#Breaking: the story of a podcast by young journalists

Written by City Editor

#BREAKING: The Podcast
The story of a podcast created by aspiring journalists on the cusp of new careers



The story of a podcast created by aspiring journalists on the cusp of new careers


This is a kicker.

As journalism students, we cop a lot of flack for our chosen field of study.

_”Journalism!? Isn’t that a dying industry?”_
_”I guess you don’t like having money or time, hey?”_
_”Ha! Good luck getting a job!”_

Journalism is not a dying industry, but a changing one. There are a plethora of jobs out there; just in new online startups instead of old, musty newsrooms.

But the media landscape has changed before our keenly observing eyes, even in the three years we’ve learnt to ply our trade as journalists.

So in the middle of 2016, a group of RMIT University students banded together to create a podcast looking at their changing industry.

This is what came of it. This is a reflection on our three years of painstaking study, on the skills we’ve developed. This is a musing on journalism’s current state of play, on how they see the changing landscape unfolding before our eyes.

This is more than a podcast. This is #BREAKING.


**Welcome to episode one.**

Episode one is like that older sibling you know was born before your parents were ready, but has long moved out and has a strange disconnect from the rest of the podcast family. That’s not to say it’s not great, because it is great\- especially for a baby born a mere two weeks after its nine parents and one uncle met, some for the first time, in a small room high above Swanston Street.

This meeting proved not to be a messy one\-night stand, and two weeks later I found myself the midwife to some frankly ripping content and a beautiful baby podcast. We named her “Breaking In”, and before we knew it, she was peering ahead at the journalism industry with the inquisitiveness only found in a young child, surveying the landscape and planning her attack.

Sabrina Woodward had a gander at who we are and what we’re doing with this fandangled new podcast. We get a throwback to the good old days as Alana Christensen speaks to Duncan Hughes from the _Australian Financial Review_ about how he broke into the industry. Evan Young catches up with recent graduates to discover how they found the transition into the industry, and Tarah Miller explored the full capabilities of her voice.

April Dudgeon goes ‘Around the Grounds’, looking at how different outlets with different mediums have covered the same stories, and Alana Beitz and Richard Ferguson reflect on old\-style coverage for ‘Back in the Day”.

So sit back, put your feet up and relax with a good cuppa as you indulge in the sound of someone else’s child breaking someone else’s shit. \- **M.S.**

Listen to the whole episode here, or scroll down for individual packages. _Hosted by Sabrina Woodward and Hugo Hodge._


**Introducing #BREAKING**
First up, we introduces #BREAKING by chatting to students, lecturers and the good folks on the street about what journalism is and why it’s important.

**Where Are They Now?**
The transition from student to professional journalist feels like a tough one at the moment. It’s scary, being the new kids on a block itself transitioning; especially as our university safety net begins to fall away. Could previous RMIT graduates give us any advice to calm the nerves?

Chats with… Duncan Hughes
What was it like back in the ‘golden age’ of journalism? We hear from _Australian Financial Review_s Duncan Hughes to talk breaking into the field and some comforting advice for future journos


In many ways, our podcast’s engagement factor hinges on our vocal performances. We need to be authoritative, yet conversational; friendly, but not _too_ friendly.

How do we strike that balance?

Listen below as we visit a speech pathology room to meet with voice coach and vocal therapist Sheryl Mailing, who offers advice on how journalists can best use their voices.


**Back in the Day**
While the 2016 Rio games were Facebooked, tweeted and live\-streamed, it wasnt always this way. Take a walk down memory lane with Peter Craven, as he reflects on his father Johns coverage of Melbourne’s 1956 games.

**Around the Grounds**
Join us for a look at #censusfail, and the extensive reportage \(by only some, apparently\) of new documents leaked about refugee treatment on Manus Island.


**For episode two, we wanted to look at a number of journalisms frontiers.**

As new technologies evolve, journalists are experimenting with their potential for storytelling. Alana Christensen ventures to the edge of digital development to brings us the possibilities of virtual reality. Cracks are starting to appear in the glass ceiling, but gender disparities still exist. April Dudgeon chats to several female journalists about the difficulties they’ve faced in their careers.

The most obvious boundary we could explore, of course, was that of the physical: bodies of water, cultural divides and international borders. Max Stainkamph walks in the shoes of a foreign correspondent, and Hugo Hodge visits Hobart to chat with _The Mercury_s state political editor, Matt Smith, about the life of a journo off the mainland.

