Media students Justin Fenwick (centre), David Wilton and Gabi Jeffery reported from Bluesfest.
Media students Justin Fenwick (centre), David Wilton and Gabi Jeffery reported from Bluesfest. Sharlene King

Students work through the blues

SOUTHERN Cross University's media and audio production students mixed it up with the industry's best at Bluesfest, Australia's premier blues and roots music festival at Byron Bay.

Justin Fenwick, who is in his second year of a Bachelor of Media majoring in journalism, is among a group of four media students who worked at the Rhythms Magazine Q&A Sessions, located in the Cavanbah Tent.

Justin and his peers were responsible for recording respected roots music media identity Brian Wise's interviews with musicians before posting the podcasts on the Rhythms Magazine website and the University's SCU iTunesU site.

Armed with portable recording devices the media students were on assignment throughout the Bluesfest site, compiling vox pops and behind the scenes stories.

"As a journalist you've got to be adaptable and reproduce the same story across a number of mediums, like online, audio and print," Justin said.

"Bluesfest presents me with a great introduction to the world of journalism.."

The University's Studio ONE29 production service supplied the PA system for more than 30 performances in the Cavanabah Tent, for artists such as Kim Churchill, Dan Hannaford, Mick McHugh and Blackbird, during the five-day festival.

A team of four audio production students operated the PA equipment under the direction of Studio ONE29 audio technical officer and Cavanbah Tent stage manager, Troy Schmidt, Jeanti St Clair, a Bachelor of Media lecturer, said events like Bluesfest are fantastic opportunities for would-be broadcast journalists and music producers.

"Bluesfest gives them exposure to working alongside professionals so they can model their own practices and look at where they're at in terms of their own professional development," she said.

"It also gives students the opportunity to add work experience and published material to their portfolios so it's a good confidence builder.

"Students generally come away from these work integrated projects with a lot of praise for how it has helped evolve their sense of professional identity and helped build their skills around working under pressure and to real life deadlines."



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