“It was a hustle”: breaking into the television news broadcast industry

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Head Shot of Stephanie Deller (left) and Alex Tzatzimakis (right) Source: Twitter

Many students believe that once you graduate from university, it is easy to get a job with a degree. Although that may be true for some jobs, it isn’t for a career in broadcast journalism.

Stephanie Deller, 25, describes her job hunt as a “struggle” as she searched for years before landing a role as a reporter in Ballarat with regional broadcaster WIN TV.

“You need to be open to applying everywhere and moving anywhere. Even if it’s not your number one job, you need to go for it.”

Born in Melbourne’s east, Stephanie moved to Sydney for a job in print where she would write online articles and pieces in magazines about issues affecting superannuation and the accounting world.

“They were certainly topics I never imagined I would be writing about or immersing myself with but you know, it is your foot in the door as they say,” she laughs.

After a few years interning and working for print media, Stephanie finally landed her current role as a regional reporter at WIN News Ballarat.

“It’s a change but I’ve really enjoyed the Ballarat lifestyle. You don’t deal with traffic the way you do in Melbourne.”

Many graduates do find themselves relocating to country towns to follow their dreams in becoming a news reporter. Even though it is where most reporters begin their careers, Stephanie believes that should not detract the high standard that regional reporting upholds.

“It is where people start out but it’s also a place where people develop and grow,” she says. “We cover real issues, real stories about real people and things that deeply affect people living in rural areas. I don’t want to take away anything from regional journalism because it is fantastic!”

Melbourne-born Alexandria Tzatzimakis says it was “a hustle” to get a job in the TV news broadcast industry. She says she put the feelers out for months before her employment at Nine News Gippsland. 

“You need to do your research,” Alexandria says. “Get in touch with the right people. It was a lot of putting calls out, knocking on people’s doors and introducing myself.” 

Alexandria admits when she commenced her job search she wasn’t as proactive as she should’ve been. She says TV is a really competitive industry and in order to succeed graduates need to think “outside of the box”.

“Prove that you can recite a piece to camera. Show that you can find your own stories and I think that will really set you apart. Stories aren’t going to be handed on a silver platter and i think that’s what shocks a lot of graduate journos when they leave uni.”

She encourages all aspiring journalists to persevere when faced with rejection.

“Start early. Attitude is everything. Having a good work ethic and attitude says a lot. Nobody wants a lazy journo so do as much as you can.”

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