Nine Radio’s Harnsle Joo takes out 30 Under 30 Readers’ Choice Award

The readers have spoken, and Radio Today’s inaugural winner of the 30 Under 30 Readers’ Choice Award has been crowned.

Harnsle Joo, the executive producer of Deb Knight’s Afternoon program on Nine Radio’s 2GB, has taken out the prize.

Knight, who backed her EP’s campaign from the get go, said Joo was like a dog with a bone when chasing down a story, and she thoroughly deserved the honour.

“You are an absolute ripper. I cannot think of anyone more deserving [of] this award,” Knight said on the special 30 Under 30 edition of the Radio Today Tonight podcast.

“When I got involved back in radio this year, I wanted you as my EP. You are phenomenal.”

Joo in turn thanked Knight for being the best boss and friend, and for lending her name, alongside Ray Hadley, to her campaign.

“And also a big thank you to my parents, because they went full-on primary school fundraiser mode for this,” she joked. “But thank you. Thank you everyone for voting.”

Joo’s radio career kicked off in 2015 when she was an intern at Macquarie Radio Network on Ben Fordham’s show. She got this opportunity, she said, by “accosting Ben Fordham on the side of the road”.

After a stint at Mamamia and the Parliament of New South Wales, she rejoined Macquarie straight out of university as a producer in April 2016. By 2017 she was the associate producer of The Chris Smith Afternoon Show, and by 2019, she was producer on The Ray Hadley Morning Show.

She took on the EP gig for Knight in January.

“I’m really proud that as a 25-year-old woman from an immigrant background, I’m a voice that’s heard on one of Australia’s most influential media outlets. My hard work and ability as a producer is recognised by some of the most respected industry figures like Deborah Knight, and Ray Hadley,” Joo said in her submission.

“I’m passionate about radio because it’s so special and personal. I love it. And that’s driven me to want to share this passion with others, and this is what helps me manage and lead my own team behind Afternoons with Deborah Knight,” she added.

“I love helping colleagues and university students develop their skills as producers. And I’m particularly passionate about encouraging talented, switched-on people from immigrant backgrounds because it’s important to have a range of views and experiences.

“There’s no point hiding it – it’s not every day you come across a Korean-Australian leading a prime-time talkback radio show. My hope is that other young people will see me and be inspired to take on the challenge – that they’ll see this as a career they too can be a part of.”

To find out who else made the cut in Radio Today’s 30 Under 30 Awards, you can listen to the Radio Today Tonight podcast below, or subscribe now on Apple, Acast, Spotify, Google or iHeartRadio.

You can also find the full list of winners here.

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