Jamie Carragher

Where are you from and what were you doing before enrolling in the Arts Journalism program? 

I'm from Liverpool, England. Before enrolling in the Arts Journalism program, I held a variety of odd jobs back home—care worker, teaching assistant—whereby I could write around my work hours and remain in my childhood bedroom ad infinitum.

How did you learn of the program, and why did you choose Annenberg?

A little thing called the internet. A former student posted on a Facebook group about her experience at Annenberg and this piqued my interest. I really liked the fact it was an accelerated program, and that I could focus on the arts. Living in Los Angeles was certainly part of the appeal, too. I began to correspond with Sasha Anawalt, the program director, and her then current class. The class spoke so highly of the program, so I managed to visit the campus and sit in on a class. I felt right at home and immediately resolved to work on my application.

What do you enjoy most about the program? 

The freedom to pursue my areas of interest. There is guidance and help with journalistic technique, but I'm able to choose the topics I write about. In my case, I really enjoy writing about film, TV and theatre, and having the freedom to do so is both liberating and a responsibility: I have to seek out the things I want to cover, because it's not going to be prescribed or served on a plate. It's a replication of what it's like to be a working journalist; you have to guide your own work.

What is your area of emphasis, and how do you intend to apply this to your professional career? 

My main interest is writing opinion pieces responding to films, TV shows and plays. My aim is to develop my voice to the extent where I can get paid for writing these pieces on a regular basis.

What excites you most about the direction of the journalism profession? 

Journalism has its back against the wall at the moment—politically, financially. The exciting thing has been the response to this: a real questioning of the value of journalism, wondering how best to serve media consumers. After all, media isn't wholly good or wholly bad, it's a multitudinous world of varying quality. It's an invigorating time to be a journalist because we're striving to produce work of as high a standard as possible.