30 Under 30: Meet your News winners

Staff Writer

Extra, extra, read all about it – it’s time to meet your News winners from Radio Today’s 30 Under 30 Awards.

Keep reading to find out what these news hounds think could be on the horizon for the industry – its biggest challenges, as well as the ways in which we could overcome them.

Radio Today’s 30 Under 30 Awards were made possible by support from ARN, Nine, SCA, NOVA, ACE Radio and Sony Music.

You can also read about winners in the On Air, Marketing, Campaigns, Music, Podcasting, Production, Sales and Content categories.

Natalie Sekulovska, Australian Radio Network

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

“The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the challenges facing the media industry at large – mass job cuts, redundancies and an increasing casualisation of the workforce.

“It is important to remember, however, that it’s not just commercial radio stations affected by the pandemic and the ever-changing media landscape. Regional and community broadcast have borne the brunt with widespread closures in areas where local news is critical, and especially valued during times of hardship like bushfires and floods.

“Volunteering at a youth community broadcaster in Redfern, albeit still in a metropolitan city, I understand first-hand the effort that goes into maintaining a radio station that’s so important to the local community and its young, multicultural demographic. FBi Radio is one of the only stations in Sydney that is providing local news, via its flagship news and current affairs show Backchat, to young people in the outskirts of the city. The broadcaster has had to run multiple supporter drives this year during COVID to ensure it has enough backing to survive threats of closure, and to continue providing local programming to listeners.

“It is difficult as a young journalist not to get despondent about what’s happening in our industry, but I don’t think it is naïve to also be optimistic about the future of broadcast media. I have found that the radio industry is incredibly resilient and constantly reinventing itself to adapt to our shifting media landscape.

“We are now living in an ‘era of podcasts’ made easier by streaming services like iHeartRadio and Spotify that give modern-day audiences choice and convenience. Moreover, with so many inspiring young people working in radio, audio and podcasting, it is important now more than ever to continue encouraging a new generation of talent that will help breathe new life into the industry.”

Erin Ramsay, NOVA Entertainment

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

“I think 2020 itself has been a huge challenge for the radio industry in many aspects, but primarily for those studying radio or only just entering the field.

“Such an important element of learning in radio, is actually DOING. The pandemic has placed a huge barrier to people entering the industry, with the inability to intern at radio stations or pick up casual positions.

“I think it’s going to be really important for radio stations next year to play a role in ensuring they can provide MORE opportunities for graduates, interns and casual positions where possible.

“The pandemic has had a huge impact on radio economically, but it’s important not to leave behind those coming up in the ranks. It has been great to see lots of people (especially those in their 20s) take to podcasting during this time. I think it’s also going to be important for podcasting networks to really consider taking on more content created by young people entering the industry – not just those who already have a profile.”

Rachel Storer, Australian Radio Network

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

“Radio could be facing its biggest challenge right now. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we work, and the way we listen to radio. The latest survey reflects the shift to working-from-home, particularly in Melbourne. Most FM stations recorded drops in listenership for Breakfast and Drive, traditionally times when people are on their way to and from work. Conclusions can’t be drawn from just one survey, but if the pandemic has permanently changed Australia’s working habits, the radio industry will have to adapt and reduce its reliance on commuting listeners.

“Thankfully radio has proven itself as a master of evolution. (DAB+, streaming, podcasting, mobile apps, etc.)

“When it comes to journalism, the challenges aren’t new but are perhaps more pressing than ever. There’s constant pressure to break news first in this digital age, which leads to inaccuracies and the spread of misinformation. It’s harder than ever for a journalist to gain trust with ‘fake news’ spreading like wildfire. But radio news has fared well despite this. Audiences are more willing to trust the spoken word and radio journalists must reward this trust by producing accurate, informative and engaging news.

“It’s up to the next generation of radio talent to keep radio honest, meaningful and ensure it retains the title of Australia’s most-trusted medium.”

Stay tuned tomorrow for the final Q&A with Radio Today’s 30 Under 30 winners.

You can listen to the special edition Radio Today Tonight podcast about the 30 Under 30 winners below.

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Recent comments (2)
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10 Dec 2020 - 10:00 pm

Erin is a Star! You definitely deserve such recognition for the absolutely Amazing talent that you are! U go gurl!

Craig Huggins
12 Dec 2020 - 5:50 pm

In breaking news, Rachel Storer is a champion. Sources close to Storer (me) report that she is a pleasure to work with and a great link to the on-air announcer (again me). Unconfirmed reports suggest that she always flags stories she thinks will be of interest to the demo, and that she’s a master of checking-not guessing. An an eye witness who can’t be named (me one more time) also established that Storer was a genuinely nice person and a great workmate and friend.


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