Working as a newsreader on radio may seem like a good-time gig, but a Nova 96.9 newsreader said it is just as demanding as any other news shift.
Michelle Stephenson told Macleay College students a radio journalist’s job goes well beyond the nine to five.
The Nova newsreader, who visited Macleay today, offered tips and talked about her experience as a journalist, the 3am starts, the intense and fast paced environment of a newsroom and the hard work needed to get there.
“You’ve got to work really hard and be prepared to put in hours above and beyond,” Ms Stephenson said.
“There’s no such thing as a nine to five in journalism.”
Ms Stephenson may deliver lighter stories on commercial FM radio than some of her AM counterparts but she holds a masters and politics degree and did the hard yards to get where she is today, filling in on the Nova breakfast shift.
She is proud of her profession and her work.
“In my regional job I was busting my butt, I was working incredibly hard,” she said.
“I was flying solo most days and your learning curve is so intense, you learn so much. And now because of that I’m working in Sydney on Fitzy and Wippa.”
Within the radio industry, being a breakfast newsreader is the prime slot and the gig everyone wants, but isn’t an easy task. As the newsreader prepares, writes and presents all their own bulletins the pressure can be high, especially with breaking news.
“When working on the Sydney siege, the news broke at 9am I had been on air since 5:30am, and stayed on air reporting live every 15 minutess until two in the afternoon,” she said. “Then I went home, had a sleep, I got up at 1:3o in the morning and came back in to get back on air for the next day.”
The lecture was an eye opener for students hoping to get a start in the radio industry.
“I thought working at Nova was just fun and entertaining – turns out there is a lot of hard work that goes into reporting the news,” Macleay journalism student Brooke McNeil said. – Jacinta Scott
Top photo by Rebekah Day.