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5 insider tips from journalist Sacha Barbour

Newsreader at the Australian Radio Network and Macleay College graduate Sacha Barbour recently spoke to Macleay’s journalism students. Read on for Sacha’s 5 best pieces of advice for carving out a career in journalism, the importance of making connections and saying yes to every opportunity.

SachaBarbourSacha Barbour back on campus for a Q&A with Macleay students.

1. Show persistence as a newbie

If you have aspirations to be in radio or TV be prepared to move regional or interstate, and apply for every job you can. You can't be afraid or timid in this industry because you've got to be willing to film someone in the street one day or ask a politician a hard question the next.

2. Make and nurture connections

I've made connections that have gone nowhere, but it doesn’t stop me reaching out to people. Of course, just because you know someone you’re not guaranteed a job. Rather than only thinking about what you can get out of something, be genuine and interested. There are plenty of people in the industry who are really happy to help young journos and answer their questions. Be thankful and acknowledge people’s time.

3. Pursue opportunity and success will follow

If you’re driven, you’ll succeed, but keep an open mind about the pathway success might take. If you’re studying journalism or want to be a journalist, take every opportunity that comes your way. It takes time to build a career, Look at the people who are at the top of their game. They're 45, not 25.

4. Learn on the job

At country radio stations you're not expected to be a pro newsreader, but you're thrown in the deep end. Don't expect to be spoon-fed or to have your hand held. Be prepared to have to work things out on your own, which will make you a better journalist.

5. Be brave

Journalists have to tell the truth and relay the story as it happens. There are times when this is difficult, but you need to be brave if it's vital to the story. Your responsibility is to your listeners or readers. Sometimes when I read the news, I’m in a box on my own, forgetting that people are listening or that they care about what I have to say. Rather than thinking about presenting the news, it helps to imagine I'm talking to someone about it. It keeps it more relatable.

In your future journalism career, be genuine, be thankful and don't be afraid to be bold. Just say yes!

Sacha Barbour studied a Diploma of Journalism and has also worked for Nova Entertainment as a breakfast newsreader and as a freelance writer at The Urban List.

If you like the sound of a career in journalism, check out our Journalism courses. You could soon be learning from industry professionals just like Sacha.

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