contentgroup welcomes innovative UC Journalism program

contentgroup welcomes innovative UC Journalism program

As I ended the call, I thought “this will be interesting”!

It was about 14 months ago when a friend and former colleague from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (University of Canberra journalism academic Professor Caroline Fisher) called to ask if I had time to meet her and another colleague (Professor Glen Fuller) to discuss the future of the University of Canberra’s journalism degree. They were concerned about job prospects for their students. Traditional media had stopped hiring and things were bleak.

They were interested in discussing content marketing and how it might be a potential source of employment for their students.

I told them content marketing was an ideal career choice for graduates with journalism skills. The ability to identify, create and distribute interesting stories that meet the need of a clearly defined audience is at the heart of both effective content marketing and effective journalism. I explained that in starting contentgroup, I had effectively commercialised the skills, practices and behaviours I’d learnt during my time as a radio reporter at the ABC.

No, they won’t be writing hard news stories about politics in content marketing but they will get the chance to use their skills and build a great career.

Technology is at the heart of the continuing demise of traditional media. Where previously the media companies had a monopoly over the factors of media production and distribution (think transmission towers, printing presses, ink in 44 gallon drums and trucks), technology has now put that very same power into the hands of everyone with a smartphone.

The accompanying transformation is that the audience now has access to the world’s information through the ‘super computer they carry around in their pants and purses’ (hat tip; Jay Baer). The expectations of our audiences are rising. To earn a share of their respect, attention and trust, we have to create useful, relevant and valuable content over time.

Journalists and journalism students, I argued, are best place to meet this emerging need.

And it is a very big need.

Every brand, sporting team, government agency or department, not for profit or non-government organisation can now be a media company. They now have the ability to directly build relationships with their audiences.

Journalism skills were previously only required in media companies. Now everyone needs them which means the demand curve for people with these types of skills is vertical.

There will be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs around the world for journalism students with the right content marketing skills.

Now I know some in the journalism world will see this as heresy. But its reality and it is where the jobs for story tellers will be.

I will let the academics argue the toss over whether or not content marketing belongs in “journalism”. I’m ill equipped for that task.

I’d like to congratulate the University of Canberra’s journalism school for their foresight and doggedness in making the case to the University’s academic board and for the University to take a lead on seeing the writing on the wall.

Being first in the world to offer this type of degree is a feather in the cap for the University of Canberra.

Now the challenge is to be the best!


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