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A career as a journalist?


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#1 Verurtle

Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

When you dont know how to copy and paste links such as email addresses?

DP is looking for a career change.  

He loves sports and wants to find a job where he wants to go to work each day.

He is looking into TAFE courses, but I dont know if it would be a career as such or more of just a hobby?

I know the TAFE course would be great for him as it will help him with tasks such as copy and paste, however I have stressed to him that I am not doing the course for him.

I think he should keep his day job and treat this more as a hobby, but I dont want to put him down.

How hard is it to get work as a journalist?

#2 SCARFACE CLAW

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:01 PM

He'd need to do a uni course in Journalism, such as RMIT, not Tafe... it isn't something you just walk into.

#3 Chief Pancake Make

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:03 PM

Very hard to get work.

A friend (and most her friends) who have degrees in journalism have found it very hard to get work - and thats with a degree.  She had to move to the country and work on small regional papers originally.  Traineeships/cadetships are also hard to get and the pay is terrible.  My friend now works in communications, and most of her friends who she studied with are also no longer in the field.

#4 Lady Garden

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:10 PM

It's a bit of a redundant profession. Proven by the massive downsizing at Australia's two major media companies (News and Fairfax) and the gross outsourcing of many functions such as sub-editing to offshore.

#5 Verurtle

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

Is there any other career or type of work that he could get into that is related to this?

The only other option he is thinking of is as a pit crew guy with a motor sport team.

#6 Laborious Nicety

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:26 PM

Sports journalism is very competitive and you'd  need a degree at the very least to break into the field.

It looks like your DH is at least dreaming large wink.gif with the career change.

#7 Lady Garden

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:33 PM

He could start a blog reviewing modified cars. But that would be a hobby, not a job.

Good luck.

#8 Epitome

Posted 05 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

I have a masters in communication, majoring in journalism.
I work in lobbying/pr as do most of the people I went to uni with.

Traditional journalism is dead. Without established contacts in the industry you want to cover you are without a chance.

Sport journalists are increasingly retired athletes and/or their children.

Sure, he could write a blog... But I don't think the time and expense required to be qualified would be anywhere near reciprocated financially or professionally.


#9 **Tiger*Filly**

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:22 PM

What does he do at the moment?
What sort of work does he want - in an office, in the outdoors, working with his hands, doing research, solitary, mixing and talking with lots of people etc. I would think that's what he needs to work out first.

#10 erindiv

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:29 PM

You wouldn't be putting him down, you'd be being realistic. It sounds like he dreams big, as a PP said. Nothing wrong with dreams, but the sorts of dreams your DH is dreaming take a long, long time and a lot of hard work to achieve, and you're competing with hundreds, even thousands of other people who want the same dream job.

I'm sure most people at some stage dream of having a job where they love going to work. For some people, it just can't happen.

I'd say he should figure out a bit more of a vague area he wants to get into, research it, do it as a hobby and try to work his way up.

You mentioned being in a pit crew. Would he be interested in becoming a mechanic? That's a lot easier to get into.

Edited by erindiv, 05 January 2013 - 10:30 PM.


#11 Mamma_mia

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:32 PM

QUOTE (melbelle @ 05/01/2013, 10:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have a masters in communication, majoring in journalism.
I work in lobbying/pr as do most of the people I went to uni with.

Traditional journalism is dead. Without established contacts in the industry you want to cover you are without a chance.

Sport journalists are increasingly retired athletes and/or their children.

Sure, he could write a blog... But I don't think the time and expense required to be qualified would be anywhere near reciprocated financially or professionally.


Wow, good to know. I started a comms/journalism degree but dropped out when i was told i was not assertive enough to be a journalist (among other reasons). I had to agree and think it was the right decision.

