10 Journalism Career Advice Questions with Edwina Bartholomew
by Shelly Horton
Posted: November 07, 2016
One of the most popular presenters on TV, Edwina Bartholomew is best known for her roles on Channel Seven’s Sunrise and co-hosting Dancing With The Stars.
She has a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism), and a Master of International Relations. She’s been working as a Journalist for 13 years.
Here are 10 Journalism career advice questions with Edwina Bartholomew - interviewed by none other than our Open Colleges Journalism expert and regular TV Presenter on the Nine Network herself, Shelly Horton.
1. What made you want to become a journalist?
I wasn't sure what I wanted to do when I left school but I knew I loved English, History, Drama and Debating. One of my best mates decided she would do journalism as a career. She did all the research and I just followed suit!
2. What was your first job and what path led you to your present job?
My first job was actually at Sunrise. I was incredibly lucky. I won a competition in my final year at university to become the Sunrise intern. I gradually started doing more bits and pieces on air.
Eventually, I wanted more of a challenge so I left to do a Masters degree and worked in Radio part time. I worked for 2GB as a reporter and newsreader. I then went travelling around China and Europe - worked at the Beijing Olympics and did some reporting from Croatia on the disappearance of Britt Lapthorne.
I had grand plans to move to London but when I came home to sort out my visa, I was offered a job as a reporter for the 6pm news in Sydney and I haven't looked back since.
3. What do you love about your job?
The diversity is the most wonderful aspect of my job and the unpredictability. You could be in Western Sydney one day, the Birdcage in Flemington the next and then in Brazil for the Olympics.
It is an incredible privilege to be let into people's lives and step into their shoes for even just one day. Often it's at a time of hardship or tragedy. People are so open and so generous with their time.
4. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a journalist?
I struggle with negative feedback. That is the one downside of social media. I try to cop it on the chin but it's very hard to not let it get to you. Thankfully most people are extremely lovely.
5. What do you think is the biggest misconception about journalists?
That we don't care. Sure, we are cynical and sometimes jaded. But every journalist I know cares about their work and especially we care about the people in our stories.
6. Describe your typical workday.
Every day is different. That is the best bit about journalism.
- Wake up at 3:15.
- I’m straight on my phone to see what has happened overnight.
- At work by 04:00.
- I’m in makeup until 05:30. It takes a while!!
- 05:30 – 09:00 Sunrise
- After 09:00 - I will either; film a story, write a story, MC a function or go home and flop.
- 18:30 - Boot camp. Only started exercising again recently when I realised I couldn't survive without it.
- 20:30 - Bed
I try to have three busy days during the week and two not so busy ones. Otherwise, it's easy to fall in a heap.
7. What is your dream job?
I don't know. I have been continually surprised at the opportunities that have popped up. I've said no to jobs that I have later accepted and loved.
It's better to be open than have one role in mind.
8. Do you think the industry is harder for women or men?
It's a hard industry for anyone to crack into. I have certainly been presented with different challenges to the men I work with but I also think there are benefits to being a woman in media.
There is a wonderful network of women out there willing to help other women achieve and excel.
9. The industry is changing so rapidly with so much now consumed online, how do you think the traditional media (newspapers, radio and TV) is adapting? What could they do better?
Traditional media needs to acknowledge that we may not be the first to break news anymore and we are probably not the primary source of information for our audience.
So what can we do differently?
We can tell stories. We can shoot beautiful pictures. It doesn't always have to be CCTV, dodgy mobile phone vision and crime.
10. What advice would you give young people considering journalism as a career?
- Be willing to work hard.
- Be normal. There is too much showmanship in this industry. Just be natural.
- Don't true to emulate anyone else - everyone takes such a different path in journalism and media so there is no way to mimic someone else's career progression. Be yourself.
- Try not to forget what a privileged position you are in. Be thankful.
Inspired to pursue an exciting career in Journalism? Research the employment outlook for Writing and Communications roles here.