For the lifestyle and a love of creativity: Australian students' motivations for studying journalism

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Media International Australia, 2016, 160 (1), pp. 101 - 113
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© Media International Australia Editorial Board. A number of studies have examined why students choose to study journalism at university, but overall, this area is still relatively underexplored. Yet, understanding why students choose journalism, and what career expectations they hold, is important not only for educators but also for wider society and public debates about the future of journalism and the value of tertiary journalism education. This article examines the motivations of 1884 Australian journalism students enrolled across 10 universities. It finds that hopes for a varied lifestyle and opportunities to express their creativity are the most dominant motivations among students. Public service ideals are somewhat less important, while financial concerns and fame are least important. These motivations also find expression in students' preferred areas of specialisation (referred to in Australia as rounds): lifestyle rounds are far more popular than politics and business rounds or science and development rounds.
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