#12 ~shannon~

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

I am a journo/sub editor who left the profession full time over a year ago due to DH getting a better job in the bush... Turned out to be the right decision, as I probably would have been among the many redundancy casualties. IMHO, I think your DH is dreaming... It is hard to get a decent job, the pay is rubbish, there is a lot of competition and he would at least need a degree. I am doing a small amount of freelance work, but it is only making me money to fund my hobbies, certainly not enough to live off.

#13 KylieY

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:42 PM

I have a degree in Comms majoring in Journalism as well and agree that it is an almost redundant field.

Very difficult to get a job. I got my degree 18 years ago and if I had my time over I would have left school in year 10 and looked for a cadetship and even that is next to impossible. I sat the exam for a cadetship with the ABC where there were 600 people vying for 3 positions. 3!

All my jobs since finishing uni have been in PR type roles, never real writing roles to my great disappointment.


#14 Jupiter

Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:47 PM

Journalism is not dead. huh.gif

If you're prepared to go to the country, you'll get work.

But I would suggest going down the path of contributing/freelancing for particular sports, doing write-ups and taking photos.

It would need to be in addition to another job though.

#15 Jane Jetson

Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:05 PM

No, journalism's not dead. It's just lying flat on its back making a horrible rattling noise.

Honestly, while I love this job my advice to anyone starting out would be "don't do it". The model has changed too much, and while I believe strongly that there is a future for good writers and good communicators, traditional journalism is now centralised to the point where there are few jobs out there, and fewer *good* jobs. There is probably much better money in being a mechanic.

If he wants to write regardless of whether he'll get paid, there's always blogging, and if he's good at it - and good at self-promotion - this *could* generate money down the track, but it is a long shot and not something that should be planned for.

#16 Epitome

Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:07 PM

Journalism in its old glorious form is dead.

Maybe as 21 year old its feasible to move to a country town, do some work experience and then get a 45k a year job on the local paper (all of which are generally owned by companies which are laying off huge numbers of staff) work a shift roster etc etc etc but even for those positions you are competing against hundreds of applications.

As a man with a family and the associated obligations, I don't think so.
Especially considering its going to take at least three years of study and considerable periods of work experience and luck to even get that far.

The one person I know who has a serious career as a national journalist is scarily smart (as in did an undergraduate degree in political science at Yale) and his family is old money connected.

#17 Chillax

Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:26 PM

QUOTE (Jupiter @ 05/01/2013, 10:47 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Journalism is not dead. huh.gif


Thank you. Not dead; simply changing. If anything, the traditional sense of a newspaper where reporters have weeks to research stories and take long boozy lunches is dead. Newspapers are being scaled back considerably because they consistently lose millions of dollars. There are exciting things happening in other forms of journalism though, particularly online. It's changing, not dying.

Anyone who works in communications should know this, rather than taking such a simplistic - and archaic - view.

That said, there is no doubt it is an incredibly difficult field to break in to. Very competitive - it always has been - but the shrinking of the traditional model means there are considerably less jobs going around. And whoever said the pay was rubbish was right. Particularly at a cadet or beginner level. I would think you'd find it extremely difficult with a family. And like Jupiter said, you'd have to start rural/country town. I disagree with those who said a degree is a pre-requisite though; there arejournalism schools around that do a great job with their students in one year rather than three.

If your husband has a passion for writing (a hefty dash of talent helps too), people and sports, there are ways to do it.

#18 minidiamond

Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:58 AM

If he can't cut n paste, yes, amongst many other barriers he would find it hard to break into the industry.

Im assuming he doesnt have great computer skills, but if I'm wrong, how about social media ? Or getting his computing skills and knowledge up to speed as a start.  It's growing quickly but some organizations might be prepared to give someone a break, especially if he's prepared to start out doing it in his spare time - very easy via modern day devices.  Identify organizations (eg motoring bodies/teams etc, I gather that's an interest ?) or just set up his own twitter account as a fan group to start with.  Twitter is a very small world in a lot of ways so it's easier to make "contacts".  Of course, that's not the be all and end all of social media but I reckon it's the best place to start if he's got the passion.

