Colour me creative.

Maddison Wells, 19, 'would love nothing more than to be able to paint for a living'.
Maddison Wells, 19, ‘would love nothing more than to be able to paint for a living’.

It was once said by Pablo Picasso that ‘painting is just another way of keeping a diary’. And this rings true for first year student Maddison Wells, who finds herself most at home with a paintbrush in hand and watercolours before her.  ‘Painting relaxes me,’ she explains, ‘it relaxes me and lets the time melt away with my problems’.

Taught from a very young age by her mother, Maddison has always had an appreciation and passion for art. Painting is where her true talent lies, though her drawings skills must not go unnoticed either, though she lacks faith in her own skills,  and it is the thing that she could ‘would love to pursue as far as I can’. Her works have already been exhibited in museums, galleries, and shows, most commonly in her home town of Orange. And in 2010 she participated in a mural project that is now on display and seen by hundreds of people each and every day.  All of this she accomplished before even graduating high school, giving herself the foundations and head start she needed for further pursuing studies and work in the artistic field.

‘I’m doing both Visual Arts and Graphic Design,’ she says of her current Bachelor of Creative Arts degree, ‘And the Visual Arts side allows me to paint’.

With this degree, she hopes to take her creative flair and acquired skills and focus on the Graphic Design side of her degree, in terms of a future career. ‘I think that I will steer more to the design side as it has more stable career options,’ she explains, aware that although painting plays an enormous role in her life and is what she’d love to do, that it isn’t the most stable career to delve into immediately, ‘at the moment I’m thinking I’d like to work in a magazine and create layouts and designs’.

And it’s the creativity that comes with her childhood of painting that will allow her to put her skills and ideas to use in this field, while still continuing to improve in the area she favours most. Maddison says she was inspired not only by her mother but by shows like Art Attack, which she watched daily as a child. From trying to recreate the works that she saw featured on the show to working on original pieces, ‘I preferred to sit inside and draw, or paint, and so I just used to do so for hours’.

Nowadays, she jokingly says, things aren’t much different. Only now, with Art Attack a show long finished airing, she prefers to ‘watch Glee re-runs’ and YouTube to occupy her in her artistic endeavors. Though time must also be made for studying, scrolling Tumblr, assessments, friends, and her other passion … sleeping. University, simply put, is an experience Maddie is enjoying, despite being so far from home.

 

Keeping up with the crowd.

Journalism covers every story, in all shapes and forms.
Journalism covers every story, in all shapes and forms.

It would be fair to say that journalism is a field that knows no boundaries, that it’s constantly expanding and changing along with the advancing world that it focuses on. For many, it’s something to observe only from a distance. But to aspiring young students studying the field, it’s something to take into great consideration.

With the constant need for stories and someone to tell them the driving force behind it, it’s hard to know exactly where to start when the means for doing this change so dramatically and so quickly. But is this change necessary? The unanimous response appears to be yes.

‘We tend to get bored of things after a while, so changing keeps people interested and invested,’Jessica Muscat, a student studying a Bachelor of Journalism/Bachelor of International Studies, explains.

Heather Clempson, studying a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies, agrees that ‘change is important to every career, to be able to evolve and adapt to the changing times can keep careers entertaining and relevant’.

Change is necessary, but is knowing how to keep up with it as easy as realising that it’s essential? Is it better to have a wide range or knowledge, or to focus on one particular element in the field?

‘Both of those can be seen as equally valuable,’ Hayleigh Sinclair, a music major studying  a Bachelor of Creative Arts /Bachelor of Journalism, believes.

Heather, who wishes to delve into advertising but admits that the journalism career does intrigue her, adds that ‘it really comes down to the individual and what exactly they want to do’.

‘It depends,’ says Jessica, who hopes to one day be involved in the realm of music journalism, sits on the fence with that idea. ‘If you know what you want to do and only have your sights set on one thing, then a focused target on the one particular field would be better, but since I change my mind every couple of months about what type of journalism I’d like to be involved in, a wide range of knowledge is better for me.’

And so the decision falls upon the individual. Either way, a knowledge base is important to have, and each studies the subject of journalism to expand and enhance their knowledge and to keep up with the changing field. Hayley and Jessica both study double degrees, as does Caitlin Goldthorpe who is majoring in creative writing and undertaking a Bachelor of Creative Arts/Bachelor of Journalism.

Whether or not the combined knowledge of a double degree would be of great benefit, particularly in terms of a career, is something often considered. As Hayleigh sees it, ‘if you have lots of skills across media, you’ll have more options to choose from’.

‘Double degrees give you the versatility and options to expand and collaborate ideas,’ Heather adds.

