What makes a good journalist and what training is required, if any?

John Bowman reports on the different routes to journalism from learning on the job to getting a formal training.

Journalist Michael Heney feels that 80% of journalism is bad communication and not objective enough.

Donal Foley, news editor of 'The Irish Times', says that the demands on journalists are increasing and that they need to be experts on a particular subject. While radio and television provide instant news, newspapers must provide more in-depth coverage.

So what is the appropriate training required of a journalist? Liam Bergin, 'Carlow Nationalist' editor for 30 years, talks about the traditional way of becoming a journalist as opposed to the modern.

The College of Commerce in Rathmines offers a two-year course in journalism. This is the only one recognised by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). The curriculum includes sociology, psychology, economics, politics and literature. Journalism lecturer Tom Savage is pictured talking to students about the place of sociology in the training for journalism.

Course director Sean Egan discusses the industry's prejudice about training. He argues that the 'sitting by Nelly' approach, where journalists learn on the job, is not always the best as 'Nelly' may not be very clever. Egan believes that it would be better if journalists had a basic level of training before entering the industry.