What traits do you believe a journalist needs?
Being proactive and able to think on your feet, trying to react quickly to things. Having a good news sense is probably the most valuable thing you can have. Seeing a story that somebody might just flip the page at but you could read through it and see that there’s an angle in there and run with it. Being able to spot a good story is probably the best trait for a journalist.
What was one of your happiest moments in your career?
When I officially got signed onto Fifi, Dave and Fev would be one of my happiest moments. I was filling in for a while and when they finally handed me a contract I was pretty stoked. It was a career highlight for me. I may have cried just a little. Happy tears.
I had pretty much given up last year, I stepped away for a while because I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I still worked in radio on the weekends just not throughout the week. Then another opportunity presented itself and because I still kept my foot in the door they considered me for the role. I’ve been at it for about five years now. It took me a while to get there, a lot of persistence and proving to them that I could do it. When they finally made me a part of the team I was pretty excited.
What are the bad things about working as a radio journalist and presenter?
The hours aren’t particularly glamourous. Early starts mean you have to keep a good routine and look after yourself a lot more. Sometimes you become a little desensitised, especially to things like crimes, fires and crashes. Particularly because over the years you are constantly reporting on it. It’s not that you forget that there’s someone who’s impacted by it, you never forget that, but you just become desensitised to things.
How do you cope with the constant pressure and stress?
I laugh a lot and make fun of myself. I don’t take myself too seriously. I think the people I work with and the environment I work in with always something happening keeps your adrenaline pumping from 5am until 9am. In terms of the pressure and the stress, being able to multi-task is a big part about the job. Also admitting when I’m tired and have to go to bed. I reject a lot of social events so that I can go home to sleep, knowing that my job is very important and that I have to get up early. I usually get up at 3am to start work at 4am.
What are some of your favourite kind of stories?
My favourite kind of stories would have to be something to do with animals, I’m a big animal lover. Either that or anything outdoorsy, like the winter Olympics. Also any lovely human nature story. My reason for saying that is because everything is always so grim. When you turn on the nightly news or tune into us people are being robbed, people are being killed. So it is nice to have some light hearted stories. When there’s a birth at the zoo I get pretty excited.
Where do you draw the moral/ethical line in journalism?
You have to be responsible for everything you say. Rule 101, if you are broadcasting or have access to large audiences of people I think you just have to be 110 percent responsible for what you say, also you have to be more mindful of what you say. I do feel strongly for free speech but there’s a way to go about it. We all make mistakes and say things we don’t regret, we are all human. I can have certain thoughts about a story or a topic but I just have to keep neutral. The whole point of journalism is to give an unbiased story. You can’t really start getting too worked up about it. There’s plenty of stories I’ve felt very emotional about and not wanted to run them, but it is what it is. You present the facts and let the people make up their own opinion on the story. You need to let them form their opinion based on the facts you’re giving them. You just need to get those facts right, get them out there and that’s our job. Although, hopefully deliver it with a bit of fun and colour at the same time.
What advice would you give a journalism student trying to break into the field today?
Put yourself out there and network as much as possible, so get as much experience off your own back as you can. Invaluable experiences are really helpful, like work experience or internships. Not, being afraid to knock on doors and asking for opportunities is a big thing. If you get told, no, just go back and ask them again. Being persistent, which I’m not very good at, but I wish I was.