Roving Reporters - Where Are They Now? - Chloe Nichols
Chloe joined the Youth Central roving reporter team in 2005, covering the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, reviewing books and gigs, and being the presenter on a DVD about the Office for Youth's Advance program. These days Chloe's in London working for an online video production company. We caught up with Chloe to look back at her days with Youth Central.
Where are you working at the moment?
Currently I am based in London. I have been living here for almost five years and still loving the city! I work at Newspepper.com, which is an Internet video production company. We provide media services for clients like the BBC, Channel4, Facebook UK and PayPal. We work with media students and graduates to help them get paid internships and freelancing jobs.
This year I started curating The Fetch London, which is a what's on newsletter for professionals working in business, digital and creative communities. The Fetch was founded by Kate Kendall in Melbourne one year ago, and since then it has spread across Australia in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Berlin, San Francisco and New York.
How does your work experience with Youth Central relate to this job?
I think it is ironic that I am now working for a startup with a similar business model to Youth Central. I first heard about the Youth Central Roving Reporter role when I was studying Media & Communications at Deakin University. I thought working at Youth Central would give me the perfect opportunity to get some real world experience in the media and also become a paid freelancer.
I worked on a range of assignments, from covering the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006, the TAC Make a Film, Make a Difference competition and writing summer book reviews, interviews, attending gigs and events.
What is it that drew you to media, specifically online media?
I grew up on the Internet. I remember the first time I "Yahoo-ed" - I was about 13 years old and waiting for the internet connection to dial up. Since then I have had an addiction to online and social media. We are living in an exciting age, and the convergence of technology and media means that you can get all your news real-time. Although, in the future, I think we will have to pay to access some news feeds and articles, because without a paywall in place, I don't see how journalists can survive pushing out content on a freemium business model. The question is whether we are willing to pay.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I'd like to be running my own online business, though I am still waiting for my "lightbulb moment'. The key is to identify a problem and provide a solution via your product or service. However, I am absorbing as much as I can at the moment, and by working for Newspepper and The Fetch, this has given me an excellent insight on how to run startup, experience in online media, and the right connections to foster my business idea when it comes!
What would you say you got out of your experience at Youth Central?
I think my role as a Roving Reporter taught me to have a strong work ethic and to develop my writing skills. The only real experience I had as a journalist was writing for student assignments, so to have the opportunity to gain freelance work was invaluable. It really helped me build my confidence so that I could apply for jobs in the media after my placement and graduating from university. It also meant I could provide an online portfolio of published work which - along with a placement at Express Media - helped me secure a couple of PR internships at Ketchum & Freud Communications when I first arrived in London.
What advice would you give a young person looking to get into journalism or communications?
Start a blog and consider writing on a niche topic or subject. Since the landscape of online media is so vast and wide, potential employers are looking for an expert in a required field - rather than someone who writes on absolutely anything and everything.
Secondly, build on your personal brand and make sure your 'key messages' are aligned on your social media channels (i.e., your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube pages).
Finally, when you are just getting started, don't expect to be paid for work, but you should definitely approach event organisers and let them know that in return for a Press Pass you will do a pre-event blog post and event review, plus promote their event hashtag via your social media channels to spread the word.
Would you recommend writing for Youth Central to young writers?
Definitely! It gave me an amazing opportunity to work on real-world briefs and the motivation to get my work published online. There is also a great sense of community with the other Roving Reporters on the team - you can build on your own network as a freelance writer - not to mention the resources and connections that are provided via government-run website.
If you want to get published on Youth Central, check out our Get Published pages to find out how. For more articles about Jobs & Careers, check out our Jobs & Careers section and our Articles Archive.
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