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Why I'm Here

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
Hi. I'm Seamus, and I owe a lot to this website. So it's a real pleasure to help the Influencing team renew and relaunch the community that saved my career back in 2005.
I had my first break as a journalist in London in 2001. Working, weirdly enough, at Fairfax's bolthole London office just off Fleet Street. I worked at MIS UK as a junior writer alongside Paul Smith, who later moved to Australia himself and is now the technology editor at AFR. We've all come a long way since.
In 2003 I got my first local gig at, the magazine about the internet whose owner refused to let us give the magazine a website. Being at Next Media in the Redfern warehouse was an amazing intro to the local industry, surrounded by music mags like Rolling Stone as well as the teams from PC Powerplay and Hyper. Fun times, but by the end of 2004 was gone.
I hadn't been to many press events before I went to my first 'Phil fest', as we affectionately called the IT Journo weekend conferences. But through those events I built a network of contacts on both the PR and journalist sides of the industry. "A network of contacts"? That's LinkedIn speak.
What happened was this: I made friends.
I felt welcome. I got to know people outside the immediate demands of a product launch or interview opp. By sharing a meal and a drink we opened the door to more comfortable 'cut to the chase, please' phone calls and greater understanding of each other's needs so there was less time wasted when we were back at our desks getting on with the core of our work.
At the end of 2004, shutdown – we got our notice two hours before our work Christmas party. It was textbook Scrooge stuff. And as the news filtered through the community I got messages of support and offers of freelance work to help tide things over until a clear path was in place for the road ahead.
I absolutely attribute that successful transition from magazine writer to a solid six years as a freelance journalist to this website and the community it brought together.
Today, times are harder. There's less in the freelance budget. Fewer seats at desks on magazines and websites. I don't envy anyone carving out their place in this ecosystem in the decade ahead. But that makes a strong and supportive community more important than ever.
In recent months I've informally offered mentorship to around a dozen writers eager to find their path. And I've heard from editors who have said they're just too busy to scout for new voices to add to their mix. The budgets aren't what they used to be, but they're keen to give work to new writers if only they could more easily find them.
For a chunk of this past decade it felt like social media was the new 'hub' for these kinds of community discussions. The news should come to where we all spend our time already. Our conversations can include more people and be shared more widely through those open networks. But as time passes, as our scrolling habits become more zombie-like, and as the noise ratio overwhelms the quality signals, I think there's an appetite for the rebirth of an inclusive-but-managed space for professional community discussions.
Competition is fierce, but I hope this space can again provide a sense of community that makes it easy to get a feel for what is going on around the industry. What your colleagues and competitors are up to. What your friends are interested in. What you can do to help each other. Who the newer voices are.
Let's get to know each other again. Our interests. Our challenges. Our fears. Our ambitions. These aren’t the things that shine through when we’re just skimming each other's curated social presence. It takes a little more trust, and a willingness to sometimes be a little more candid or more earnest, to step back toward truly sharing with a community. I hope I can help restore a sense of the value in doing so.

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More Media News

James to host 2SER breakfast show

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Sydney station 2SER 107.3FM’s breakfast show will have Alex James in the booth.

She was moved up to the post after months of doing substitute hostings for the show. 

James is already a familiar voice at 2SER having produced the Tuesday Daily for years, with one prominent show being the station’s 40th anniversary last year. 

Tune in to James on LinkedIn.

Hit WA appoints new breakfast hosts

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The Hit Network has appointed Allan Aldworth and Michelle Anderson as the new hosts for its Hit WA breakfast show, effective 16 March 2020.

Aldworth recently finished hosting his own breakfast show at Hit Bunbury while Anderson is relocating from Brisbane, where she was at River 94.9.

The show will be syndicated on Hit 106.5 (Karratha), Hit 101.3 (Broome), Hit 91.7 (Port Hedland), Hit 96.5 (Geraldton), Hit 95.3 (Albany), Hit 95.7 (Bunbury), Hit 100.5 (Bridgetown), Hit 102.3 (Esperance), Hit 97.9 (Kalgoorlie), Hit 94.9 (Katanning), Hit 105.1 (Merredin), Hit 100.5 (Narrogin), and Hit 96.5 (Northam).

