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Free Content A freelance-based foreign exchange programme: Tasmanian students’ professional development on WORLDREP

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In the context of rapidly changing newsrooms and a constriction in entry-level positions for graduates, the Europe and Australia in the World (WORLDREP) programme seeks to prepare students by pairing freelance journalism with overseas training and exchange. However, the entrepreneurial focus of the course must be weighed against the challenges and idiosyncratic hiring criteria that graduates face on their return home. This article discusses interviews with former Tasmanian participants to compare what the students felt they acquired during the course with perceived barriers and challenges post-graduation. We find that the programme’s freelance focus cultivates a range of applied skills, an extensive publication portfolio and professional confidence. However, interviewees also reported that a lack of local newsroom contacts ‐ traditionally provided through newsroom internships ‐ constitutes a hurdle on their return home. This prompts a discussion about how to complement exchange programmes with local networking and professional development initiatives that can ground what students have learnt overseas in local journalism practice.
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Keywords: Australian journalism; entrepreneurial journalism; freelance journalism; habitus; journalism education; social capital; the journalistic field

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Australian Journalism Review publishes articles on a broad range of perspectives relating to journalism research, practice and education. Its emphasis is on original theoretical, empirical and applied research, but it also provides opportunities to canvass perspectives on current debates on research, practice and education through commentary pieces on specific topics.

    This double-blind peer-reviewed journal is published twice annually, with the second edition each year focused primarily on a theme and supplemented by a small selection of broader-ranging papers.

    Prospective guest editor submissions on themes for future editions are always welcome. While many of Australian Journalism Review's submitting authors are based within the Australia-Pacific region, the journal welcomes scholarship from around the world and extending into broader media and communication topics of relevance to journalism.

    The journal incorporates a regular section highlighting the work of early career researchers, particularly current or recent higher degree by research students, as well as book reviews focusing on recent additions to the journalism, media and communications publishing landscape.

    AJR is the journal of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia.

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