On a recent Sunday I met a woman called Susan at Alimentari. I needed breakfast as I had just got up, but for her it was time to work. She’s a journalism student at RMIT and we met so she could interview me about the role of citizen journalists in local and social media. I was happy to help. I ordered the breakfast bagel with egg, bacon and tomato chutney and we got coffees and started talking.
Susan insisted on paying, which was very kind of her, and I didn’t want to argue, but I felt a little bit bad about it because she’s a student and I’m working and can easily afford my own breakfast. In exchange, I tried to give her some good material about how citizen journalists differ from professional journalists, particularly in terms of writing about their own communities or events they are familiar with, rather than events they are assigned to cover.
We also talked about audience, and how professional journalists are not really required to think a lot about who their audience is as this it determined by their employer. In contrast, citizen journalists and bloggers have to decide for themselves who their audience is and how they write to communicate with that audience.
I was impressed by the quality of Susan’s questions and her interest in the subject; it’s great that journalism students are being prepared to face the massive changes occurring in the media industry. I also let her know about the other student currently studying Fitzroyalty: Renee blogs about her progress in her publishing and communications course at the University of Melbourne.
I nearly forgot to mention how good the bagel was! Everything is yummy at Alimentari.