Storyology, the Walkley Foundation’s premier journalism festival is coming to Brisbane this month and Griffith University journalism students are in the thick of it.
Reporting from the student news desk in the pop up newsroom, they will interview some of Australia’s best known journalists while gaining valuable industry experience to help kick-start their careers.
The annual festival is part of the Walkley Foundation’s program of public talks and exhibitions and features Peter Greste, Matthew Condon, Danielle Cronin, Trent Dalton, Paula Doneman, Emma Griffiths and more.
For third-year business and journalism student Georgia Costi, who would love to work for Al Jazeera, interviewing journalist Peter Greste is top of mind.
“I want to go into conflict reporting and what happened to him is both fascinating but alarming, so it would be incredibly interesting to learn more about his experience being detained in Egypt,” she says.
“I hope the Storyology experience will give me valuable knowledge about how to be a successful journalist. The industry is competitive and fast paced so getting the opportunity to do things like this helps me to have a competitive advantage.”
As well as looking forward to making new contacts, second-year student Logan Walker wants to develop his understanding of what it means to work in a busy newsroom.
“This means stepping out of my comfort zone and tackling the challenges of the day as best I can because I know this is the only way to hone these skills.
“I think the Walkley’s are hugely important to journalists in Australia and events like Storyology bring the media community together.”
Lauren Martin, also in her second year, agrees. “I think journalism is essential to society and often hindered by debates regarding freedom of press, free speech and more recently, the concept of “fake news’’.
“To be part of the student newsroom at Storyology is fantastic. This is an opportunity for me to put into practice the confidence and skills I have gained from the Commonwealth Games, university and other work experience.”
The opportunity to work with industry professionals and obtain as much experience as possible, is a definite draw-card for second-year student Courtney Moane.
“To be surrounded by so many professional journalists and other university students who are thriving just like me will be a fantastic experience,” she says.
“I’m still not entirely sure whether I want to get into print, television or radio journalism yet but I would love to be on TV one-day reporting on foreign affairs.”
Griffith journalism lecturer Nance Haxton will supervise the student journalists at the event.
“Brisbane doesn’t get Storyology every year. It goes to the city that is hosting the Walkley Awards, so it’s wonderful that Griffith has taken advantage of this opportunity to actively support its students to take part,” she says.
“To me that’s what really marks Griffith University as the best option for students who want practical as well as an academic focus to their degree. Both work best side by side in my view.
“The students will be given the freedom to pitch the story ideas they want in a rigorous real life newsroom environment, and then will be sent out to do that story and interview these renowned journalists on their own without direct supervision.
“It gets them used to the expectations of a newsroom, which are often vastly different to what they’ve experienced in a classroom.”
Storyology will be held on July 27 and 28 at the Brisbane Powerhouse.