Advice for journalism students from an industry professional

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Neary Ty is a Melbourne based crime reported for Channel Nine News. She has worked for the company for six years and began her career by studying journalism at Deakin University. Neary spoke to D-Scribe about how she became a television news reporter for one of Australia’s major media outlets. She gives her advice to journalism students on how to get their foot in the door of the industry. 

What university did you study at?

I studied at Deakin University. I initially did a Bachelor of Arts, dropped out and worked in retail for two years. Then I started a Bachelor of Media and Communications majoring in Journalism.

What internships or news outlets did you work for that led you to working for Nine news?

I basically was working three jobs whilst at university. The lecturers were all very understanding. They gave me extensions when I emailed about my workload at Leader Newspapers and Nine News. I also worked at Gorman at Chadstone too during this crazy period.

When you finished your degree, what did you do to get into a journalism career?

I didn’t wait until I finished uni, I used every opportunity to do work experience where ever I could.

I did work experience at the Leader Newspapers, Dolly and CLEO Magazine , WIN News Ballarat and Nine News Melbourne while still at university. I definitely think trying everything is worth it, I really thought I wanted to work in print media and to do fashion but a few weeks there proved otherwise. I loved my one week of work experience at Nine News. It seemed challenging, fast paced and exciting!

What are some of the challenges you have faced to get into your career?

You must be prepared to work very hard and to be thrown into the deep end. There is a lot of stuff you won’t know, but there’s always senior journalists to ask for help, for example when covering a court case.

Covering sad and tragic stories can also be challenging.

Neary Ty reporting for 9 News

Why did you become a journalist?

I have always had an interest in the news, especially crime. I love writing and telling stories. I think television news is such a special and unique way of story telling, especially when there are beautiful pictures.

What is your favourite part about being a journalist?

Every day is different. It’s never a boring job and you get to meet all sorts of people! It’s also really nice when your story makes a difference.

What advice do you have for journalism students starting/ finishing their degree this year?

Try everything you can. Email newsrooms, get in touch and try to get as many placements as possible. Once you are there, go above and beyond, ask questions, offer to help, take notes and always give it a go.

Editors and news directors are always impressed when work experience students show them their work at the end of the week, such as what they’ve learnt.

Always keep in touch and offer to do anything. I kept in touch with 9 News for 3 months constantly before I was given a causal role. I started as a communications co-ordinator in 2012 listening and keeping an eye out for breaking news. I’d call ambulances, the police and firefighters for critical info to pass onto the chief of staff. The chief of staff would then make the decision to despatch crews and journos to the job. I was also in charge of sending out the chopper!

I worked in this role for nine months, before moving to the news library for about a year to shotlist (transcribe) and archive news footage as well as restore old file stories. I then moved to the chief of staff desk as an assistant and helped journos and answered calls for news tips. I also organised the news diary everyday as well as court lists.

After a year here I moved to the production desk as a producer for around a year. This is where I wrote voice overs for the national 11.30am, 3pm and 4pm bulletins and local 6pm bulletin, basically what Peter Hitchener reads. I’d help journos shotlist interviews, organise live crosses and liaise with graphics and editors on how to better improve the story. I’d also offer to go out on my days off and pick up interviews and do stories for other journos when they were short staffed. In 2014 I was offered a full-time reporting role at Channel Nine and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute!

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