In the age of fast-moving digital media, the role of journalism is more critical than ever before. Melissa Hoyer understands this well. On her recent visit to Macleay where she spoke to Journalism students, Hoyer stressed the importance of being “adaptable to be valuable in today’s media world. You need to be willing to broaden your horizons.”
Hoyer works with publications such as Vogue, Delicious and GQ in her role as entertainment and style editor-at-large at news.com.au. She works across multiple media platforms as a commentator for television’s Sunrise, The Morning Show and The Daily Edition, and the go-to radio commentator for all things pop culture and style.
Hoyer said it was her inquisitive nature and interest in people that steered her towards a path in journalism. “I love hearing stories …when people ask me about me, I think…‘I want to know about you‘.” Her first gig came at 15. While doing work experience at the ABC, Hoyer wrote a story for their internal newspaper Scan, profiling one of the department’s costume designers.
She explained that 15 years ago, the phrase “pop culture” was not related to news. “It was something found on the back page in what they used to call the women’s section,” she said. Pop (popular) culture encompasses many topics including sport, lifestyle, theatre and fashion, and is incredibly popular with readers. “Pop culture stories go crazy,” she said. In her early years, Hoyer used to pay out of her own pocket to go to Paris and Milan to cover Fashion Week and made it her goal to find new stories on the runways. Whether it was an Australian designer or model involved, it put fashion into the news pages.
When asked what she would look for in a junior journalist, Hoyer said, “I would want someone who is interested in life and people, and someone who is passionate about how they tell a story. Someone with a bit of oomph!”
Curious to know more about the Journalism programs at Macleay? Check out the student-run Journalism website here.