The future of journalism is online.
Graduate journalists need to be armed with the tools to function in this space, Mumbrella and Encore Magazine deputy editor Nic Christensen told Macleay College students last week.
Christensen has previously worked at The Australian, 2GB and The Daily Telegraph.
Now, his career has taken a different path. Mumbrella is an online news outlet that covers everything under the Australian media and marketing and entertainment umbrella.
Like many journalists before him, Christensen’s career has developed along a far different path from the one he originally intended.
“I thought I’d make a decent bureaucrat,” Christensen said.
“I thought I’d try journalism and and see where it ends up.”
Working in radio and print has been enough to convince Christensen that the media is where he wants to be. The variety and ability to cover a multitude of different events and scenarios is something that appeals to him.
“The good thing about journalism is that one day you can be writing about one thing and then you’re doing something completely different,” he said.
His decision to move to Mumbrella is in line with the rise of the digital age of journalism. The print industry is going through massive trauma, with redundancies far outnumbering new recruitment, jobs at a premium and most news channelled towards digital outlets.
Christensen foresees the end of the print industry and said that the digital era is the present and future.
“Newspapers have a certain life span, but there’s no guarantees that in 20 years there’ll be a print industry,” he said.
“In the end, all media is moving into that space. Everyone is doing online so if you want to be a journalist you’ll have to understand the online space.”
Christensen’s experience is in line with that of many young journalists these days. Gone are the days when copyboys and girls would move through the ranks and when one would merely pick up a cadetship at the paper after finishing school.
While unpaid opportunities are plentiful, rarely do they actually lead to paid employment.
Christensen thinks the jobs are there, but that only the keenest and most persistent will be able to find them.
“There’s no orthodox way anymore,” he said.
“There used to be (the) cadetship way, but now you find your own entry point.
“It’s unlikely to be an organised approach. You have to be willing to barge down the barricades to get the jobs.
“They’re there and there are ways in, but you can’t expect that people will open the doors for you.
“You have to really want it.” – Matthew Connellan