Head of Journalism, Fiona West lectures in Foundations of News and works as an editor for Hatch, Macleay's student website.
She is a journalist, sub-editor and editor with over 25 years’ media experience. With a strong background in the newspaper and magazine industry, she has worked for a number of publications, including Ten Daily, The Daily Telegraph, The Manly Daily, New Idea magazine and Government News.
These days Fiona is the director of her own journalism company, Keen Eye Communications, which provides writing, editing and social media services to corporate clients.
Give us a quick run down on your background?
I've been a journalist for 25 years, mainly in print, working for newspapers, magazines and websites as a writer, sub-editor and editor. I have been teaching at Macleay for almost a decade and also run my own freelance journalism company, Keen Eye Communications.
How did you get into the industry?
I started as a copygirl for News Limited, Sydney, before undertaking a traditional newspaper cadetship.
What is the biggest difference in the industry since you were at university?
Too much to mention, mostly due to the digital revolution. When I started, the busy, smoke-filled newsrooms produced copy for the next day's black and white newspapers. We didn't have the internet or mobile phones. The photographers used film and produced their work in darkrooms. We visited libraries and read books to do our research. But the journalism, at its core, remains the same.
What do you do when you are not teaching?
Freelance journalism and editing, reading and writing for pleasure, getting outdoors as much as possible, baking things I shouldn't be eating and spending time with my kids and family.
What do you enjoy about teaching at Macleay?
The students. Especially seeing passionate students grow and apply their skills at college, then taking them out into the media industry and continuing to succeed.
What subjects do you teach at Macleay?
I have taught several subjects at Macleay. I love teaching Foundations of News but have also taught Reporting Government and Institutions, News Research, Professional News Practice and Newsroom.
What is the best advice you give your students?
Read, be curious, ask questions, say yes to opportunities and never give up - on a story or your dreams.