Why I'm Here

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
Hi. I'm Seamus, and I owe a lot to this website. So it's a real pleasure to help the Influencing team renew and relaunch the community that saved my career back in 2005.
 
I had my first break as a journalist in London in 2001. Working, weirdly enough, at Fairfax's bolthole London office just off Fleet Street. I worked at MIS UK as a junior writer alongside Paul Smith, who later moved to Australia himself and is now the technology editor at AFR. We've all come a long way since.
 
In 2003 I got my first local gig at Internet.au, the magazine about the internet whose owner refused to let us give the magazine a website. Being at Next Media in the Redfern warehouse was an amazing intro to the local industry, surrounded by music mags like Rolling Stone as well as the teams from PC Powerplay and Hyper. Fun times, but by the end of 2004 Internet.au was gone.
 
I hadn't been to many press events before I went to my first 'Phil fest', as we affectionately called the IT Journo weekend conferences. But through those events I built a network of contacts on both the PR and journalist sides of the industry. "A network of contacts"? That's LinkedIn speak.
 
What happened was this: I made friends.
 
I felt welcome. I got to know people outside the immediate demands of a product launch or interview opp. By sharing a meal and a drink we opened the door to more comfortable 'cut to the chase, please' phone calls and greater understanding of each other's needs so there was less time wasted when we were back at our desks getting on with the core of our work.
 
At the end of 2004, Internet.au shutdown – we got our notice two hours before our work Christmas party. It was textbook Scrooge stuff. And as the news filtered through the community I got messages of support and offers of freelance work to help tide things over until a clear path was in place for the road ahead.
 
I absolutely attribute that successful transition from magazine writer to a solid six years as a freelance journalist to this website and the community it brought together.
 
Today, times are harder. There's less in the freelance budget. Fewer seats at desks on magazines and websites. I don't envy anyone carving out their place in this ecosystem in the decade ahead. But that makes a strong and supportive community more important than ever.
 
In recent months I've informally offered mentorship to around a dozen writers eager to find their path. And I've heard from editors who have said they're just too busy to scout for new voices to add to their mix. The budgets aren't what they used to be, but they're keen to give work to new writers if only they could more easily find them.
 
For a chunk of this past decade it felt like social media was the new 'hub' for these kinds of community discussions. The news should come to where we all spend our time already. Our conversations can include more people and be shared more widely through those open networks. But as time passes, as our scrolling habits become more zombie-like, and as the noise ratio overwhelms the quality signals, I think there's an appetite for the rebirth of an inclusive-but-managed space for professional community discussions.
 
Competition is fierce, but I hope this space can again provide a sense of community that makes it easy to get a feel for what is going on around the industry. What your colleagues and competitors are up to. What your friends are interested in. What you can do to help each other. Who the newer voices are.
 
Let's get to know each other again. Our interests. Our challenges. Our fears. Our ambitions. These aren’t the things that shine through when we’re just skimming each other's curated social presence. It takes a little more trust, and a willingness to sometimes be a little more candid or more earnest, to step back toward truly sharing with a community. I hope I can help restore a sense of the value in doing so.

Membership privileges

  • Read and comment an all stories
  • Weekly digest of media and PR news (optional)
  • Post media releases to PRWire newswire
  • Advertise job vacancies
  • List your business in our PR directory


Please note that Influencing is used EXCLUSIVELY by media and influencers, as well as professionals who manage marketing and communications within their organisations, so we need a work email address.

More Media News

Dutton promoted to Canberra Times news director post

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Chris Dutton has been appointed news director for the Canberra Times.

He had spent the past five years at the sports desk as editor. 

Follow Dutton on Twitter @BlockaDutton.

Marshall to edit Camper Australia

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Veteran outdoors writer Glenn Marshall has joined Camper Australia as its new editor-at-large.

Chris Jefferson, GM of Camper Australia parent firm Adventures Group Holdings, said Marshall’s experience in covering Australia’s outdoor adventure scene made him the perfect fit for the magazine. 

Marshall is well-known for his contributions to leading travel publications including 4×4 Australia, Pat Callinan’s 4×4 Adventures, Camper Australia, and Caravan World.

