PERSISTENCE and patience have been key factors in Jonno Nash’s rise through the ranks at the Herald Sun.
After becoming a Herald Sun intern in 2011, Jonno, who completed Monash’s journalism program two years ago, made the most of every opportunity.
Jonno later became a contributor to Herald Sun sport’s Statewide section, and then worked on the news desk until scoring a full-time position as a news reporter.
“My first break came in 2010. I was an intern at Inside Football magazine and later became a paid employee,” Jonno recalled.
“I became an intern at the Herald Sun in March 2011 and after speaking with reporter Matt Windley about an article I wrote on former AFL player Shane O’Bree returning to play in a one-off match with his junior club, he told me to rewrite the article for the newspaper.
“Windley made me a regular contributor for Statewide from here on.”
The sports editors gave Jonno greater responsibilities and gradually he enjoyed more opportunities.
“This experience allowed me gain internships at Crocmedia, AFL.com and Channel 9,” Jonno said.
“I still make an effort to contact members from these outlets to keep my name in the back of their minds.”
Jonno said he made great sacrifices to work his way up at the Herald Sun.
“I turned back opportunities to play football for top-line interstate teams and have hardly travelled abroad in favour of establishing a career,” Jonno said.
“At times, I felt I’d made the wrong decisions. My reward – a reporting position at the Herald Sun – hasn’t come easily.
“Job cuts, particularly in the print industry, forced me to be patient. I was an editorial assistant for two years and with the News Corp Australia Traineeship postponed indefinitely, I strongly considered pursuing other opportunities. I’m grateful my faith and hard work has been recognised and rewarded.”
Jonno believes journalists are intellectual labourers.
“Like a brick-layer or carpenter, a journalist can pour hours of hard work in establishing a story and admire the finished product in the newspaper,” he said.
“That’s the most satisfying part, seeing all your hard work come to fruition. Being trusted to present a great audience-engaging piece makes me feel I’m servicing the public.
“It’s a trusted responsibility.”
The Monash experience
I found the journalism writing courses the most valuable. Regular classroom practice and feedback helped me develop a strong writing style which allowed me to jump straight into the newsroom during internships.
Monash’s diverse range of journalism subjects helped me identify what sort of journalist I wanted to become and what medium I wanted to specialise in. Initially I had my sights set on becoming a TV journalist but following an internship at the Herald Sun I fell in love with the written word.
I made a real effort in my final year at Monash to undertake as many internships as possible across the traditional mediums – print, radio and television. I was able to establish integral contacts, which I still call upon today, and earned paid work following my stints at these outlets.
Advice for journalism students
Media is still very much a who-you-know industry. It’s important to immerse yourself with as many prominent people as possible.
I have arranged meetings with media identities over Twitter and have learnt how some they forged their careers.
One of the best investments I’ve made is buying people coffees. Some of the more inspiring conversations I’ve had with people are at a cafe. I have researched the journalists and presenters I aspire to be like and have attempted to emulate their pathways into the industry.
A useful tool is to compare your work with the final published product. Most copy is tweaked and it’s important to learn why your piece was edited, whether it be would be learn why and be apply those changes in future works.
You can’t beat practical experience. The formula is simple – with more practice, the better you get. Embrace every opportunity to test your skills.
Be sure to embrace your errors, especially journalism faux pas. Mistakes, particularly as an inexperienced journalist, are inevitable.
You’re easily forgiven but be sure to learn from them and not make the same mistake. In contrast, celebrate your successes. At times you need to be able to give yourself a pat on the back and acknowledge your efforts.
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