‘Students are being educated in all possible fields,’ Caitlin, who wishes to both become a published author and potentially work in radio, says of this and the ways to keep up with journalism, ‘because journalism is a changing and evolving profession.’

 

 

 

Stories of their own.

Citizen journalism is a mode of story telling which has come about in force with the introduction of the online realm to the field of journalism. Citizen journalism allows anyone to report on news and events that occur all around the world within communities, often faster than ‘professional journalists’ themselves can do it.

As seen in The Guardian with David Hoffman, co-founder of Internews,  local media is important. Citizen journalism relies on locals and their desires to share stories, quickly and generally through online means. However, the credibility, authenticity, and validity of this mode of journalism is called into question.

ITV News believes that traditional journalists are more vital than ever in the face of this new form of story telling, and how the accuracy of citizen journalism is uncertain. They say that traditional journalists shouldn’t be using the footage or the information of the citizens, while Greg Murphy from The Irish Examiner says that these two kinds or reporting ‘can go hand-in-hand to paint a full and fairer picture of events‘, and there had been some headway towards achieving this, as seen in the New York Times.

There’s much speculation over the idea of citizen journalism, and whether it’s a good thing for story telling or simply a bad thing for traditional journalism. There are things for citizen journalists to remember in keeping their work valid, with The Guardian even offering classes to teach citizens how to report stories properly. The aim of this is to keep journalistic standards high all across the board, and for citizen journalists to produce material of a professional standard. However, in contrast to this rise in the need for bettering citizen journalism, some such as the Sydney Morning Herald believe that simply bettering traditional investigative journalism is the right way to go.

Evolution and impacts.

The future of journalism is uncertain, but clearly social networking is booming.

An ever expanding field, journalism does not slow down. With the growth of social media and social networking, journalism has had to adapt. Though it might seem as though this evolution has taken on a life of its own, moving in ways that have left many questioning whether it’s actually a good thing or not. And as  Geneva Overholser, director of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism, discusses in her article, credibility is an issue.

There are many mixed opinions on the benefits and detriments of social media and its impact on journalism. Is it useful? Is it a limitation?  Organisations are now aware of the problems that lie in this field, and are working to overcome them. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists outlines the best ways in which journalists can use social media to their advantage, while The Guardian has set up guidelines for their journalists to follow if they intend on delving into social media. Credibility and validity are important aspects of storytelling, and a close watch must be kept to keep the impact of social media from being detrimental and to maintain the future of journalism.

However, despite these efforts being made, statistics from a survey by PewResearch Journalism Project states that only 4% of people say that social media platforms are the most important way they get their news, while in a survey by Social Media Online 46% say that they get their news online.  This poses the question of whether there is a greater concern for the issue of social media’s impact than there needs to be. But then, as also mentioned in this same article, ‘the survey provides evidence that Facebook exposes some people to news who otherwise might not get it‘. As said in The Daily Telegraph, news is increasingly available to and finding its way to a widespread audience through online platforms, further emphasising the need for credibility in all news stories in the future.

 

 

“Nope.”

Maddison Wells, nineteen, Bachelor of Creative Arts
Maddison Wells, nineteen, Bachelor of Creative Arts (majoring in Graphic Design)

Choosing to take the stairs rather than the lift did not sit well with Maddison. After a day of trekking from building to building for class after class, the few flights back to her room weren’t all too appealing. She made her protests in good humour though, and with the same cheerfulness that comes with her everywhere. The only true surprise was the lack of paint on her. With a creative mind like no other, Maddison is often spotted with the evidence of her latest project on her somewhere. But, as always claimed, “I didn’t mean to!”

Seeing it all …

Suzanna Nisbet, Bachelor of Journalism/Arts

For Suzanna, being behind the camera is much preferred to being in front of it. With a keen interest in photography, she’s far more comfortable with being the photographer rather than the subject. But, with a beaming smile and a happy-to-help attitude, she found herself in the reversed role. Happy to try new things, Suzanna wants to experience the world and see everything there is to see. This, she hopes, will help to support a career in international correspondence, in which she hopes to write in on the most important, pressing issues.

“Let’s do this.”

Sienna Monique, nineteen, Bachelor of International Studies/Journalism
Sienna Monique, nineteen, Bachelor of International Studies/Journalism

Never one to back down, Sienna took the the opportunity to step over some stones and climb some rocks as soon as it was presented. University is both a challenge and an adventure to Sienna, who’s taking it on head first. Bold and opinionated, Sienna has much to say and much she wants to do. Though, like many university students, she is still trying to find her feet and trying to work out if her studies are the best things for getting to where she wants to be. Time will tell, but there is no doubt that Sienna will find a way.

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