‘The media’ is such a loaded term. It holds a lot behind it. When I first started, I had no idea what I was getting into, except that I was ‘working for a media agency.’ In my first job interview, I was asked what a TARP is. I replied, “A large plastic blanket-like thing for painting”, and followed that with “Why are you asking me this?” They chuckled. It meant, Target Audience Rating Point. Oops!
For a short while, people thought I created ads for clients, when I actually managed ad bookings, deliverables and budgets — a bit too math-y for my liking. Even now, I’m juggling three media-related roles that surprisingly intersect and continuously encourage me to learn more about the industry. I love it. The beauty of being involved in the media is that it provides an opportunity to research topics, tell stories and provide a point of view. You can share ideas, encourage dialogue and inform communities.
Meet some Gippsland locals who are utilising these positive aspects of the industry in their varied media roles.
01. James Di Fabrizio — Native Editor at Vice AU
For several years, James has been in the editorial creative space. His favourite things about the industry include “building connections through storytelling; the odd jolt of inspiration that forces you to open your notes app at 2am; setting outlandish goals and chipping away at them, and observing the world through a lens of curiosity.”
Currently with Vice AU, he finds “media nomenclature kind of embarrassing to use outside of a professional context”. Referring to himself as a ‘creative’ feels a bit pretentious, as, “Growing up in Gippsland keeps you humble”. Instead, he believes his projects “if anything, make [for] a better conversation starter”.
Being born and raised in Traralgon, he recently onboarded Gippslandia photographer Andrew Northover on a brilliant VICE project into the Tasmanian wilderness.
"Anyone can write a story, but only you can filter it through your own worldview."
James’s tips for Gippslandian writers looking to break into the industry is, “Anyone can write a story, but only you can filter it through your own worldview. It also happens to be the secret sauce on top of every good idea! Do that and you’ll develop a writing style that’s inimitable. You don’t want to be the best — you want to be the best at doing you”.
Attending high school in Gippsland, Sarah’s spark for media began when she worked in local radio. Studying film and media at SAE Institute, Sarah returned to Gippsland and got stuck back into the radio life once more. But says, “I missed visual media, so I started my own business — Wonderment Films”.
The beauty of media is its flexibility, allowing freelancing, side-hustles and project-based work. “My job [at Herd Coworking] allows flexible work, so I am able to divide my time between The Herd and my business. It’s amazing that I have found a position that not only allows me to delve into social media management, but also allows me to run my business and has also opened me up to truly becoming a part of our amazing Gippsland community.”
This year, banding together some incredibly talented people, Sarah is bringing Spark - Youth Film Festival to life. “Spark aims to inspire the next generation of young filmmakers in Gippsland. To show them that their art is supported, but more importantly wanted, here.”
Sarah hopes Spark will offer an opportunity for young Gippslandians to create and contribute to “an amazing region,which we’re all so lucky to be in.”
Ever since picking up a DSLR camera ten years ago, Nick has loved exploring different media. His photography hobby moved into self-taught graphic design, web design and social media marketing.
“Digital media has led me into so many crazy places. It was the stepping stone in launching my own clothing brand, running nightclub events, starting a burger shop, buying a slice of my own bar and, now, being able to create Gippsland Eats.”
Nick constantly dreams of bringing global ideas and events to Gippsland, and simultaneously offering Gippsland to the world. He’s stoked to be promoting Gippsland every day, through events with DJs and musicians, and is now showcasing the region’s best restaurants, pubs and cafés.
Nick’s entrepreneurial nature and love for our local foodie culture has led to his latest new venture — Gippsland Eats. “I’ve always wanted to bring a platform like this to our area in a way that supports the local restaurants, cafés and pubs that help make Gippsland so special.”
04. Sophie Griffiths — Journalist & TV Presenter at Nine Gippsland
As viewers of Nine Gippsland News, you’d recognise Sophie’s face. She’s had the pleasure to be a local broadcast journalist since early 2019.
“The best part about working in TV broadcasting is meeting new people, and going to new places every single day. You meet so many passionate individuals and have so many experiences you wouldn’t have otherwise had!”
During filming there are pockets of gold that can occur: maybe it’s a beautiful landscape, community spirit, or a celebration. “It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it’s a connectedness that flows from the camera to viewers.”
Sophie completed a few internships during her time at university before starting her first broadcasting gig. Luckily, our local media industry welcomes budding talent getting the experience they need to kick start their careers. “I would encourage young people in Gippsland aiming to work in the media to say ‘yes’ to any opportunity that comes their way. Join the uni newspaper, get stuck into as many internships as possible, and gather mentors along the way!”