June 2016 Dinner Report: News Media

by Sophie Dougall

Panel at the June dinner meeting

Left to right: Kate Cuthbert, Veronica Sullivan, Izzy Roberts-Orr, Erik Jensen, Brigid Delaney. Photo: Nicole Mathers

Over 60 members and friends got together at CQ Events on 15 June for our dinner meeting to discuss news media. We were treated to a fabulous panel of Veronica Sullivan (formerly of Kill Your Darlings), Izzy Roberts-Orr (The ReReaders), Erik Jensen (The Saturday Paper) and Brigid Delaney (The Guardian Australia), expertly moderated by Kate Cuthbert.

A lively and robust discussion ensued, covering topics from news audiences, advertising and how to create authority and informed voices to the topical issue of paying for content.

The internet has created a variety of news media and our attention spans are shorter. The panel talked about the need for tighter turnarounds and for producing the kinds of stories people are discussing. The dinner audience responded with interesting questions that encouraged debate and conversation. 

On the subject of the need for subeditors in new media and the decline in their numbers, Brigid raised an interesting point: it seem's there's more tolerance for typos in online articles in the rush to produce stories across the 24-hour news cycle. That's certainly something for editors to debate!

Editors at the June dinner meeting

The audience enjoying the news media panel. Photo: Nicole Mathers

We were left with a feeling of optimism that there is very much a place for storytellers in our society. Erik claimed there are more jobs for young journalists now than there have been for many years; the industry has always allowed talent to succeed and it is easier to progress now than previously. The feedback from the evening has been overwhelmingly positive and we were all delighted at not only the wisdom shared by the experienced editors but also their shared rapport, which kept us entertained all evening.

Sophie Dougall
Events subcommittee