As the new normal firmly settles in and working life as we know it adjusts to its reimagined future, one industry that has undoubtedly felt huge ramifications is journalism. To understand first-hand the impact on Thrive’s closest media contacts, we invited some of Australia’s best and brightest journalists to share their experience.
Lisa Green, Joanna Hall & Helen Hayes
Joanna is a widely published travel, lifestyle and health writer with over 35 years of media experience across all platforms including print and digital. Joanna is also co-owner, publisher and co-editor of UltimateTravelMagazine.com, Australia’s first, dedicated online luxury travel magazine.
Lisa is an award-winning editor with more than 25 years’ experience in the media industry. She has written for and edited leading Australian publications and directed content and commercial opportunities across all publishing platforms. As Founder of Greenscenes Media, Lisa develops original ideas and compelling stories for consumer brands and businesses, adapting tone and messaging to suit target audiences - from mass market consumers to luxury lovers. Helen Hayes
Helen Hayes has been in the media for over 40 years, in radio, television and print, with travel editing and writing the focus in the last 20 years. Helen has worked in various editor roles at magazines including Escape (Countrylink), Holidays with Kids, Ski and Snowboard With Kids, MiNDFOOD and Vacations & Travel – where she spent well over a decade in various editing roles and has recently been named as editor at large.
What has been the biggest change in your professional world during COVID-19?
Joanna Hall: As a travel journalist, for me it's been the shutdown of travel and not being able to hop on a flight interstate or overseas to follow a story. It’s taught me the true definition of the word ‘pivot’ and to adjust to a completely new style of working.
Lisa Green: Sharing my home office with my family. It had its perks but competing for quality Zoom time was definitely wearing thin.
Helen Hayes: For me it's been the loss of work. I fear this is only just the start, we’ll be feeling the ripples for months and years to come. However, it will force our industry to innovate new ways to report and deliver the news consumption that the Australian public needs.
What do you think the rest of 2020 holds for journalism/media?
Joanna Hall: Many challenges, but it's more difficult to predict than the stock market!
Lisa Green: More redundancies unfortunately but also reinvention. And innovation in spades - particularly from smaller operators with fewer overheads.
Helen Hayes: It will be a struggle with more journalists fighting over less work. Those with strong relationships and a willingness to be flexible will do better.
What do brands need to be thinking about now when it comes to content and communication?
Lisa Green: Function, form and clarity. It's so noisy out there.
Helen Hayes: Positivity where possible. Also common sense - don't spruik trips to NYC, Bali or Brazil this year - but be ready to help promote them when it is safe to travel to those hard-hit destinations. In the meantime, talk up the big events and happenings in the second half of 2021. Promote small boutique products or more intimate experiences in the short term. Brands and their PR reps should be reaching out and supporting editors of those magazines, newspapers and websites that still exist, to make sure they survive.
What kind of stories will hold the most interest for media?
Lisa Green: The fight for equality across the globe. The technologies, behaviours and policies required to address climate change.
Helen Hayes: For travel it will be positive stories, stories about regional areas, places that are rebounding from the fires (as they have suffered a double whammy). Pieces that are more about people - the chefs, the concierges, the tour guides, the people behind the scenes, the caregivers running charities on fumes.