15 March 2012

Journalism students from The University of Queensland are ramping up their political reporting skills as they cover the Queensland State Election for a weekly half-hour webcast – Y Vote.

Y Vote will be produced in the School of Journalism and Communication (SJC) studio each week until election day.

“Young people have become disillusioned with the political process so we wanted to reignite that sense of active political participation, something which has been missing from university for some time,” SJC student and Y Vote spokesperson Rhian Deutrom said.

“Generation Y are really keen to experience something fresh and relevant to them during a period which traditionally can be quite mundane and focused more on mature voters,” Ms Deutrom said.

Students are presenting, reporting, editing and producing the program under the direction of television industry veterans Dr Bruce Redman and Carmel Rooney.

There are two things happening here, Dr Redman said, “First, students own the issues. The question of why young people should engage with the political process is an important one for them to ask, and to answer, for themselves.

“Secondly, students are developing their presentation and production skills. This is project-based learning, and students are being mentored by experienced industry professionals. The old days when a journo went out with a camera operator and a sound recordist are gone. Now every journalist has to be able to film, get sound, and edit as well as ask the tough questions,” Dr Redman said.

“Being involved in Y Vote has been both exciting and incredibly fast-paced,” Ms Deutrom added.

So far, Ms Deutrom has interviewed former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie, filmed half a metre from Tony Abbott and Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, and rubbed shoulders with the current Premier Anna Bligh.

“The minute we hear of a press conference or an opportunity to interview a candidate we get straight in the car with the camera,’ Ms Deutrom said

“Not only has the experience taught me new skills in video production, interviewing and presenting but it has given me the opportunity to make important professional contacts and friends I will have throughout my career,” Ms Deutrom said.

The Y Vote program is free to watch and available to everyone at vimeo.com.

Participate in Y Vote through the official Facebook site and Twitter stream (@Y_Vote).

Media: Siena Perry (siena.perry@uq.edu.au, 3364 3465)