media turned out to be false, according to John Wihbey. Which has shown to be a negative factor in the rise of citizen journalism.

Fast forward to 2014, social media has become one of top news sources, overtaking newspapers, radio news, and other print publications. 42.8% of people use other social media platforms outside of the typical Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and 50% of people get their news disseminated immediately via social media.

The rise of social media and the slowly diminishing elements of traditional news outlets is a clear indication of our 21st century world. Whether you’re a fan of it or not, I guess its safe to say, that social media is here to stay.

 

 

UOW Student Interview

 

To get a look inside university life, it is only appropriate if you ask a current student a few questions about their experience. Some have countless stories to tell, and exuberant memories. And some have generic stories, with a tinge of personalisation. I believe that the second option is the most common university experience for a majority of students. Watch the video above to see which category this student falls into!

Learning time.

 

UOW Hope Theatre

The education aspect of university is just as important as the social. Within the University of Wollongong, there are  476 degrees on offer, and 1,874 subjects to choose from. Many of these classes and lectures take place within UOW’s Hope Theatre. This lecture room is the largest on campus and on a good day, has the potential to hold around 540 students. Throughout this hall, major learning takes place. With an included sound system, giant screen projector and the lecturers ability to see what every single student is doing, it’s a really great lerning environment. The chairs are comfortable, the swingable desks are efficient and the overall atmosphere is quite surreal. It is sometimes even compared to a concert space! And despite it’s size, the room is quite interactive, with lecturers walking up the stairs to get up close and personal with students who are seated higher up, (no matter how hard the students try to avoid it), allowing them to feel like more than just a number.

 

Heart of UOW

UOW Quadrangle

UOW Quadrangle

The University of Wollongong’s campus stretches through a magnitude of bushland setting, tranquil nature features and modern infrastructure, which caters for an approximate of 30,008 students. Across the hospitable environment, the quadrangle is the heart of the university. Situated infront of the Michael Brit Library, the quadrangle is where many students spend some time on campus, between classes. With the addition of a cafè and outdoor seating, many students gather here to grab a bite with friends, study in the fresh air and generally ‘hang out’. Being one of the most popular spots at UOW, the quadrangle is constantly busy, with students also passing through to get from one side of the university, to the other. With environemntal scenery surrounding the quandrangle, and the unique wildlife that sometimes passes through, the view is not too bad at all.