Round up: Cardiff and Guardian to launch a new Journalism MA – but will it be good for young journalists?

The Guardian have announced a new partnership with Cardiff University that will see them offer a new MA in Journalism with Digital Media.

The course will be heavily focused on giving students the skills to work in various areas of journalism from news to online content management. It will also teach students the core principles including ethics, law and public admin.

It was the Guardian that approached Cardiff in order to launch the partnership. Richard Sambrook, a professor of journalism and their director of the centre of journalism said: “The Guardian approached us based on our reputation for journalism education. We have designed the course, will validate it, select and examine the students and a Cardiff Uni employee will direct the course.

“Both the Guardian and [Cardiff Journalism School] share an interest and passion for the future of journalism, new forms of digital journalism, and high standards – which is why we are comfortable partners.”

The key point of this course, and something that should attract wannabe hacks, is that it will be taught in London. That places the reputation of Cardiff in the countries capital, somewhere where aspiring journalist increasingly need to be. But this does add more factors to think about, such as price.

London is the most expensive city in the UK, so although a job on a national would likely see you based there, there is no evidence to suggest you cannot study somewhere else and then move to the the city after.

Another major factor is that although Cardiff designed the course, it will be run by The Guardian, from setting and the price to student support. The price has not been announced yet, but it won’t be cheap as it will have to compete with other courses in London such as those at City University.

It is important to remember not to jump for this course just because the Guardian are running it. It does not mean that you are guaranteed a job at the paper when your course comes to an end.

Richard said: “I’m sure the Guardian brand will attract many candidates. Similarly we hope students who have to be based in London will appreciate the opportunity to experience Cardiff’s approach to journalism training.”

Asked whether other publications would be put off by a Guardian qualification he said: “[I have] no idea whether it will put off other titles! Wouldn’t expect it to, journalists currently switch between titles.”

But there is a chance this will happen. A lot of nationals are currently not seeing eye to eye with the paper due to the dog eat dog attitude. It could be something to bare in mind.

Finally, it is no secret that the Guardian is losing money, and lots of it. This move could just be a money making venture for them and also leads the the question of how long can it last? If the Guardian continues to lose money, what kind of service will they be able to offer MA students?

This is certainly an interesting move and one that provides another option for aspiring journalists. But there is still much to consider. Yes, the Guardian and Cardiff have a wealth of experience and the training would likely be of a very high standard. But can you afford to live in London for a year and take a gamble on a brand new MA? Even with Cardiff behind it, it still needs to prove itself.

Origianlly posted on Interview with Richard Sambrook, a professor of journalism at Cardiff university and their director of the centre of journalism, which I still have email copies of.

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