BY AIDAN LAWSON
Twenty students have just experienced their first two weeks at Petersham TAFE in Sydney and are almost a day through their third. The course is Certificate IV Screen and Media (Journalism) and it is for people “who want to acquire knowledge and skills to pursue employment and/or further training in news media in the area of journalism,” as stated on the website. The course covers multiple parts of journalism, how to write both soft and hard stories, how to research for stories, the basics of interviewing and more.
The course is very multimedia, opening up various options for people who are not sure what kind of journalism they want to get into. It is also very accessible, as there are no entry requirements. Anybody and everybody can study here.
The feedback on the course has been positive. “So far I’ve enjoyed the course, yeah, quite involved in it. I’ve written about six stories so far,” says Paul, who is 24 years old. Paul has leapt right into news writing, with a growing collection of completed articles under his belt. “I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into journalism and actually getting out there with my work,” he said.
When it comes to parts of the course they really like, students say they like the social aspect of studying at TAFE. “What I enjoy the most is finding people that have the same interests as I do,” says Abdul, aged 18.
“The high point for me is getting to meet new people,” says Peter, who also thinks that the social aspect of the course is the best part.
Many of the students think they have learnt a lot so far, while some feel that they will need to wait a bit longer before saying that. “I think I’ve learnt a lot since I’ve started,” Abdul says.
“It makes me feel a lot more confident,” says Traudy, who also thinks she has a learnt a lot. Traudy was a bit scared of technology before starting, but now two weeks in she is feeling much better when it comes to using computers and various social media sites.
On a less positive front, some students admitted that they wished the course was a bit more practical, although there are practical parts of the course, such as radio class on Tuesdays, when the students practise interviewing each other. The positives strongly outweigh the negatives, however.
This group of Certificate IV students is definitely thinking about what they want to do after they have completed the six-month course. Some are considering doing the Diploma and going on to university. Others want try get work, and some just are not sure yet. “This is essentially a way of building a foundation in order to be a journalist,” George says.
All in all, the students are clearly enjoying themselves and are looking forward to the months to come.