Taking responsibility and making decisions under pressure are two key attributes of a successful foreign correspondent, Hugh Riminton (left) has told Macleay College journalism students in a guest lecture this morning.
Riminton said he engaged in a month-long “outward bound” course early in his career after he became interested in the idea of developing good decision making processes under extreme pressure.
The program, which takes the participant through rough terrain environments in an attempt to inspire personal growth and discovery, allowed Riminton to develop strength, endurance and good judgment in difficult situations.
“It’s about making decisions under pressure, because that’s ultimately what you’re doing when you’re over there,” he said about working overseas.
“It’s not like normal reporting, it is a whole body experience.”
He also told students that finding work in remote locations is an ideal way to build essential journalistic skills and integrity: “If you want to go to Damascus, don’t ever feel like you’re in the wrong place if you’re in Dubbo.”
“The great thing about working in small towns is you have to take responsibility for your own product,” he said.
“You’re exactly where you want to be.”
His final piece of advice to students was: “Be good to work with.”
Riminton spent 30 years reporting abroad, and has won both Australian and international honours for his reporting work from various locations, including Afghanistan, England, Russia, China and the United States. – Amber Greasley
Top photo by Vishnavi Kulentsirarasa