For RMIT Journalism graduates, the learning never stops as they produce a new live current affairs program about LGBT+ communities in Australia.
Frustrated at the way mainstream media reported issues that are important for LGBT+ community in Australia, second year journalism student Emma Arnold, leaped from finishing her first ever radio assessment to producing and presenting The Informer, a new live radio current affairs program at Joy 94.9.
As one of her first stories for the program, Arnold told the story of a young lesbian woman who migrated to Australia and the challenges she faced coming out to her family.
“I want to use this platform to help people in the LGBT+ community be their own spokespeople, as it is such a diverse group,” she said.
“I also want to get perspectives from people I wouldn’t usually hear from, and in turn learn more about world issues and the world of journalism.”
Arnold worked with JOY Program Director James Findlay to produce the show and came up with the idea of exploring stories of migrants.
Findlay, who is also a graduate of the Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations), said he spent months building a team of presenters with experience in the journalism field and those who wanted more experience.
“Arnold responded to a campaign we had that was actually created and conducted by RMIT Public Relations students to find people to be part of ‘JOY’s voice’,” he said.
“Once I found out she was studying journalism, I just had to snap her up for The Informer.”
Another alumnus involved in producing the program is Stephanie McLean, who majored in journalism in her Professional Communication degree at RMIT.
“Producing a news program for radio gives me a real buzz, from meeting different people and hearing their stories to operating a radio panel, the whole process is really rewarding,” McLean said.
“It's also really fun to work with people like Emma because our styles are really different and the learning never stops.”
Arnold said she was surprised at how much she has developed since starting her degree at RMIT.
“On my first day working for the program, I was surprised to use the skills I had just used to finish an assignment.
“The skills I have picked up at RMIT are immediately applicable to a radio workplace, and I was really proud of myself because I didn’t realise how much practical knowledge I had picked up.”
Tito Ambyo, the Course Coordinator for Reporting with Sound and Image, said that he is often amazed at the way students apply their skills in the real world.
“It’s great to be working with passionate students like Emma and Stephanie. These students can’t wait to use the skills learnt in the classroom to produce programs like The Informer,“ Ambyo said.
“We’re also lucky to have a great team here at RMIT who ensure that the skills we teach in classrooms reflect both current industry practice and what we’ve learnt through years of working as journalists.”
For students like Arnold and McLean, however, the journey has only just begun.
“This is like nothing I’ve ever done before, and being live on radio is incredibly scary but the adrenaline makes it all worthwhile.”
“I’m so far out of my comfort zone, and that is one of the best ways to learn,” Arnold said.
Story: Wendy Little