Find a mentor and watch them: Joe Hildebrand

Each Wednesday at UTS we’re lucky to have people who work in the industry come in and talk to us. This is called the afternoon session.

Our guest speaker for the afternoon was Joe Hildebrand. So far I think he has been the most useful to listen to. He gave really good advice and tips and he spoke on our level, he didn’t make it seem like we were the students who had zero experience. He was so honest about what the industry is like. He practically told us that we were going to get into trouble one day in the future because if this job. Some key points I took out of that:

  • Protect your sources
  • Listen to your editor and COS
  • Never point your finger at Master Zen, you might not have one at the end of the day (Be there moment)
  • Ask stupid questions. Ask. Ask. Ask
  • Journalism is a way of conveying information to people who don’t know
  • Know your audience
  • Do not let your source contact you from a work email*
  • Don’t expose yourself to a paper trail
  • Be very careful with your research. Make sure it’s right
  • Don’t refer to gender when you are sourcing someone
  • Be careful of eco-chamber ( I don’t know what that is actually, I’m going to google it)
  • Make sure you get all sides of the story
  • Get as much experience as you can

*Joe gave us a hilarious example of what to do when someone with a story emails you via their work email. He said to email them back saying that you can’t help them out etc. Then straight after that, CALL THEM UP AND SAY YOU’LL DO IT.

He also told us to get as much experience as we can, I’m planning on asking him for experience actually (He followed me back on twitter. O.M.G) at Studio Ten.

Something that Joe said that really got my attention was when he said to find someone we look up to in the work force, a mentor and watch them, keep watching them. The funny thing is one of my biggest inspirations and mentors is actually Joe himself. Others include Chris Bath from 7 News, Sandra Sully from Channel 10, Damien Smith also from 7 News and the late Ian Ross. I want to be able to be a journalist who is taken seriously at the stories that I do, but at the same time I want to be able to show my self, my laid back and carefree self. Joe is able to be himself and be taken seriously. I admire that.

Funny thing about today’s talk, Joe stressed out the importance of knowing your audience. He was making so many jokes and like no one was laughing, it was hilarious. But it’s alright Joe, I get your jokes…ish.

Thanks for today Joe!


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