“There was clear chemistry between Allan and Michelle when we heard their first demo. This is going to be incredibly fun radio for WA,” said Hit WA content boss Tim Arnold.

Swan speaks on becoming The Australian’s tech editor

By Elliott Richardson in Media News on
David Swan will be looking to make the technology section of The Australian compulsive reading as he takes over from the departing Supratim Adhikari.
Swan paid tribute to his long-time editor and colleague Adhikari, who is moving to Nine’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
“He’s got a fantastic analytical mind which comes from covering tech for over a decade and I’ve learnt plenty from him. 
“He'd been there [The Australian] for five years, with me, in the tech sector and it felt like the right time for him to try something new. We'd also worked together at Technology Spectator, so it wasn't too much of a surprise when he announced that he was moving on,” Swan says.
His appointment as The Australian’s new tech editor was a fairly straightforward process with Swan saying he was happy to “throw his hat into the ring, or whatever cliche you’d like to use,” and that he had the back

3AW hires Ox and Marco for footy show

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Footy commentators David Schwarz and Mark Allen, AKA Ox and Marco, are coming to 3AW for the new AFL season.

The duo will go on-air from 5:30PM to 7:30PM every Saturday, which will be a lead-in to the weekend matches. They have not been working since Nine absorbed Macquarie Sports Radio late last year, which also claimed their drive show.

Schwarz and Allen’s signings are part of 3AW’s comprehensive AFL coverage. 

Gerard Healy is locked in for the Thursday-night games in Melbourne, while Tim Lane joins Bruce Eva on Friday nights. Daniel Haford, Mark Robinson, and Jimmy Bartel are up again for the Sunday pregame discussions.

Power 94.9 FM sets up new breakfast hosts

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Power 94.9FM has tapped Kaley-Jade Baker as a new co-host for Andy Sands on the breakfast show, reported Radio Today. 

Baker, formerly an associate producer at the ABC, stepped in as the station sought a replacement after Katie Fleming’s exit last November. Fleming was on the post following her Diploma in Radio graduation from AFTRS earlier in the year.

“We like to think of ourselves as fire and ice with Andy being cool, calm and collected and Kaley the firey, outspoken and outgoing one. As a first provincial radio gig for us both, we hope that in our time on this show, we’ll be able to grow as young broadcasters and set up the foundations for successful careers into the future,” the tandem said.

Atlassian Confirms Support of 2020 Samsung Australian IT Journalism Awards

By Mike Woodcock in Media News on

Australian software giant Atlassian has today confirmed their support of the 2020 Samsung Australian IT Journalism Awards (the Lizzies). 

Joining Name Sponsors Samsung AustraliaWatterson Communications,  Enex Testlab and Amazon Web Services, Atlassian's support ensures the 2020 Lizzies will be a night to remember.

Atlassian Head of APAC Communications, Louise Halloran, said: "We are thrilled to support such an important night for Australian technology journalism. These awards recognise journalists who have made outstanding contributions in the space ensuring Australians have an accurate and balanced understanding of technology, which we unashamedly believe is critical in shaping Australia’s future economy." 

We look forward to working with Louise Halloran and the rest of the Atlassian team to deliver a memorable evening.

Entries for the Lizzies are now closed; with finalists expected to

NZME reorganises shows

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

NZME is entering the autumn 2020 season with some tweaks to its radio shows.

The network revealed that the comedy tandem of Jono Pryor and Ben Boyce will take over from Toni Street and Sam Wallace as the hosts of The Hits’ breakfast show this coming April. Street and Wallace are joining Jason Reeves in a new breakfast show at Coast.

Laura McGoldrick is slated to host a new call-in show at 3PM on The Hits. 

Radio Hauraki’s drive show has yet to reveal its new announcers. 

"NZME is home to the best radio talent in New Zealand. When you line up the new breakfast teams on Coast and The Hits with Jeremy Wells and Matt Heath on Hauraki, Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB and ZM's Fletch, Vaughan and Megan you have an incredible breakfast portfolio right across our radio networks, including Radio Sport and Flava," said NZME chief radio and commercial officer Wendy Palmer.

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