If Zoe Bradbury is anything to go by, journalism will soon regain its lofty status as one of the nation's noblest of professions.
For the Illawarra Mercury Journalism Prize winner, hard work and dedication to her craft is what matters most.
The University of Wollongong student said winning the prize was validation for her to keep working hard to achieve her dream of becoming a journalist.
"I'm a perfectionist at heart really. Winning the prize really gives me the validation to keep working hard and hopefully gain some more internships and use those as a stepping stone to get a full-time job when I graduate," Bradbury said.
The 21-year-old expects to finish her Bachelor of Journalism - Bachelor of Arts Degree next year.
She hopes to write feature pieces for a magazine but knows she may have to bide her time and adapt to the changing media industry.
"I've always found writing easy and would love to do long-form journalism but I'm happy to work within the changing industry," Bradbury said.
Bradbury received her prize at the UOW Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts Student Awards Night on Thursday. The Illawarra Mercury Prize for Media and Communication went to Laura Thomas, who is on exchange in Sweden until July.