Yours truly go ‘Around the Grounds’, this time to introduce the episode, before Sabrina Woodward brings us home with a poignant ‘Back in the Day’\- **E.Y and A.B.**

Listen to the whole episode here, or scroll down for individual packages. _Hosted by Evan Young and Tarah Miller._


We once had Chilean lecturer named Antonio. You couldn’t miss him and his unmistakable South American accent.

He looks exactly as you imagine a foreign correspondent would: camera slung over his shoulder, constant three\-day stubble, and a scarf you know hed as soon wear on a six degree Melbourne day or on one 30 degrees warmer in Caracas. He was as mysterious as those endless bottles of corked Spanish wine he procured for every single guest lecturer, and would regularly arrive in a flourish, five minutes late, skipping down the aisles.

Im sorry Im late, he would say in his distinctive accent, a little out of breath. I just got off the plane from Buenos Aires and spent too long talking to my taxi driver about politics in Pakistan before bursting into the complexities of journalism.

This lifestyle, where hed be answering student emails from cabs in Sydney, from cafs in Santiago, from the plane to Canberra it enthralled me. I got a two month free trail of it well, minus the ‘free’ in Jakarta, interning for _Rappler Indonesia_, which saw me explore Jakarta itself, and getting as far as Bogor and Manila. I loved it. I want to go back.

But, until then, I have to live out that life through doing stories for podcast about foreign correspondence, living the dream through the words and stories of others.

Photos: Max Stainkamph and Alana Christensen


**Women in journalism**
_What’s that? Gender isnt an issue in Australian journalism anymore?_ Wrong. While we’re hearing more female voices in the media, women are still paid less, they have less editorial control and get fewer bylines. They’re also still relegated to softer news, and often have to work harder to achieve the same position as a man.

**Breaking the Digital Mould**
Virtual reality can transport us to different countries and prompt us to experience things in different ways. As it becomes more accessible and journalists begin to explore its capabilities, we asks one simple question: how can VR and journalism work together in the future, and what does that future look like?

**Chats with… Matt Smith**
With five broadcasters and three newspapers servicing an island state of just over half a million people, Tasmania has a high concentration of media. This presents many challenges in finding original stories and retaining readership. One person facing those challenges is Matt Smith, State Political Editor of long\-running Hobart paper, _The Mercury_.


**Back in the Day**
How has the way we report on celebrity deaths changed over the years?

**Around the Grounds**
From India to the US, we circle the globe to bring you some of the reactions to Mother Teresas canonisation.


**As the world adapts to wheat allergies and gluten intolerance, we wanted to create something that** **everyone could enjoy.**

In this episode we introduce the concept of ‘breaking bread’, taking a look at the complex personal relationships that make stories thrive.

The episode begins as Hugo Hodge goes on the hunt for the perfect recipe. We sprinkle some Parisian bread wisdom with the musings of some of Melbourne’s own bakers. Max Stainkamph then adds water, taking a look at how journalists use social media to form relationships online.

Alana Christensen gives it all a stir, as she takes us ‘Around the Grounds’, before Alana Beitz kneads the concept together with her chat to _The Generation Why_ podcast producers, Aaron Habel and Justin Evans. Evan Young turns up the heat for ‘Back in the Day’, looking at how terrorism reportage continues to change.

_\*DING\*._ There’s the timer! Episode 3 is nearly ready to share. But lastly, we butter it with a little Johnny Cash so you can really savour the taste. This should fill you up… at least until Episode 4\- **T.M and S.W.**

Listen to the whole episode here, or scroll down for individual packages. _Hosted by Richard Ferguson and April Dudgeon._


When audiences listen to or watch programs on a regular basis, they develop a familiarity with the presenters. Generally, this remains a one\-way relationship.

US podcast producers Aaron Habel and Justin Evans recently hosted a meetup to connect with their audience on a personal level. They discuss why meetups are beneficial to the production of their podcast, _Generation Why_.


**Breaking Bread with the Birds**
The internet is a wondrous, beautiful place \- a treasure trove of knowledge and stories. But how do we hunt them down?
Here, we stood by the pond and threw some bread to the digital birds on Twitter. This is what came home to roost.

