USC journalism students have had their first taste of life as media on the political trail as part of a national reporting project in the lead up to this weekend’s federal election.
Third-year students have been covering the electorate of Dickson for Junction Journalism, an initiative of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia, that involves students and academics from more than 20 universities.
Journalism lecturer Dr Peter English said the project has provided students with valuable job experience.
“Our student reporters have spent time on the streets of Dickson finding out what matters to voters in this election, gaining invaluable experiences and opportunities, including two students sitting with Peter Dutton to interview him in his office,” Dr English said.
“One of the things we focus on in our program is producing job-ready graduates and, after this semester, our journalists are ready to interview and report on politicians and high-profile figures on a regular basis.”
Student Braeden Jason will be reporting live on Saturday evening produced by classmate Dylan Fewings, providing coverage to community television stations in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, as well as community radio stations and the Junction Journalism website.
Braeden, who turned 21 yesterday and is also a member of the USC High Performance Student Athlete swim program, said the support of lecturer and broadcast professional Rosanna Natoli helped him prepare.
“I’ve found out pretty quickly that a tutorial on live crosses compared to actually doing it are two very different things,” Braeden said.
“The inside knowledge Rosanna has given us has been invaluable and really helped our preparation in knowing what to say and how to say it.”
Dylan, who hopes to work in documentary making, said he’s looking forward to the challenge of working under the high-pressure conditions of live broadcast.
“There’s a lot to consider and control, from audio levels to lighting to background noise, but I’m feeling confident that Braden and I can handle it,” Dylan said.
“I’ve really enjoyed this whole project throughout the election campaign. We’ve got to learn a lot about politics in general but also got to meet some interesting people that has opened up a whole new network of contacts.”
The two-hour live television broadcast, which is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas, will be available at http://junctionjournalism.com/ from 6pm on Saturday.