Laeta Crawford, editor at Newscorp Australia

"There is always a job out there. It’s just how persistent you are. To be a journalist you have to be persistent." NewsCorp Australia editor Laeta Crawford talks to Brooke Grebert-Craig about her job.

How did you get started in the industry?

I did a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Deakin University and I majored in journalism. After I finished, I applied for every single job around the country. The first job I got, was in Tasmania at The Advocate. I started in an advertorial features writer’s role and I used that as experience to come back to Melbourne and get a job here. I got a job at Post Newspapers which was a suburban newspaper group in the eastern suburbs. Then I worked at Leader Newspapers and I have been with News Limited ever since.

Did you have a mentor or someone who inspired you to become a journalist?

Sort of. I was really shy as a kid and a teenager. In year 10 my English Lit teacher saw that I loved writing and said to me that I should make a career out of it and become a journalist. She said it will force me out of my shell, encourage me to talk to other people and give me the confidence to start up a conversation with anyone.

What difficulties or challenges have you faced?

Moving states was big for me. I grew up in Ballarat and went to university in Geelong. My parents moved to Tasmania when I was in university so the thought of moving away from my friends and boyfriend was pretty big for me. I pretty much packed up my belongings and hopped on a ship. It was a risk to do that but it paid off.

What changes to the job have you noticed?

This is going to make me sound so old! Well, when we got email that changed everything. The computing systems, digital additions and the use of the Internet have increased. At Leader, we used to do courses on how the Internet may affect our jobs which is now just part of every day. I have never worked online for a digital team but that is something I would like to do. It is the way of the future.

What was the most memorable interview?

There have been a couple of good ones. I interviewed Cyndi Lauper – I was a massive fan. I was so excited to go along and she was just really rude. She was so worried about how she looked in the photos and the lighting. All she cared about was her vanity. It shattered me. That was one I was really upset about. It was memorable for all the wrong reasons. I also interviewed Jeff Kennett just before he finished off as Premier of Victoria. That was great! He gave up an hour of his time and opened up about his family and his love of gardening. I really enjoyed writing that story.

Any tips on getting into journalism?

A degree is a must. Another tip is to never give up. For a year and a half, I rang TV stations for a job (I wanted to do TV back in the day) every single month. There is always a job out there. It’s just how persistent you are. To be a journalist you have to be persistent.