Media is in trouble. There are 29384792387 Communications graduates competing for the three jobs still going in the industry. Which are generally taken up by the girl whose Daddy is mates with the CEO. Right?

Without a doubt the media landscape has changed in the past few years. And if you’re a hungry communicator things could be looking bleak. How to get a toe in? Should you give up now and become a corporate lawyer? And blogging – how the bloody hell can you make a living from it?

Good questions. Big questions. And the fact the answers are so elusive is why my good friend Faustina Agolley (you might know her as Fuzzy from such programs as The Voice) has put together Media Talks, a public event where a few wise old media souls will be sharing their advice and answering the good big questions.

Fuzzy and I spoke ages ago about how we truly feel for everyone trying to get ahead in the game today. We know, because we found it tough back in our day. And we both believe if you have knowledge that can help others, then it should be shared. Fuzzy is a girl of her word and has put together this event.

The Event

Media Talks:

A Panel Q and A with Faustina Agolley (TV Presenter), Auskar Surbakti (Journalist, ABC), Darren Rowse (Problogger, Renown as Australia’s #1 blogger and most influential Twitter user), Sarah Wilson* (Journalist, TV Host and Blogger) *Appearing via Skype, Megan Miller (Features Writer, Herald Sun) and Rachel Moor (Television Executive Producer)

When: Thursday August 30th, 6pm for 6.30 start – 9pm finish

Where: Rokeby Studios, 90-94 Rokeby Street, Collingwood, VIC

How to apply: Free registration online here. (Registrations close Wed August 22nd)

Just a heads up: the event is geared at those about to enter, or are attending university. But all are welcome to take part!

Get your questions answered

This is the good bit. Faustina is inviting everyone – even those who can’t make the event – to submit their questions now … which will then be answered by us all on the day. You can do that here.  

The panel: Faustina Agolley (TV Presenter), Auskar Surbakti (Journalist, ABC), Darren Rowse (Problogger, Renown as Australia’s #1 blogger and most influential Twitter user), Sarah Wilson (Journalist, TV Host and Blogger) Megan Miller (Features Writer, Herald Sun) and Rachel Moor (Television Executive Producer)

Some background reading

To get you started, Fuzzy did a Q and A with a few of us, including herself! They might help spark your questions…

First she chatted with me:

What gets you out of the bed in the morning?

Me: I usually wake up excited and with a pretty good map in my mind of what I want to do for the day. I write a list the night before of what I want to do the next day, so I get up with a plan. However, before I do anything, I exercise. Always. I don’t eat, check emails, wash or anything. I put on shorts, a sports bra and move. I run, swim, surf, hike or do yoga. So the unbridled joy of moving my body and being outdoors in nature is what gets me up and out.

What were you doing when you were 16?

Me :Hmmm, I was living in the country on a subsistence-living farm with my four siblings (the fifth was yet to be born). I was frustrated as all hell, wanting to do more, bored by school, by people my own age, unable to leave the goat farm on weekends. Halfway through my seventeenth year, the family went broke and we moved into town and I started modelling that year and was working three jobs. I loved working.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far in your career?

Me: Opportunities come when you’re in the middle of doing what you do well. Work hard and passionately, do what you do well, and you will be noticed. I didn’t apply for my job as editor of Cosmopolitan, as an example. In fact, I’d never have thought of editing a women’s mag and had never in my life read Cosmo. I was happily writing for a Melbourne newspaper magazine, writing extra columns in my spare time. Cosmo’s publisher read my columns and asked to meet me in Sydney. After a few chats, I was invited to edit the magazine (it was a slightly longer story than that, but only slightly).

What’s one piece of advice you can impart to anyone wanting to forge a career in the media industry?

Me: Blog. Just write. Get your “art” out there. Online is best for this…an amazing opportunity to both practice the craft and to advertise your wares. If I were an editor today, I wouldn’t take anyone seriously unless they had an outlet for their writing that I could view.

What do you love about the Australian media industry?

Me: Right now I love that it’s being forced to return to good journalistic principles. The industry is going through a massive shift. But, you’ll notice, the people who are surviving are those with something to say and good, basic journalistic skills. The frauds are just not lasting. This is a great thing and I think the future will be exciting and ever-shifting.

What do you loathe about it?

Me: The pockets where dinosaur principles are still in place. TV is shocking for it. I found TV a very stifling place to be, especially as a woman in her late thirties. I’m not surprised it’s suffering so badly. But it will adjust.. and for the better.

Here Fuzzy interveiws herself!!

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Faustina: Living and working with purpose and being around positive people.

What were you doing when you were 16?

