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The Journalism major within the Bachelor of Communication develops the knowledge and abilities required for a professional writing career. Areas studied include public affairs, radio and television journalism, and professional, news, and feature writing.
Graduates are often self-employed (i.e. freelance journalists) or find permanent work in newspapers, radio and television stations, large commercial organisations, online media or in varying levels and departments of government. Valued for their proficiency in written and verbal communication, graduates will write and edit news reports, commentaries and features for newspapers, magazines and online media.
Due to the highly competitive nature of contemporary journalism, it is recommended that students undertake industry experience in order to expand their portfolio and gain employment on graduating. In addition to the compulsory practical placement embedded in the third year, students are encouraged to take as many opportunities as possible to implement their skills.
Academic advice: view Study Pathways for this major »
Some jobs require additional qualifications at Honours level. Honours is a one year stand-alone program, completed after successfully fulfilling the requirements of the undergraduate degree. View Bachelor of Communications (Honours).
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of postgraduate study options available. Postgraduate study may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the postgraduate study options following the Bachelor of Communications include:
Postgraduate coursework programs can add further specialisations in areas including business, safety, quality assurance and teaching. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook.
The following list provides some example jobs available to graduates of a Bachelor of Communication graduate majoring in Journalism. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, while some may require further study.
- Broadcast Journalist
- Editorial Assistant
- Broadcast Journalist
- Cadet Journalist
Graduates are also able to use the transferable skills gained in their studies to work outside the Communication industries. In some instances, further study and/or work experience may be required.
As well as the jobs listed above, there are many positions outside the general field of Communication that graduates may pursue using the transferable skills gained in their studies. The list of job titles below shows examples of the type of jobs / careers graduates can diversify into; that might not necessarily be directly related to their degree.
- Cultural Development Officer
- Cultural Interpreter
- Cultural Resource Manager
- Generalist Programs
- Integrated Communications Specialist
- Internal Communications Officer
- Media Analyst
- Media and Communications Manager
- Media Consultant
- Media Planner
- Media Presenter
- Media Production Editor
- Personnel Administrator
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Journalism graduates find employment opportunities in small, medium or large organisations of varying industries. Below are some examples of organisations that may recruit those holding this major. Check employers’ websites for sections titled Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs, or for similar sections. Some employers may also offer vacation work opportunities.
- The Age (Australia)
- Allen & Unwin (International)
- Australian National Audit Office (Australia)
- Australian Taxation Office (Australia)
- Belgiovane Williams Mackay (International)
- BMF Advertising (Australia)
- Bush Atkins (Australia)
- The Campaign Palace (Australia)
- Carlson Marketing Group (Australia)
- Centrelink (Australia)
- Clemenger BBDO (International)
- Clemenger Proximity (Australia)
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia)
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia)
- Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australia)
- Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (Australia)
- Euro RSCG Australia (Australia)
- Fairfax (Australia)
- FNL Communications (Australia)
- Fox Sports (International)
- Furnace (Australia)
- George Patterson Y&R (International)
- HarperCollins Publishers Australia (International)
- Hutchinson (3) (Australia)
- John Bevins (Australia)
- Lowe Hunt (Australia)
- Mars Australia (Australia)
- McCann Erickson (International)
- Meltwater News (Australia)
- Mercer Bell (Australia)
- NAB (Australia)
- Oddfellows (Australia)
- Ogilvy (Australia)
- OneSteel (International)
- Optus (Australia)
- Pan Macmillan Australia (Australia)
- Random House (Australia)
- Rio Tinto (International)
- Saatchi & Saatchi (International)
- Simon Richards Group (Australia)
- Singleton, Ogilvy & Mather (International)
- The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
- Sydney Water (Australia)
- Telstra (Australia)
- Vodafone (Australia)
- Woodside (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (Australia)
- Australian Communications and Media Authority (Australia)
- Australian Copyright Council (Australia)
- Australian Indigenous Communications Authority (Australia)
- Australian Press Council (Australia)
- Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (Australia)
- Community Broadcasting Foundation Australia Ltd (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and EmployabilityBachelor of Communication graduates majoring in Journalism will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect:
- An in-depth knowledge and ability to appropriate to a person seeking entry to communication and cultural industries or seeking to undertake further study in the discipline.
- An ability to recognise the inter-related nature of communication practices and the inter-related nature of informing disciplines.
- A capacity to engage in constructive public discourse to sustain communities.
- An understanding of methodologies and theories of interpretation relevant to communication practice, research and creative endeavour.
- The ability to critically reflect on the practice of communication, engage with and interpret complex text and seek creative solutions to multi-faceted problems.
- An ability to work co-operatively and collaboratively in communication productions, showing appropriate levels of independent initiative and professional judgement.
- Competence to research and interpret issues in a chosen field and to use information communication technologies in research, learning and communities of practice.
- A capacity to construct and present narratives and arguments with clarity and effectiveness in written, oral and multimedia forms.
- Knowledge of ethical, justice and equity issues relevant to society, communication and cultural industries.
- A level of cultural awareness, knowledge and sensitivity that will be required for constructive social action and to develop the skills and motivation necessary to support life long learning.