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10 questions with Shalailah Medhora

What is your current role?

I’m the Canberra reporter for triple j’s current affairs program, Hack. That means in practical terms that I cover most of the political news for the show.

How did you get involved in journalism?

I worked in community radio for YEARS before getting my first paid gig in radio. I also studied journalism and politics at Macquarie Uni.

What professional achievement are you most proud of?

In 2014 I was lucky enough to be chosen as the Australian representative for the World Press Institute Fellowship in the United States. I spent two months travelling the country with representatives from eight other countries. I learnt so much about the challenges faced by journalists and the media industry around the world. Plus, I made some amazing friends.

What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered?

I had a news director that didn’t think much of me, and didn’t think I had what it takes to make it in the industry. It was a massive blow, and I decided that rather than stay in that role and try and change their mind,

I’d look for a job where my skills and background would be valued.

Who has influenced and mentored you?

My former boss at SBS Online, Valerio Veo, is my mentor. He took a chance by hiring me in the first place, and has always given me professional challenges that forced me to step up to the plate.

Even though we haven’t worked together for a number of years, I still really value his advice and opinion.

What is something no-one knows about you?

I’m a mad fan of trashy reality TV. I love getting caught up in drama that is completely meaningless and has no impact on normal day-to-day life. I find it relaxing.

How do you wind down of an evening?

See above! After de-coding political-speak all day, the last thing I want to do is settle in for anything too serious. Pre-pandemic I used to love going out for dinner with my friends, but that seems a way off still (unfortunately).

What are you reading at the moment?

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.

What does the immediate future hold?

Earlier this year I finished a stint as Executive Producer of Hack, so now I’m getting back into the swing of journalism, and looking for more creative ways of telling stories to a young audience.

Describe a perfect day in your role?

No one day is alike in this job, which is why I love it! I love being able to report on a complicated policy matter that affects people’s lives on one day, followed by a light-hearted look at why dating a friend is tricky the following day. It’s the diversity that keeps me interested!


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