You’d be forgiven to think that the vast majority of individuals attending university for the first time are fresh out of school, a little wet behind the ears and with an air of real enthusiasm in relation to eventually gaining a job in their chosen subject. Instead though, John Murray, someone with an endless stream of journalistic experience has decided to add to his skill-set through studying an honours degree in Journalism at UWS.
Having pre-existing knowledge of the ins and outs of the industry already, how much has John actually benefited from hitting the classroom?
‘Massively so. Coming back into uni last year and learning about audio, video, film editing, not only did it help my career progress but it gave me a lot more confidence in my work. It’s given me a lot more exciting opportunities.’
Having written for a number of both national and local publications and his own book, you’d understand if John came at the course with the attitude that he’d simply cruise through it. He was keen however to reiterate that it hasn’t all been a doddle and he’s still learning so much.
‘The editing part I was very nervous about. I remember the first day of doing Audacity (audio editing software). I joined in third year and was watching students who had already picked it up. I was really far behind at the time.’
John suggests that this high level of technological proficiency is clear-cut evidence of what up-and-coming journalists will offer to publications and an indication of the great work UWS is doing at equipping a fresh batch of roving reporters.
‘The real strengths of those coming through today is their use of media. Younger generations in their late teens to mid twenties have a much better handle with technology that my generation ever did. The way they can use so much multimedia and get straight into that. It really takes journalism to a whole new level.
‘The real strengths of those coming through today is their use of media. Younger generations in their late teens to mid twenties have a much better handle with technology that my generation ever did. The way they can use so much multimedia and get straight into that. It really takes journalism to a whole new level.’
John does however, when asked, suggest that a high proficiency in technology skills shouldn’t be a substitute for skills elsewhere.
‘There are some weaknesses in communication and conversation and just general talking. I would like to hear voices more, I’d like to see and hear people having more confidence to approach people for interviews.’