‘I started working pretty much straight away in La Trobe’s media office,’ says Matt. ‘My role consisted of writing media releases about research or events that were going on at the university and mainly recording, editing and publishing podcasts.’
He also completed a two-month stint with the university’s Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering, working on a web redevelopment project, before moving on to editorial work.
While studying at La Trobe he contributed pieces regularly to upstart and in his final semester he co-edited the site alongside Kelly Theobald.
‘As well as editing and writing articles for the site, I helped to establish upcast,’ says Matt. upcast is a companion podcast to upstart.
Matt says his experience as upstart editor, as well as a three-week internship at Crikey, gave him a great launching pad for his current job at The Conversation — a new website that focuses on commentary and analysis from Australia’s university and research sector (you can read more about it here, on upstart).
As assistant editor of the site’s Science and Technology section, Matt’s role involves ‘tracking down academics that might be willing to write for us, helping them to transfer their expertise and knowledge into a form that’s approachable for a general reader, and making that information available to the public.’
He offers this advice to up-and-coming journalists: ‘If you want to be a writer, start writing. If you want to work in radio, start your own podcast or try to volunteer at local radio stations. If you want to work in TV, make your own web series.
‘The ease with which you can set up a blog or a site of your own makes [the online space] pretty much vital for any journalism student,’ he says. ‘If you’re a journalism student and you’re not on Twitter or Facebook, then you’re really missing out on where the industry is going.’
If you know of any other La Trobe Journalism or Media Studies graduates who should be profiled in our ‘Where are they now?’ section, please let us know. And yes, you can nominate yourself. Find out about other La Trobe journalism graduates here.
Jessica Buccolieri is a Journalism Honours student at La Trobe University and a former member of the upstart editorial team. She is currently writing a thesis about the effects of social media on modern journalism. You can follow her on Twitter: @bjessa