Faustina: It would have been a year following my trip around the world with my family and having visited Ghana for the first time (I’m half Ghanian but didn’t connect with the African side of my heritage up until that point)- my perspective on life changed completely and I was instantly grateful for everything I had in my life in suburban Melbourne and knew that anything that I wanted to bring into my life was possible. My grades picked up. I would have been loving studying Geography than ever before. I kept lots of old habits – I was listening to commercial radio and watching a lot of music TV and was really into the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “The Secret World of Alex Mack”. I would have gone to my first rock gig – the Chili Peppers in Melbourne and known what it was truly like to be in a mosh pit. I loved helping out the local St. Vincent De Paul charity shop, attended the Edmund Rice Leadership Camp to help kids in need and felt so revived from the experience, I knew that giving back was important. My health was improving at lightening speed – I had chronic asthma and eczema that I tackled with Eastern Medicine – to the point that I could join my school’s track team. Life was rapidly changing, and for the better. TV was a bit of a pipe dream – I had other careers in mind as well, landscape architecture, nutrition and teaching.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far in your career?

Faustina: The simple adage, which is translates to everyday life – treat others how you’d like to be treated. Just because you’re on the payroll that comes with a public profile doesn’t mean you treat the crew that you work with any differently.

What’s one piece of advice you can impart to anyone wanting to forge a career in the media industry?

Faustina: Passion comes first. Do it cause you love the content of what you do. If you’re in it for other reasons I think you’ll be left feeling incredibly unfulfilled.

What do you love about the Australian media industry?

Faustina: We have a lot of good eggs in the business that are incredibly talented and creative and give us quality entertainment and journalism.

What do you loathe about it?

Faustina: I avoid what I loathe. Makes life a lot happier for me!

And Mr Darren Rowse’s answers….

What gets you out of the bed in the morning?

Darren: Two answers:

Literally – it is one of my 3 boys – usually to show me a Lego invention that they’ve been working on since 5am.

Figuratively – I’m passionate about 3 things:

  1. helping people to achieve their potential and to live life the full
  2. communication
  3. building community

Everything I do tends to revolve around these things.

What were you doing when you were 16?

Darren: The year was 1988 and I was in year 11 at High School and studying hard (when I wasn’t playing Tennis).

I had orange hair, big gold rim glasses and didn’t know how to talk to girls. I was definitely a nerd.

I had always had entrepreneurial dreams since being a child (when I was a kid I always had a little business selling something to classmates or neighbors) and so was working towards studying Marketing at RMIT after I finished school.

I had also recently saved up and bought myself my first SLR camera and was spending every cent I had buying film and paying for processing while I practiced my photography.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far in your career?

Darren: Try to build a career around your passions, values and core beliefs. Your working life spans decades and it is difficult to sustain and motivate yourself over the long haul unless you’re energised by what you are doing.

As they say – ‘life’s too short’ – fill it with things that matter to you!

What’s one piece of advice you can impart to anyone wanting to forge a career in the media industry?

Darren: Gather as many experiences and skills as you can. I look back on where I am today and realize that it is completely shaped by the last 40 years of life and the experiences that I’ve had.

  • Those early ‘businesses’ that I had as a kid taught me so about what I was good at and about working with customers.
  • The trips I took overseas in my late teens  shaped my worldview and gave me a sense of adventure.
  • Stepping out of my comfort zone to do public speaking training as a 17 year old helped me discover a passion.
  • Investing time into learning photography ended up giving me an appreciation for design and creativity – and also led me to start a photography website that is now my main source of income.
  • The numerous part time jobs I had as a teenager working under different bosses while I studied at university shaped how treat my own staff today.

The list could go on. I’m a big believer in getting yourself out of your comfort zone to try new things because you’ll draw on those experiences over and over again in your career and life.

What do you love about the Australian media industry?

Darren: I love that we’re seeing more and more opportunities for independent individuals and groups to rise up and create their own media. We’re living in an exciting time!

What do you loathe about it?

Darren: Not a lot – I tend to avoid the negative and focus upon what energizes me.

Rachel Moore’s answers.

What gets you out of the bed in the morning?

Rachel: Kids going crazy and exercise!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far in your career?

Rachel: Never take anything for granted. Listen to advice from your peers and take their perspective on board. I’ve also learnt that anything worth succeeding in is never easy- you have to be strong and committed to your goals and aspirations for your life path, and guaranteed if you do it will pay off .

What’s one piece of advice you can impart to anyone wanting to forge a career in the media industry?

Rachel: Take every opportunity you can to earn your stripes in the business, but never SELL OUT or loose site of what you wanted to achieve in the media industry. Remember what attracted you to the profession first and foremost and the rest will follow.

What do you love about the Australian media industry?

Rachel: How small it is! I’m always amazed at how many people you cross paths with again and again in different roles and productions. It’s an ever changing beast and most people stay on for the ride of their professional life!

What do you loathe about it?

Rachel: Again, how small it is!

 

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