Executive news producers Annalise Bolt and Lydia Bilton got their start in the Nine newsroom thanks to the Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship. Here is why they recommend the experience to aspiring broadcast journalists.
It’s 1am. The smell of Nescafe Blend 43 is in the air. We’re both bleary eyed and discussing how many hours of sleep we managed to get before rolling out of bed. We’re on the Today show news desk and anything could happen. It sounds cliché but it’s true.
From Covid lockdowns, to elections, the bushfire crisis, the storming of the Capitol in Washington DC, to the burning down of the Notre Dame cathedral and royal babies – we’ve covered some of Australia’s and the world’s biggest stories in our time at Nine.
As a student, it can seem incredibly daunting to get a start in this highly competitive industry. But this scholarship is the ultimate leg up. Opportunities like this are unfortunately few and far between and every young journalist should jump at it
The atmosphere in the newsroom when a big story breaks is electric. While the hours are tough, it is the best training ground for a young journalist and it would never have happened for both of us without the Jacoby Walkley Scholarship. It pulled us out of the lecture theatre and threw us into the centre of one of the biggest newsrooms in Australia.
In our respective years, we were both given incredible hands on experience which taught us more about news than any university tutorial. From shadowing reporters, to writing scripts, attending media conferences, conducting interviews and working with camera operators and editors – it was a crash course in broadcast journalism.
It also gave us access to some of the best mentors in the business, which is invaluable. We both made connections during our time on the scholarship which we still have today. By the end of our internships, we both had been offered jobs and it ultimately paved the way to the careers we love today. We now both work as executive producers at Nine and have had experience as reporters – and we still credit the Jacoby Walkley Scholarship as giving us that initial foot in the door.
There’s so much more to TV news than being in front of the camera. We’ve both worked as producers and reporters but there’s also so many other roles which are crucial to creating the final product. From our talented graphic artists, to editors, social media, camera operators and studio crew – all who share a love for news. The beauty of this scholarship is you get to experience all of these departments and tailor the internship to your interests and ambitions.
As a student, it can seem incredibly daunting to get a start in this highly competitive industry. But this scholarship is the ultimate leg up. Opportunities like this are unfortunately few and far between and every young journalist should jump at it.