CSU students describe The Newspaper of the Future

1 JANUARY 2003

Three Charles Sturt University journalism students will address an exclusive national conference of newspaper executives today, Tuesday 7 August, to describe what their generation will want from newspapers in ten years.

Three Charles Sturt University (CSU) journalism students will address an exclusive national conference of newspaper executives today, Tuesday 7 August, to describe what their generation will want from newspapers in ten years.
 
The Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association (PANPA) has invited the students to host a plenary session at its annual conference in Melbourne which started yesterday, Monday 6 August.
 
Rather than tell newspaper people what they already know about consumer behaviour, the students will tell the industry what their own peers, known as Generation Y, will seek from newspapers in a decade or so when they are the prime target market for newspapers.
 
The students took current trends as a starting point but performed their own research to determine the future direction of news media. While the content and look of the newspaper of the future is evolving, the students foresee that the predominant model will be primarily web-based and advertising-funded.
 
”This is a huge honour,” said Mr Chris McGillion, senior lecturer in journalism at the School of Communication on CSU’s Bathurst Campus.
 
“The PANPA conference is ordinarily closed to journalists and academics, and only those in newspaper management are permitted to attend. It’s a very select group.
 
“This is the first time ever that a journalism school has been invited to attend a PANPA conference, and for three CSU journalism students to not only attend but be invited to chair a session of the conference that will be attended by several hundred newspaper executives is unheard of.
 
“It is a further tribute to the high regard the media industry has for CSU journalism graduates,” Mr McGillion said.
 
While five students have been involved in developing the plenary session presentation, and all are in Melbourne for the conference, only three – Lucy Carter, Dave McCowen and Victoria Ziarkowski – will present the plenary session topic The Newspaper of the Future today.
 
Despite his students gaining a variety of relevant workplace experience, Mr McGillion believes there is some discrepancy between journalism course content and working expectations and practices.
 
“There is not enough interaction between the newspaper industry and the educational institutions that train and provide future employees,” he said.
 
“I’m finding that when our students get jobs, there are things they don’t know or differences between what they were taught and how things really work. The Newspaper of the Future project is intended to overcome these differences between course material and the real industry.”

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