Griffith University journalism alumnus Rebecca Masters is a firm believer in the power of internships.
The senior producer with 9news.com.au landed a graduate cadetship with a regional newspaper simply because she had made such a strong impression when she’d completed an internship there.
“Having this practical experience built into the Griffith journalism program gave me the push I needed to get out there into some newsrooms, gain some practical knowledge and build relationships,’’ she says.
Rebecca worked in print and digital platforms across South East Queensland for a few years before a position arose for a producer at 9news.com.au in Sydney. She got the gig and made the move south.
“My team is responsible for day-to-day publishing as well as coordinating live breaking news coverage during natural disasters and terror attacks and national news events like elections.”
She works with Nine’s network of more than 250 reporters around the world to deliver online news 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Every shift is a mix of online reporting and reproducing Nine’s broadcast news for a digital platform. Rebecca recently moved to Brisbane in the same role, only with more of a Queensland focus.
Rebecca said internships are the most valuable experience for students in terms of career advancement.
“They’re definitely easiest to do while you’re still at university. And while I’m not an advocate of long-term unpaid internships if you’ve been hanging around the newsroom a little while, doing the jobs no-one else wants to do, putting up the hours and building relationships, you’ll be the first person considered when a paid job comes up.”
“If you can, go regional. You learn a lot fast. Some of Australia’s best journalists, including Deb Knight and Michael Usher, got their start in regional news.
“And don’t believe all the bad press this industry gets. There will always be jobs for good journalists and strong communicators. But newsrooms cannot carry dead weight so leave your ego at the uni bar and be prepared to work hard.”