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Abstract

It’s an age-old question for university educators: is it our role to provide students with specific skills as well as education? Should learning outcomes be more attuned to what employers want? And which employers? As print and broadcast journalism practitioners, as well as educators, we are involved in research to answer some of these questions. As part of this, we questioned major WA news employers about what they wanted from journalism and broadcasting graduates, both in skills and personal attributes, and what they believed was missing from university journalism courses. We found strong agreement about the importance of ‘traditional’ journalism skills, such as spelling, grammar and punctuation; enthusiasm and drive to find stories; clarity of writing; ability to learn; passion for news; strong work ethic and understanding of journalistic ethics. In contrast, our research shows employers are less enthusiastic about the value of digital skills. This paper looks at whether the skills they seek are adequately covered by journalism and broadcasting courses at Edith Cowan University by examining what is assessed in students.

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