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Breaking into journalism: The power of networking at the Women in Media Conference

Brooke Young attending the 2022 National Conference

Words by Brooke Young

I’m often asked by upcoming graduates how I, as a young journalist, managed to break into what is a historically difficult industry. My young but incredibly rewarding career is - in large part - down to those senior journalists who have taken the time to mentor and guide me. The 2022 Women in Media conference played a huge role in that. I was working as an audio journalist for SBS – a great opportunity in itself – when I came across Women in Media and its work, for a story I was curating on the rise of female CEOs. That year’s conference was up on the Gold Coast, and I was pleased to be able to attend.

Brooke Young
Brooke Young

It was eye-opening. To have so many accomplished female journalists in one room, who were not only willing to have a chat about navigating the workforce but who actively wanted to offer young reporters like myself opportunities, was incredible. I was lucky enough to spend time with the ABC's Tanya Nolan and Rebecca Barrett, who offered guidance and mentorship both throughout the conference and in the months after. I am now fortunate to work alongside them at ABC News.

So, when other graduating journalists ask for my advice, the first thing I tell them is to entrench yourself in those mentorship networks. The Women in Media Conference affirmed that, while the journalism industry can at times be an uphill battle for women, there are always those who’ve walked the path before you, who are willing to offer support, direction and pearls of wisdom.

As acting co-chair Victoria Laurie told me when we were chatting about the conference, and honouring the words of Caroline Jones, there’s a special place in heaven for women who help other women.


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