**Breaking Bread with the Bakers**
Bakers spend early mornings baking bread and other tasty treats to sell to customers on a daily basis. Surely bakers would know, better than anyone, what the concept of ‘breaking bread’ is all about? We went to speak with a couple of bakers to find out.


**Around the Grounds**:
Join us for a look at how the Chelsea Bombing was reported by different news outlets. From far reaching text message alerts, to panic and even sassy Twitter posts, it was a news story that had it all.

**Back in the Day**
Weve developed guidelines of sorts to help us report on terrorism, but many grey areas remain. As immediacy increasingly drives the news cycle and French media begin a re\-think, what do journalists today need to remember?


**_Phew!_ We made it to episode four!**
Wipe that brow and settle in with a Powerade as we use the last of our air time to tackle the issues of hard work and breaking a sweat in journalism.

“Sweat”. Its a word that makes you almost as uncomfortable as “moist”. It inspires images of dripping athletes, sounds of heavy breathing, and the pungent smell that smacks you in the face when your brother takes off his shoes.
So it’s not something we often associate with the media. But for journalists, breaking a sweat in their profession is more than just perspiration.

This fourth episode \- our fourth quarter effort, if you will \- looks at the hard work of chasing a story, as well as the pressures of covering some tough topics.

This week we start with some leg work from Hugo Hodge, who spoke to Shantelle Thompson, two time world Brazillian jiu\-jitsu champion, literally sweating it out in the gym and asking her what it feels like to take a punch and get back up again.

Then we make Tarah Miller sweat by pushing her to look at what it takes to be a female sports reporter with no interest in sport, and she emerges pleasantly surprised. Then, Sabrina Woodward tells the story of an industry with a boozy reputation and the journalists who use alcohol to cope.

We hit home with our two regular segments with a focus on the U.S. election. Evan Young goes Back in the Day to look at how Americas presidential candidates are using new media to their advantage. Hosts Alana Beitz, Alana Christensen and Max Stainkamph sit in the locker room to talk about coverage of the most recent bout between Clinton and Trump.

And finally, just minutes before the final siren, Alana Beitz chases down a man not used to team sports. Stan Gorton runs his own one\-man newsroom on the New South Wales south coast and certainly knows a thing or two about breaking a sweat for the profession.\- **A.D and H.H.**

Listen to the whole episode here, or scroll down for individual packages. _Hosted by Max Stainkamph, Alana Beitz and Alana Christensen._


**Alcoholism in journalism**
There is a well\-worn stereotype of a seasoned reporter with a cheap bottle of scotch stashed in his top drawer. But even today, young journos seem to revel in their industry’s boozy reputation. We take a look at why journalism and alcohol consumption go together like gin and tonic.


**Women in Sport**
Barkindji Warrior Shantelle Thompson is a two\-time world champion in Brazilian jiu\-jitsu. She started the close combat martial art to treat postnatal depression and soon became the first indigenous female to ever hold the title. Here she talks about pushing herself to the limit and breaking a sweat.

**Sport Journalism**
Sport reporting dates all the way back to the time of the Trojan war in the Iliad, when Homer wrote about athletics. Fast forward two thousand years and sport in contemporary times can stand on its own as an integral part of society. Its no surprise reporting on sport is one of the biggest fields of journalism in Australia today.

**One\-Man Newsroom**
Stan Gorton shares his experiences of running one\-man newsrooms in regional Australia. At the _West Coast Sentinel_ in western South Australia, Stan ran a one\-man operation, which required him to travel the extra mile for the latest scoop in expansive his constituency. Now he’s the sole reporter and editor of _Narooma News_ on the South Coast.

REGULARS \- _U.S. Presidential special_

**Around the Grounds**
In the fourth and final installment of ‘Around the Grounds’, our hosts discuss the coverage of the second U.S. Presidential Debate.

**Back in the Day**
As the media becomes increasingly social, politicians are bypassing press scrutiny. Here, we look at how media strategies of major political campaigns are moving with the times.



