Paul Mitchell has lamented the declining quality of journalism graduates.
Paul Mitchell has lamented the declining quality of journalism graduates.

Can you answer these questions?

JOURNALISM graduates are leaving university "almost comically underprepared" to work in the real world, according to a local newspaper editor.

Paul Mitchell, group editor of the South Australian Riverland paper The Murray Pioneer, said six young hopefuls during the paper's recent recruitment process were "completely clueless", unable to answer a series of basic politics, current affairs and general knowledge questions.

The 23 questions included head-scratchers such as "Who is Australia's Treasurer?", "What does NBN stand for?" and "Which political party does Donald Trump represent?" Only two of the six knew the name of the federal opposition leader, while one confused him with the PM.

"This isn't just a bad batch of candidates," Mitchell wrote in an editorial last week. "The Pioneer has been running basically the same test for many years, only altering the handful of current affairs questions included on the list.

"The abysmal results have been consistent, and if anything are slowly getting worse. What do the poor general knowledge and current affairs results say about our schooling system, and more specifically, our university system?"

Try your hand at the full quiz below. "If you get 10 correct, you're doing better than most of the allegedly news-hungry and switched-on job hunters fresh out of their journalism courses, ready to 'tell people's stories' and take on the world," Mitchell said.

Mitchell told the editorial, which included sample responses from the six candidates, had "generated a lot of feedback" from people in the local area. He said most who took the test themselves scored in the 20s.

"Most people were a bit shocked at the responses we got to the test," he said. Asked whether he blamed the quality of the university courses or graduates' reliance on social media for their news, he said it was a "combination of both".

"When they've completed their studies and they get these type of results, that makes me scratch my head a little, but equally if these young people are serious about careers in media and journalism you'd think they'd be a little more switched on," he said.

But he didn't pin the blame for lack of preparation on a sense of entitlement, saying he hadn't picked that up from candidates. "Some of them are just generally clueless," he said.



1. In which state is Broken Hill?

2. Which town is nearest to Adelaide: Port Pirie, Port Augusta or Whyalla?

3. Who is the Treasurer of Australia?

4. Who is the Leader of the Federal Opposition?

5. Who is the Prime Minister of Great Britain?

6. Which party does Cory Bernardi represent?

7. Where was Ned Kelly's last stand?

8. Who wrote The Great Gatsby?

9. Which TV networks broadcast the following shows:

a) Q&A

b) The Project

c) The Voice

10. How often is The Murray Pioneer published? What days?

11. What does NBN stand for?

12. In which federal seat is the Riverland?

13. Who represented Australia at this year's Eurovision Song Contest?

14. Which country is home to the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo?

15. Which political party does Donald Trump represent?

16. Red or white:

- cabernet sauvignon

- chardonnay

17. Spell the name of Prince Harry's new bride (given and surname)

18. Which US sitcom got cancelled last week because of a racist remark by its star?

19. Where will soccer's World Cup (which starts with month) be played?

20. In which sport would you find the following Australian teams:

a) Adelaide Thunderbirds

b) Gold Coast Suns

c) Melbourne Victory

21. When is the Melbourne Cup held?

22. To the nearest million, what is Australia's population?

23. Which state does Clive Palmer hail from?



ANSWERS: 1. NSW 2. Port Pirie 3. Scott Morrison 4. Bill Shorten 5. Theresa May 6. Australian Conservatives 7. Glenrowan, Victoria 8. F. Scott Fitzgerald 9. a) ABC b) Channel 10 c) Seven 10. Twice weekly, Tuesdays and Fridays 11. National Broadband Network 12. Barker 13. Jessica Mauboy 14. France 15. Republican 16. Red, white 17. Meghan Markle 18. Roseanne 19. Russia 20. a) Netball b) AFL c) Soccer 21. First Tuesday in November 22. 25 million 23. Queensland