Awareness of challenges and optimism for their future: Mapping journalism and public relations students' attitudinal change towards employment prospects over their first year at university

Isabel Fox, Amalie Finlayson

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Despite well-publicised cuts in media sector employment in the late 2000s and early 2010s, with significant job losses in journalism in particular, university enrolments in Australian communication degrees continue to be strong. This pilot year data from an ongoing study explores how studentsâ'' motivations and expectations for employment change throughout their first year of university by mapping the attitudes of Charles Sturt University (CSU) journalism and public relations students throughout 2013. Journalism students were found to enter their degree with a strong commitment to the social responsibility principles of their profession, whereas public relations students were more focused on lifestyle and financial aspects of their future employment. Despite a strong awareness of the challenges facing them in the traditional or legacy media job market, this was still the aspirational employment outcome for most journalism students and despite a growing knowledge across their first year of study regarding job losses within the Australian media industry most were optimistic about their future and confident they would build a long-term career in journalism. Many previous studies have explored student expectations of employment prospects and professional ambitions against the backdrop of media job losses. This study adds a further dimension to the existing literature by establishing (within the CSU context) that students are aware of the job losses and employment challenges when they choose to study journalism, and a growing awareness of these difficulties does not impact significantly on their ambitions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2014 ANZCA Annual Conference
Subtitle of host publicationThe digital and the social: communication for inclusion and exchange
EditorsDiana Bossio
Place of PublicationAustralia
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventAustralia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) 2014 Annual Conference - Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 09 Jul 201411 Jul 2014 (Conference proceedings)

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1448-4331


ConferenceAustralia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) 2014 Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleThe digital and the social: Communication for inclusion and exchange
OtherThe annual conference the major event in the ANZCA calendar. The conference provides members with valuable professional development opportunities, including scholarly publication, networking and presentation, and learning about the latest national and international trends in media and communications research, teaching and learning. Research students are encouraged and supported to take advantage of formal and informal mentoring opportunities afforded by participation in the conference and other activities of the association. The conference also provides an important occasion for recognizing the achievements and contributions of members in the field.

Each year the conference is held in a different location in either Australia or New Zealand, and is organised by the incoming Vice-president (who becomes the Association's president for the following year). For information about the forthcoming conference please follow the link on the right hand side of this page.
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