Upskilling with upstart

Our Media and Communication students get journalism and production experience through upstart and La Trobe Live

La Trobe Media and Communication students are getting journalism and production experience through La Trobe’s online magazine, upstart, and La Trobe Live broadcast.

Dr Brigid McCarthy, Managing Editor of upstart, explains that the initiative began in 2009 as a Work Integrated Learning subject “designed to provide students with an opportunity to undertake journalism in a campus newsroom for credit.”

Under the guidance of industry-experienced academic staff, students learn the creative and technical skills needed in editorial or broadcast settings.

They are expected to pitch ideas, create stories and revise work until it is ready for broadcast or publication. They also build a folio that they can use to demonstrate their skills to prospective employers when they graduate.

La Trobe’s Media and Communication facilities feature newsroom technology, giving students the experience across a range of media platforms including television, radio, podcasting and multimedia journalism.

“Our digital television studio gives students an opportunity to learn studio directing, vision switching, graphics and high-end digital camera operation to make current affairs, magazine and sports programs,” explains Dr McCarthy.

“Our digital audio and radio studios allow students to create broadcast standard podcasts and current affairs packages, and develop industry relevant skills including presenting, producing, interviewing and editing.”

“In our Mac Lab classrooms, students are taught to use software like the Adobe Creative Cloud, Photoshop and Garage Band to undertake a range of multimedia, video and audio projects.”

The result: Graduates who are work ready with leadership and collaborative skills – and know how to meet hard deadlines.

Riley Alexander, a Bachelor of Media and Communication student majoring in sports journalism, says he has found the “real life experience” that upstart offers to be “invaluable.”

“The weekly news shifts were awesome,” he says.

Former upstart students have used their experience in the subject to land journalism and media jobs with the ABC, SBS, Wide World of Sport,, AFL clubs, and regional and metropolitan newspapers.

“Upstart gives students the opportunity to experience the excitement and exhilaration of doing authentic media work while developing their skills in a supportive learning environment. This is an opportunity to really get a taste of what it’s like to be a journalist,” says Dr McCarthy.

“Work-based subjects like upstart are vital for students to get experience and build a resume of real work so they can hit the ground running when they graduate into a diverse and competitive media landscape.”

Find out more about the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy. Visit their website and LinkedIn.