by Leo Wiles
03 April 2019
Hi Anita, thank you for your query. It’s been a while since I hit the books for my own media and comms qualifications! So, I reached out to Dr Claire Konkes, Acting Head of Media and Lecturer in Media at University of Tasmania, to talk about the kind of skills you need these days.
Claire, whose illustrious journalism career includes titles as The Australian, The Mercury and The Monthly, kindly answered some questions for me:
Claire: Journalists, content producers and other communication professionals need to:
I have been teaching for about eight years and in that time I have seen the skills required for Journalism, Media and Communication (to define it as a discipline) merge – a few of our graduates might go straight to the ABC and stay there for a long time, but a lot more will move between digital content production, comms and journalism. As someone who will defend quality journalism to the end, the media landscape is a lot more diverse than the neat journo/PR divide of ten years ago.
Audiences: As the Thai say, media will be ‘Same, same, but different’. Audiences are fragmented, but the job of any communicator will be to identify their audience and sometimes it will be quite global in reach and other times it will be quite local.
Technical: the skills I mention above which is technical digital skills plus some understanding of the strategy it requires.
Perspective: In the past, journalists and others could get away with a fairly myopic understanding of their industry. Increasingly, some understanding of how various media industries work, including business models, how data is collected, is likely to be essential rather than just useful.
Do you agree with Claire or are there other skills you think you need to make a full time wage these days?