Now for some good news . . .

The first graduates of Jschool’s innovative city-based journalism school received their Diploma of Journalism awards last week.

Parents, partners and friends joined leading journalists in celebrating the students’ achievements, which included the hundreds of stories they have already had published in newspapers throughout Queensland and New South Wales. The diplomas were presented by ABC radio news chief David Anderson, who said the students had taken a major step in their career paths.

In a message to the graduates, Courier-Mail investigative journalist and Walkley winner Hedley Thomas urged them to be idealistic and to believe that they could change society for the better.

Student valedictorian Paul Lancaster praised the skills of the many journalists and teachers who contributed to the Jschool program.

He said it was a groundbreaking course where students could “learn the craft of journalism and learn it well.”

Jschool’s 2002 graduates are currently either working as interns or cadets with regional daily newspapers.

Director of Jschool, Professor John Henningham, said he was very pleased with the progress of the first intake of students.

“They’ve worked very hard and have radiated their enthusiasm and commitment in newsrooms across the state,” he said.

“I’ve never known a group of students so happy to be learning and so keen to get their stories into print.

“It convinces me that we’ve got the right formula at Jschool, which is unique in Australia for its journalism-focused teaching method.”

Prof Henningham said the students’ stories had been published on front pages of daily newspapers between Cairns and Grafton.

“Between them, the students have had more than 300 stories published in newspapers this year,” he said.

Jschool is now accepting applications for its 2003 diploma course, which begins at the end of January.

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