It’s a week since I finished the first term of my journalism MA, and I’m still recovering. I’ve made more phone calls, trawled more websites and churned out more words than ever before. In many ways I’ve been following a similar pattern to any other degree course: one, do some research; two; do some writing; three, come out of it having learned something. But studying journalism is uniquely strange in that step three has very little to do with the substance of steps one and two.
History students read about history, write about history and gain a qualification in history. They will probably end up digging in a very small and specific patch of knowledge. For my qualification in journalism, I’ve been reading about politics and science, and writing about healthcare and music. The vast majority of information I currently read need not remain in my head for more than 48 hours. It’s a funny old wash cycle.