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Masters students tour iconic newsrooms during New York Field School

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29 January 2016

Tiffany Korssen
Tiffany Korssen

Masters students have benefitted from a life-changing experience when they participated in a new Monash overseas program, Journalism Futures: New York Field School.

The students, under the guidance of Journalism lecturers Deb Anderson and Stephanie Brookes, learned from journalism and political leaders in major organisations in New York and Washington DC over 10 days in December.

Each student drew from scholarly and popular literature as well their immersive experience to formulate an individual research project, adopting a case-study approach to their topic.

A range of iconic and cutting-edge newsrooms and institutions opened their doors to the students.

In New York, site visits included the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press (AP), Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, The New York Times printing facility, Mother Jones magazine, the Paley Center for Media (Museum of Television & Radio) and the US National 9/11 Memorial Museum.

In Washington DC, the students gained exclusive access to the Press Gallery and a US Senate office at Capitol Hill. Then they visited BuzzFeed, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, US News & World Report and Georgetown University’s media school – also meeting journalists from The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Politico reported.ly and The Hill.

“It was such a thrill to show students the ways change and innovation are sweeping through these newsrooms,” said Dr Anderson, who created the program together with Dr Brookes.

“We designed the unit to show what it is like to be a media practitioner today – and how news values are shifting to capture shifting audiences.

“In turn, the class of Monash students on tour showed us different ways of thinking about the future of journalism. They shared their hopes, dreams and creative responses to challenges facing the news media.

“Stephanie and I felt privileged to share such an experience with these incredible minds, for these students will help shape the future of the news industry.”

Monash Head of Journalism, Associate Professor Phil Chubb, said the students enjoyed a productive study tour.

“Reading the Facebook site set up for students doing this trip while they were away - as well as after they got back - was an eye opener,” Assoc Professor Chubb said.

“For many of the students this Monash field trip to New York and Washington was a life-changing experience. I was proud of our staff and students.”

Dr Anderson and Dr Brookes aim to expand the program this year, building on feedback from the 2015 cohort, adding more sites to the tour.

“With the New York Field School we aim to give Monash students the confidence to approach and work with people in leading communications and news outlets,” Dr Anderson said.

“It’s about gaining an international edge in a very competitive job market. It’s also about students learning from each other in a foreign context –connecting with their peers.”

Master of Communications and Media Studies student Cameron Grimes agreed. He said the 2015 tour was an unrivalled opportunity to meet people in the global media industry.

And he found one of the best parts of the tour was “connecting with other students and learning about each other’s interests and passions”.

Master of Journalism student Tiffany Korssen used the opportunity to gain valuable industry experience for her CV. She applied for a coveted News Corporation traineeship while on the US study tour – with success.