Is traditional Journalism dead? And if so, does studying Journalism make any sense?

Published by: Volker Janssen | 21-Jan-2016
Are you currently studying journalism, digital media, marketing, communications? The future will require graduates to have a much broader skills set to meet the demands of online media outlets. Why?
Yesterday it was announced that after 44 years, Australia's iconic women's culture magazine Cleo will go out of print in March 2016. This is just another casualty in a global trend towards online publications and away from traditional print media. German publication giant Bauer also announced that the discontinuation of Cleo happens in sync with halving the publication of Dolly to six issues per year. Further, Dolly will be re-launched as a digital first property. That means the focus will be on online publication including mobile video, social media and e-commerce functionalities. Ex-Cleo Beauty Editor Mia Freedman already made the transition into the online world in 2007. Moving on from Cleo and Cosmopolitan she created and grew it from a mums blog into a dedicated online platform for Australian women, employing about 100 contributors.

Traditional print media is in a constant decline and so are ongoing, secure jobs as employees. Contrary to traditional print publications, quick paced online publications need news the moment they emerge, to be competitive against other online outlets., Crikey, Huffington Post, The Conversation and many others rely on freelancers with a broad spectrum of communication skills, and able to syndicate a constant stream of global news. Studying journalism makes more sense than ever before.

While universities offer different courses that cover selected details of the broad skills set required to make an impact in online journalism, the most important part "“ industry practice "“ is not covered at all. With hardly any opportunities to gain internships or participate in work integrated learning, how can you make a name for yourself?

Certainly, there are other areas that are impacted by the transition from the physical world to online communications, but journalism "“ particularly in Arts and Culture - is hit hardest by the emergence of Web 2.0 in 2004, enabling users to collaborate, hold dialogue, and share information with their online community.

The Young Art Journalism Award (YAJA) has been established to support current students interested in journalism and the Arts. Students receive the opportunity to get in touch with the arts world and to create an article that will be showcased online as a contribution to the awards. Handpicked judges from higher education institutes, media and the Arts will decide over the best entries and vote the winner of the awards. Even if you don't win, participating and adding valuable work experience to the results from university studies will give prospective employers a much better picture of your capabilities.

Find out more about the YAJA at

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