For the lifestyle and a love of creativity: Australian students’ motivations for studying journalism

Folker Hanusch, Katrina Clifford, Kayt Davies, Peter English, Janet Fulton, Mia Lindgren, Penny O'Donnell, Jenna Price, Ian Richards, Lawrie Zion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


A number of studies have examined why students choose to study journalism at university, but overall, this area is still relatively underexplored. Yet, understanding why students choose journalism, and what career expectations they hold, is important not only for educators but also for wider society and public debates about the future of journalism and the value of tertiary journalism education. This article examines the motivations of 1884 Australian journalism
students enrolled across 10 universities. It finds that hopes for a varied lifestyle and opportunities to express their creativity are the most dominant motivations among students. Public service ideals are somewhat less important, while financial concerns and fame are least important. These motivations also find expression in students’ preferred areas of specialisation (referred to in
Australia as rounds): lifestyle rounds are far more popular than politics and business rounds or science and development rounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-113
Number of pages13
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • education
  • journalism
  • motivation
  • student
  • survey

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