“I will continue doing what I love: Living the dream, Sharing the Experience,” said Marshall of his new appointment.

AusGamers and the fight for a better game culture

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
AusGamers is approaching its 20th anniversary, a rare feat of longevity in the digital domain. But its success is in no small part thanks to a passionate core of staff and fans who have known and loved the site since its earliest days as a file mirror and forum.
 
Stephen Farrelly has run AusGamers since its shift toward covering games, and with a monthly audience in the 250,000 per month ballpark he’s proud of what the site has become since then, and proud that he pays the people who contribute to the site.
 
“We were the first site that Metacritic invited from Australia, we were the first site invited to be part of Geoff Keighley’s voting processes for E3 judging and The Game Awards,” says Farrelly. “From those early times we got access to all the good stuff and all the good people.”
 
Farrelly is quick to call out Kosta Andreadis as a big part of the site’s success – “I think he’s the most underrated write

Ahern leads new STEM publication

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Ex-Cosmos Media CEO/co-founder Kylie Ahern has come forward with a new STEM newsletter called The Brilliant.

Scheduled for release every Thursdays, the publication is designed to educate the public on STEM-related matters, including profilers on leading researchers and new scientific advances. 

It will also support the advocacies of industry body STEM Matters, of which Ahern is the CEO. 

“There’s definitely a hunger from within the STEM sector, and from the wider community to hear from the experts and be inspired by the progress and results in meeting the biggest challenges that we face as a society. The Brilliant plugs that knowledge gap,” said Ahern.

The plan calls for The Brilliant to be published as a free newsletter, with paid advertisers to follow if readership grows.

Catching up with David Hague on the Australian Videocamera journey

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on

 

David Hague is an industry stalwart and has been carving his own path with his Australian Videocamera website and e-magazine for a good long time now. We asked him a few questions to help catch us up on his approach and how the efforts have been going.
 
How long have you been running in this format now? How often has it been tweaked along the way?
About 7 years now. Major tweak was going from web only to jointly with an interactive approximately monthly PDF once I discovered how to embed video into a PDF as a streaming file (NOT an easy task!). Adobe tell me they have made this easier in the latest updates of InDesign and I am investigating this now.
 
We have also changed from the original monthly magazine template designed web hosting system to a flexible WordsPress one (3 years ago). We did a brief flirt with a name change to Film Video and Virtual Reality (and the website still reflects this behind the scenes) but it didn’t have the right “ring&rdq

Stock assumes Weekend Herald-Sun editor spot

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The Melbourne Herald-Sun has appointed Dan Stock as its new weekends editor.

The remit calls for him to focus on celebrity profiles and new lifestyle material relatable to Victoria readers.

He has been with the paper for over six years, primarily as Victoria food and restaurant writer. 

He also contributes for Delicious.com.au.

Follow Stock on LinkedIn.

Kitchin opens new publishing firm

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Magazine editor Sido Kitchin is going forward with a new company called School Road Publishing (pictured).

The company is slated to produce four new titles in print and digital form starting October 2020. 

School Road will be Kitchin’s first major undertaking since wrapping up as editorial director of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, and Lucky Break when Bauer Media closed down its NZ division. 

Former Bauer Media ANZ CEO Stanley Dykzeul has agreed to be School Road’s new consultant.

“I know how much New Zealanders love magazines, taking them into their hearts and homes across generations. It’s a buoyant market for mags right now and in a COVID world, readers are relishing the comfort, connection and inspiration they bring. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to create fresh, new titles that will enhance Kiwi lives with 100 percent locally-generated content and I look forward to anno

More News latest

Savi Communications scores Bell and Bone deal
Savi Communications is now representing Bell & Bone.

Marchant introduces SME PR system
Haylie Marchant is lending PR support to SMEs.

Team Red dissolved
WPP AUNZ agency Team Red is disbanded.

The Mint Partners earns new accounts
The Mint Partners lands new accounts to work on.

OPR scores DocuSign account
OPR is taking on representation for DocuSign.