CEO of News Corp Robert Thomson has spoken at a special alumni event, sharing insights into his life and career.
More than 200 alumni attended the event at Storey Hall, which also included the release of the second edition of the RMIT Alumni Magazine.
The event featured Mr Thomson, an RMIT journalism alumnus, in conversation with RMIT Chancellor Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO.
Mr Thomson discussed his insights into leading one of the world's largest media companies and the future of news in the digital age.
Graduating from RMIT in 1990, he got his start in journalism as a copy boy for the Melbourne Herald and said his journey into the profession was a serendipitous one.
"One of the things I advise for young people is not to be lacking in confidence if you're not certain what you want to do, because it doesn't dawn on you until a little later. I wasn't someone who wanted to edit the school newspaper," he said.
After working as a foreign correspondent in China and Japan he moved into management roles at the Financial Times before being appointed editor of The Times in the UK.
"The key to being a good manager is managing your own ego; if you can't get the best out of energetic, creative people like journalists then you're not doing your job," he said.
In 2008 he was named managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, shortly after it was acquired by News Corp.
"None of us should underestimate the intelligence of readers, as long as there's a context for the reading experience, readers are able to themselves assess where a particular paper or where a particular article is coming from," he said.
Robert Thomson (right) in conversation with RMIT's Chancellor, Dr Ziggy Switkowski. Photo: Vicki Jones.
In 2010, he received an honorary doctorate from RMIT and in 2013 he was appointed CEO of News Corp's global operations.
Mr Thomson's appearance at the event generated feedback on social media from alumni using #rmitalumni and national news coverage on his comments on the media.
The event also included the release of the Spring edition of the RMIT Alumni Magazine: the leadership issue, featuring Mr Thomson on the cover.
The new issue profiles leadership of all kinds in our alumni community, including interviews with Peter Maddison, architect and host of Grand Designs Australia; Outstanding International Alumnus Priscilla Ho, who runs a top sports marketing agency in China; and Jessica Gallagher, who studied osteopathy and has won a number of Paralympic medals.
As with the first edition, alumni were involved in the production of the magazine, including photographers Peter Rad, Janelle Low, Angus Mordant, Carla Gottgens and Michael Whyte.
The magazine was launched earlier this year as a platform for alumni to connect with the University and the broader alumni community.
It includes opportunities for alumni to engage with through mentoring, supporting scholarships and more.
Read the leadership issue of the RMIT Alumni Magazine.