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Macleay Journalism: Making It In The Real World

On federal election night, two young journalists huddle under a street light in Melbourne’s CBD - checking notes, checking facts, preparing for their live broadcast ahead as results come in. What background do we have and what else do we need? When will we know more? And how will we know what it means?

It was a common sight across Australia on the night of 18 May 2019, but the difference was that these two were not yet fully fledged TV reporters on the road for the campaign - they were two students from Macleay College Melbourne campus, out getting the real-life experience that our journalism students are offered as they prepare for their careers in the media. 

The students, Fatima Halloum and Helena Abdou, did a great job that night - joining in a national broadcast that brought together 23 journalism schools nationwide - and they relished the experience. As Fatima said, “I can’t believe in six months we’ve been able to cover a state election and a federal election. It’s amazing experience.”

And that’s what you get at Macleay Journalism, with its model of smaller class sizes and teachers who are still active in the profession.

What does that mean in practice?

It means much more personal attention and focus in the classroom. It means one-on-one mentoring with your lecturers, all working industry professionals. It means meeting and learning from our weekly round of high-profile guest lecturers, who in recent years have included everyone from Waleed Aly, Eddie McGuire and Sandra Sully to the former US presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, who enlightened us on the role of the media in the Trump era.

And it can mean gaining unbeatable national exposure for your work long before you actually enter the industry. 

This year alone, two Macleay students have had their exclusive stories for our college news website Hatch published in the Nine/Fairfax newspapers, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. That is possible because the lecturers recognise a great story when they see one - and have the industry contacts to help take those stories to a wider audience.

Compared to research published last year in Mumbrella, Macleay students have a far better chance of finding work when they graduate than students from other journalism schools. According to that survey, overall 25 per cent of students are employed in the media within four months of graduating - but the figure for Macleay students is 66 per cent.

Former students employed in the industry can testify to that.

Kezia Dawn, a Channel Nine News Presenter, says her job at Nine came about via the internship she did at the network while studying at Macleay. “I was doing packages with the news room at Macleay and they're essentially exactly the same as what you do in the workplace, which I think is really crucial to learn while you're still at uni.”

Melbourne campus alumnus Dominique Russell, who is an editorial assistant at Teacher Magazine, remembers the thrill of doing her internship at The Age - and finding herself on the front page. “I walked past a newsagent and I thought, ‘I recognise that photo. Why is that on the front page?’ And I picked it up and it was my story on the front page with my name and I opened up the paper and it had a double page spread in there as well. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that feeling!” 

Andrew Spencer, a producer at Sky News, hails the benefits of smaller classes. “Because we were so small at Macleay, we had to learn how to do everything. We couldn’t just hide in the corner. So, that really did push us quite a long way, and I’m pretty certain that’s what got me the job afterwards.” 

Caroline Layt, a writer for the Women’s Game, says the benefits of having lecturers who are actively working in the industry cannot be over-estimated.

“We’re now cutting edge as journalists going out into the workforce,” Caroline says.

“On top of what I'm doing for the Women's Game, I'm also producing my own documentaries. Having those people that have been there beforehand, and teaching us those skills, that helps us in applying for jobs and moving forward.”

Why choose a Macleay College Journalism Course?

  • At Macleay College we believe in real world course content to ensure you're job ready.
  • Our course material and teaching method incorporates the latest industry practices and real world experience.
  • Our lecturers have industry experience and up-to-date knowledge.
  • Our small classes feature personalised teaching that nurtures your unique strengths.

Journalism at Macleay College

Society relies on quality journalism to inform, investigate, question, explore and debate.

In the age of a fast moving digital media and fake news, the role of journalism is more critical than ever before.

The media industry demands well trained, digital savvy journalists that can adapt their skills in an ever changing landscape.

Macleay College courses overlay digital reporting skills across the key disciplines of investigative journalism, international journalism, television reporting, audio journalism and photojournalism.

Students become working journalists from the first day they step into Macleay. They work on real stories in a real newsroom across all media platforms.

Journalism students are taught by industry experts that are up to date with the latest trends and are well connected in the industry.

Curious to know more about the Journalism programs at Macleay? Check out the student run Journalism website here. 

Start studying Journalism at Macleay today. With diploma and bachelor options available and flexible study times, we have something to suit everyone.

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