#19 minidiamond

Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:01 AM

Double post

Edited by minidiamond, 06 January 2013 - 01:02 AM.


#20 findingada

Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:47 AM

I quite enjoy seeing changes to journalism, education, and the health professions as technology evolves. I came across this site recently: http://www.newsflare.com/about. Basically it provides a marketplace for video journalists and media outlets to do business. There are bounties for certain assignments and it seems to have some kind of ranking and reward system for contributors too. It is focused on the UK at the moment and I imagine there are other similar types of sites/systems too but I just thought it might be a good example showing how technology might open doors for talented journalists that might otherwise be closed?

#21 Maple Leaf

Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:07 AM

QUOTE
How hard is it to get work as a journalist?


I would say very hard currently. With the amount of layoffs from Fairfax, News Limited and APN happening. Plus having one journalist cover a huge area and also do their own photos as well as they are laying off photographers.

.Dh worked for APN for 20 years and now works for News so has seen so many leave.

I personally know a journalist that does car reviews for News Ltd, she used to cover the cricket circuit and travel everywhere so she's gone from sports to cars. She works from home and only goes into the city once a week to pick up a new car to test drive and review for that week. Her job sounds pretty perfect but she's been with the company for years.



#22 Verurtle

Posted 06 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

Thanks everyone for your replies.

It most certainly is more food for thought.

At the moment DP is not working, he is looking to study at tafe and wants to do something he will enjoy rather then just labouring work each day.

The other course he was thinking about is kind of like mechanics, but will get him closer to the motorsport.

I know a tafe course will help him with styling and also computer skills.  I dont think he is ready for uni just yet as he needs more practical skills.

#23 Kalota

Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:15 PM

I was a journalist before I changed careers to become a primary school teacher. To become a journalist, you definitely need to study at university these days (as opposed to TAFE). I studied journalism at Monash and unfortunately it was very hard to get into. And even when I finished my degree, it was extremely competitive and so difficult to find steady work, even though I completed my degree with a high distinction. This is why I eventually changed careers to becoming a teacher - journalism was just way too competitive and too difficult to find steady work. And sports journalism was the most popular! sad.gif

I agree with you and other PPs that there are probably loads of TAFE courses that would lead him into a vocation that is suitable for him and not just labouring work. You said he loves sports - what about some kind of sports health course? Does he have any other interests other than sports? original.gif

#24 crazyone2989

Posted 06 January 2013 - 05:46 PM

QUOTE (Kalota @ 06/01/2013, 02:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was a journalist before I changed careers to become a primary school teacher. To become a journalist, you definitely need to study at university these days (as opposed to TAFE). I studied journalism at Monash and unfortunately it was very hard to get into. And even when I finished my degree, it was extremely competitive and so difficult to find steady work, even though I completed my degree with a high distinction. This is why I eventually changed careers to becoming a teacher - journalism was just way too competitive and too difficult to find steady work. And sports journalism was the most popular! sad.gif

I agree with you and other PPs that there are probably loads of TAFE courses that would lead him into a vocation that is suitable for him and not just labouring work. You said he loves sports - what about some kind of sports health course? Does he have any other interests other than sports? original.gif



Haha I have a communications degree (major journalism) and I found the same thing so am doing my Masters in Teaching! Too funny!

I know very few people who did a journo degree who actually work as a journo or the ones that do work for very little or have spent YEARS interning (yup years not actually earning anything!!)

To be honest it does not sound like the right thing for him AT ALL. You need pretty good computer skills these days, helps to have a good idea of social media and all things digital. Given that is so competitive you also need to be a pretty amazing writer.

#25 Laborious Nicety

Posted 06 January 2013 - 06:50 PM

I know several journos, one who is a national newsreader but did a cadetship when we all finished school back in the dark ages.

All of the successful ones I know are old, old, old like me or older.  It's a very different world out there these days.  Even freelancing is tougher than it was 15 years ago.




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