There is no denying that teenagers are pressured to decide their futures at a very young age. It is very easy for people to fall into the trap of choosing a course that everybody else is doing even though they are not really suited to it because they are unsure.
I am currently in my final year of journalism in DCU (Dublin City University). Since it’s very niche, many people don’t even realise that it could be a potential career area for them until they look into what is available and become aware of the different elements involved.
Some think that journalists have a vocational calling but it is actually a great choice for people with many interests. The only constant topic of interest journalists need to have is people and the world they live in. Informing, educating and entertaining these people is your job but this can be inspired by any interest from politics and business to sports and celebrity culture and it can be ever changing.
The DCU undergraduate programme has a vast selection of modules, all taught by experts of their fields, many having worked for major national publications in the past. Most of these modules teach how to create content through written copy, video and audio for different platforms such as print, digital, radio, television and social media. Some of these include ‘News Writing’, ‘Digital Media Skills’, ‘Video Journalism’, ‘Radio Reporting’, ‘PhotoJournalism’ and ‘Social and Mobile Journalism’.
Extensive dedication is also given to help students understand the industry in which they will be working. This includes looking at how journalism has evolved throughout the years in the module ‘Journalism History’ as well as understanding how to navigate journalism as it stands today in modules like ‘Journalism in the Hybrid Media System’,‘Networked News’ and ‘Ethics of Journalism’.
Modules such as ‘Irish Media Law’ ‘ The Irish Legal System’ ‘Crime and The Media’ and ‘Introduction to Politics’ are also available to allow students to apply context to their stories.
The course ensures that graduates are prepared to enter the outside world by popping the college bubble in final year. Even though students are constantly encouraged to get their work published, this is kicked into high gear in third year. During the ‘Journalism Portfolio’ module, each and every student must regularly share every piece of work they have gotten published in outside media to their peers and lecturer. The work will eventually make up a portfolio and go towards their final mark. A real-life newsroom experience will also be simulated in the module ‘Newsday’
On top of all this, every student has ensured a two-month long internship in an Irish media company which is connected through DCU. Some of these companies include ‘RTE’, ‘The Independent’, ‘Her.ie’ and ‘Today FM’.
Leaving cert 2018 students needed 400 points to secure a place in the programme.