Journalismus für Anfänger:innen – in fünf Tagen zum Profi
At Lendplatz, Marie Oblitschnig, Emily Müller, Katharina Percht, Christina Pschorr, Nora Reichhalter, Felix Neumann discovered an "island of lingering". Photo: Marie Oblitschnig

Journalism for Beginners: Become a Professional in five Days

Edda Holweg & Felix Neumann,

Two students of “Journalism and Public Relations (PR)” look back into their first week in the first semester a year ago.

Stressed, they rush along Annenstraße. You can almost hear the sound of braking when a group of freshmen stops. Why do they stop so abruptly? An attention-grabbing motif arouses their interest: Maybe it is a funny scene between two passers-by, maybe it is an eye-catching sign or maybe it is a bicycle with a flyer for a book club or directions to a sex store. Whatever it is, there must be a story behind it.

The lecturer, Thomas Wolkinger, who is responsible for the courses in journalism, describes the first week of the “Journalism and Public Relations (PR)” course as “journalistic thinking on the fly”. “On the fly” is a good description because within a week the new students not only have to find article topics, for example by interviewing well-known personalities from the Annenviertel, and convincingly "pitch" them, but also research them and finally write the reports. And all this for the Annenpost, the hyperlocal weblog that is always maintained by students in the first two semesters of this Bachelor's degree programme.

It all starts with strolling. Many of the new students are not from Graz. Therefore, a short walk in groups is just the right thing to get to know the city a bit. On day two, interviews are scheduled with the “VIPs” of the Annenviertel, including Stefan Steinwidder from VinziNest, Wolfgang Kogler from the district work EggenLend and Margarethe Makovec from rotor. The students then deal with a wide variety of topics and develop a feeling for the right “G'schicht”. When they find it, they can eagerly start researching. Between an introduction to photography, a WordPress crash course and short units on journalism, stress is a constant companion.

In the end, however, there was every reason to celebrate: all 14 articles were published this year! “That has never happened before”, says Thomas Wolkinger enthusiastically. In his opinion, the mix of topics and the quality of the articles were very appealing.

The stressed students, who initially strolled through the streets somewhat lost, have finally become exhausted but proud journalists. Seeing one's own name on a published article adds to the euphoria.

Edda Holweg and Felix Neumann are students of “Journalism and Public Relations (PR)”.