The objectives of the Monash Journalism program are, firstly, to enable students to understand what a good journalist does; secondly, to empower students to go out into the world and perform through researching stories and reporting in their chosen medium; thirdly, to ensure that the stories, no matter the medium in which they are presented, are accurate, stimulating and informative. The journalism program at Monash integrates all media. Right from first year students are working across video, radio, print and online.
The course is founded deeply in the principle of the public right to know. Journalists do not work as part of a client advocacy system, no matter how worthy a client’s arguments might be. It is imperative that students achieve a thorough understanding of the ethical and legal obligations of all journalists, including student journalists.
Students need to be able to work independently but also as part of a team, because journalism is mostly a team process. They need to be able to work under extreme pressure of deadlines, but also be sensitive to the social relations in any particular circumstances. They need to be able to read the dynamics of the situation they’re in and operate professionally, safely and securely for themselves and others.
Students need to understand that journalism is an integral part of a very big world – even if they’re just doing a local story, once the story is out there in the media its ramifications can spread wide and deep, both for the individuals concerned but also in the wider society. So journalists have to be able to think big. They have to be able to read and interpret their own activities and the activities of others on a large canvas. They need to know about the changing role of the media in society, the power the media exercises and the power exercised against the media.