Zac de Silva wins 2020 Brian White Scholarship

Staff Writer

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has revealed Zac de Silva is the recipient of 2020’s Brian White Scholarship.

The prize includes four two-week paid internships across NOVA Entertainment, Nine Radio, Australian Radio Network (ARN) and Southern Cross Austereo (SCA).

de Silva was selected from a pool of 12 finalists from six universities, following a workshop with leading radio news directors.

COVID forced the workshop to move online this year, and finalists took part in a series of newsroom exercises including recording a live cross about a current news event. The workshop was led by commercial radio news leaders Deborah Clay (national news director, ARN), Natalie Peters (Sydney news director, Nine Radio), Amy Drew (Queensland news editor, SCA), and Michelle Stephenson (national news director at Nova and smoothfm).

ARN’s Clay said the finalists this year were of a high standard.

“In 2020 the appetite for credible news and information has soared as bushfires, the coronavirus pandemic and the US election have changed the world. It’s more important than ever to inspire the brightest minds to pursue a career in radio journalism. Commercial Radio Australia’s Brian White Scholarship is a highly valued part of the industry’s commitment to developing emerging talent,” she added.

de Silva, in his final year of studying at Macquarie University, said: “I’ve always loved the immediacy of news radio and I’m so excited to take this next step in my career as a journalist.”

News director at 2SER, Geoff Field, has worked with de Silva, and noted his achievements and potential.

“Zac immediately impressed me with his sound, work ethic and his ability to write and edit stories. I believe Zac has a big future in the industry, and I’m excited that in this challenging year 2SER had five other finalists in the Top 12,” he said.

This is the fourth year of the scholarship which is named after legendary radio broadcaster Brian White. White served as general manager of 3AW in Melbourne and also covered the wars in Vietnam and the Middle East.

The competition is open to recent graduates or students in their final year of studying in a relevant course such as communications, media, journalism and radio.

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