Successful USC journalism graduate returns to teach | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Successful USC journalism graduate returns to teach

Nicola Ryan was still studying journalism at USC when she started working for Sea FM and Mix FM radio stations almost a decade ago.

Now she has returned to her alma mater to share her industry experience and insights with the next generation of journalists.

Nicola’s demanding work schedule involves rising at 3am each week day to produce and read the news bulletins from 5am to noon. On top of that, she is now tutoring first and second-year journalism students at USC.

“This year USC has introduced a new subject specifically teaching radio journalism,” she said. “I’m quite excited about it because I feel like I have a lot of industry experience that I can share with students.”

Nicola said the role of journalists was constantly evolving, and reporters now needed to be more multiskilled than ever.

“I think technology has changed the job of a journalist a lot over the past decade,” she said. “Even when I was at uni, they didn’t like students being on Facebook and social media or chatting online.

“Now it’s part of my job and I’m on Twitter and Facebook looking for new stories or even posting my own stories online, so that’s completely changed.”

In 2011 Nicola moved to Sydney to work at Nova, but returned to the Coast and her job at Sea FM and Mix FM a year later.

“Though I enjoyed the experience, it made me appreciate more what I had on the Coast,” she said. “Being a local news service here you have stronger connection with your audience and the community and the news reports matter to them a lot more than they do in a big city.”

USC Senior Lecturer in Journalism Dr Renee Barnes said Nicola was one of many working journalists who bring their industry expertise to USC journalism classrooms.

“The USC journalism program is all about preparing students with the skills to be newsroom ready,” said Dr Barnes. “Nicola is a valuable addition to the team.”

— Jane Cameron

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