That is a total racket and a scam, especially given how poorly paid journalists often are. The Australian Journalists Association has a grading system but given that unionism is not compulsory and is actively discouraged by certain media employers, there is more of a culture of being promoted based on what you can do rather than passing some test. There are still plenty of old school types lurking in the Aussie media, and elsewhere I suspect, who prefer experience over university degrees etc etc and frankly it may be time to rethink the number of journalism university courses that are out there. There are clearly mnore graduates than there are jobs. With the existing courses, it is imperative that they are very hands on, have good industry links and get their students working as journalists before they graduate. Courses should also offer extensive training in how to be an effective freelancer as this is clearly how more and more journalists will be earning their keep in the years ahead.