**Alana Beitz**
Alana grew up on a diet of news radio for breakfast and documentaries for dinner, so studying journalism was a natural step for her. Alana has written for publications in Melbourne and Cambodia; covering arts and cultural issues. She believes sharing stories is the simplest and strongest form of education, and is chasing a career in journalism to help spread this knowledge.
_Follow Alana on [Twitter](\_beitz)._

**Alana Christensen**
Alana is driven by her love of politics, sport and business and enjoys exploring the unique and interesting people among us.
Alana has written for _Rappler Indonesia_, _The Age_, _Sydney Morning Herald_ and the _Australian Financial Review_. Currently Alana in a freelancer for the _SMH_’s small business section, exploring all things business, and appears online for _Broadly_. Constantly providing Melbourne’s coffee industry with the economic stimulation it needs, Alana enjoys watching on as domestic and foreign politics increasingly becomes like a real life version of _Veep_.
_Follow Alana on [Twitter](

**April Dudgeon**
April has a love of storytelling in all its forms: writing, photography and sound. She has a passion for social justice, and giving a voice to the voiceless, and she believes in the power of journalism to do it. At age 22, she plans to bravely face the industry armed with only her pen, trusty Zoom recorder, coffee addiction and genetically\-inherited flair for the dramatic \(thanks mum and dad!\). April is also a feminist who’s favourite things are mac and cheese and her two pet rats. She also hopes that maybe one day people will pronounce her last name correctly.
_Follow April on [Twitter](

**Evan Young**
This is a short blurb about Evan. Evan is not very good at punchy blurbs. Evan likes producing longer\-form work. Evan likes music. Evan likes film. Evan likes soccer and dogs. But most of all, Evan likes bread \(specifically, _#breaking_ it\) with other talented young podcasters.
_Follow Evan on [Twitter](

**Hugo Hodge**
Hugo lives in a comfortable bubble in Melbourne’s inner North. When he can, Hugo likes to venture beyond the five kilometre radius that defines his life and produce stories from interesting foreign places like Hiroshima, Manila and Canberra. One day, Hugo hopes to be paid to travel and tell stories.
_Follow Hugo on [Twitter](\_Hodge)._

**Max Stainkamph**
Max is an audiophile who also really like memes, _The Simpsons_ and a good yarn. He spent two years on _Panorama_ at SYN, as well as going to cover the 2016 budget and election for _Represent_. He is the current producer at _Cataclysm_, the podcast of RMIT _Catalyst Magazine,_ whom he often writes for. Despite being 20 years old, he is still scared of the dark and has a dog named Elmo.
_Follow Max on [Twitter](

**Richard Ferguson**
Richard Ferguson is a freelance journalist and book reviewer living in Melbourne via Perth and Glasgow. His work focuses on Australian and international politics, pop culture and youth issues. Richard has written for _The Australian,_ _The Age_, the _Sydney Morning Herald_, _The Spectator Australia_ and ABCs _The Drum_ among others. He was the co\-editor of _Catalyst Magazine_ in 2015.
_Follow Richard on [Twitter](

**Sabrina Woodward**
Sabrina grew up in Western Australia before moving to Melbourne to finish her studies. She has travelled widely throughout Europe and Asia and worked for Seoul’s public broadcaster, KBS. After originally wanting to get into journalism to work on _Getaway_ \(go on, judge her!\) Sabrinas interests have since evolved and she now endeavors to crack into the world of broadcast radio \(but she still wouldn’t pass up that _Getaway_ job!\)
_Follow Sabrina on [Twitter](

**Tarah Miller**
Tarah is an enthusiastic writer, who composes and produces music in her spare time. Tarah has worked with tier\-one media professionals on large PR projects and has extensive experience in print and digital journalism. Tarah is incredibly enthusiastic about the media industry and thrives off it being not only an informative field, but an innovative one, too. Her ideal workplace is one where strong content and creativity can unite. She likes organisations unafraid to test the boundaries of communication, and to bring fresh ideas to this multi\-faceted media industry.
_Follow Tarah on [Twitter](

**A special thanks to:** **Janak Rogers.**
Janak is an Australian\-born journalist, working principally in radio and television. Fluent in French and Spanish, he has produced work for the BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, Radio France Internationale, Radio Netherlands, ABC Radio Australia, ABC Radio National, Australia Network Television and others. Based in Melbourne, over the years Janak has lived and worked in France, India, USA, Mexico, Israel/Palestine and the United Kingdom and has travelled widely. When he’s not reporting overseas, Janak is a regular producer for RN Drive, a flagship daily political and current affairs program on ABC Radio National.
_Follow Janak on [Twitter](\_rogers)._

About the author

City Editor