Geelong’s ultimate music journalist

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Talia became the editor of Forte magazine in just 12 months of working there as editorial assistant. Photo: supplied.

Talia Rinaldo’s primary school year book shows her classmates aspiring to become astronauts and doctors when they eventually leave school.  

For the young girl from Myrtleford, a different career objective is captioned beneath her picture – she dreams of becoming a magazine editor.   

Now 26-years-old, Talia can officially call that dream a reality.   

Securing an editorial assistant role at Victoria’s premier music and entertainment publication – Forte magazine – only three months after leaving university in 2015, it was her hard work and determination that led to her current position as editor.

“Before taking over the role as editor, I was editorial assistant at Forte magazine for about a year,” she reflects.

“While this role is very similar to what I do now, during my time as editorial assistant, I worked closely alongside our former editor, Amanda Sherring.

Talia Rinaldo, Amanda Sherring and Caitlin Haddad. Picture: Glenn Ferguson.

“Amanda was an amazing person to watch and learn from for the year prior to my new role.

“The team was changing and I was approached by our bosses in Melbourne to take on the editor role which was a dream come true for me.”   

After moving to Geelong from her hometown to complete her studies, Talia graduated from Deakin University three years ago with a double degree in business and journalism.

Leaving the comforts of familiarity and relocating to Geelong wasn’t an easy decision for Talia, but her commitment to her studies saw her land the job she had always wanted.

“Although I did choose to do a double degree, it was definitely the journalism side I was more interested in … I basically just had the business degree as a backup in case I needed it,” she explains.

“I worked so hard because I loved it and it was what I wanted – it was just a matter of how at the time.”

What’s particularly notable about Talia’s success story is her dedication to print media. 

Forte magazine – which is owned by Furst Media – has a growing readership in excess of 45,000 people. 

Although many predict the future of journalism is digital, Talia remains optimistic that Forte will continue to attract readers.

“Many say print is dying,” she tells D*Scribe.

“Yes, it has its challenges – but we still get a return from our magazine and it’s the feedback that makes it worth it.”

“We find people come into the office asking for a copy of the magazine. We see people sitting in cafes reading it. We notice people sharing images of the print copies telling their friends to grab one.”

“I love that we can put something like that together and bring it to so many people.”

Aware of the competitiveness in journalism, Talia involved herself in an extensive list of work experience opportunities as part of her academic studies with Deakin’s Work Integrated Learning team.   

Talia Rinaldo at her graduation ceremony in 2016. Photo: supplied.

Completing placements and having work published at The Standard in Warrnambool, the Geelong Advertiser, Channel Ten News, Cosmopolitan and Shop Til You Drop magazine, Talia built her portfolio while she was studying full-time, a token to her self-sufficient work ethic.    

“Upon graduating, I was motivated to further my experience and open myself to new challenges,” she says.

“This saw me undertaking internships on my own in my spare time. I was travelling to Melbourne three times a week for an unpaid marketing internship and I was involved in content writing for their marketing agency.

“During this time I became a contributor to a variety of online magazines and websites which involved coming up with content and sending it to publications in time for their deadlines.”

Talia remembers managing her stress post-study wasn’t easy, but it paid off as a result.  

“I was a little anxious – trying to dip my finger in as many different pies as I could to get my name published. It involved a lot of unpaid freelancing, but then the role for editorial assistant opened up at Forte about three months into my internship in Melbourne. The rest is history,” she says smiling.  

Josh Dowling – Forte’s sales and advertising executive who sits side-by-side Talia in their quirky Skene Street office – admits the magazine wouldn’t be possible without her.

“As much as we roast each other in this office,” he laughs, “I think Talia is beyond reliable on both a professional level as well as a personal level.”

“To be honest, I couldn’t imagine putting together this magazine with anybody else.”   

Passionate about the journalism industry and the places it can take up-and-coming reporters, Talia regularly mentors students in the Forte office.

“I’m over the moon when students want to spend their time with us and get some insight into Forte,” she says excitedly.

“Whether they’re studying journalism and media, or they’re just giving it a go to see if it could be something they want to pursue in future, I’ll happily take them all.”

If she isn’t drowning in caffeine or munching on donuts in-between phone interviewing some of the biggest names in entertainment, she’s out on the road meeting extraordinary artists and creatives all while earning an income. 

How does that cheesy yet inspiring saying go again? If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Talia Rinaldo is living proof that these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities exist for those who stop at nothing to achieve their goals. 

To get in touch with Talia about an internship, email a cover letter and CV to talia@fortemag.com.au.

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HANNAH KENNY
Hannah is a graduate year journalist who enjoys writing using an array of storytelling methods. Her experiences interning at local magazines in the Geelong area have inspired Hannah to continue working in print media. With her interests ranging from art, literature and fashion to Australian news, foreign affairs and women's rights, Hannah is eager to hone her skills in a professional and supportive environment.

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