For Master of Journalism graduate Michael Roddan, telling truth to power is just another day at the office. He works as a Business Reporter at The Australian, covering banking and financial services.
For Michael Roddan, telling truth to power is just another day at the office. He works as a Business Reporter at The Australian, covering banking and financial services.
“Writing for a daily newspaper, I have to meet daily deadlines to break hard news stories, while delving into longer, investigative work,” he says. “A lot of it is building contacts and maintaining sources, so that we can hold the private sector to account, and work out what the next moves from Canberra will be.”
Roddan graduated from a Master of Journalism at the University of Melbourne. With a background studying international relations and economics, he wanted to make a vocation out of storytelling. Not just that, but a specific kind of storytelling, that which can actually make a difference.
“The media is such an important part of Australian society,” he notes.
Industry connections and internship opportunities at university were vital stepping stones to where he is now.
“While studying I interned at Fairfax, Forbes Indonesia and Anglican media,” Roddan says. “Work I wrote for our publication The Citizen was also picked up by Crikey, which was a great way of getting my byline out into the world.”
The Citizen is a key part of the degree. The online publication, attached to the Centre for Advancing Journalism, has its own fulltime editor, the Walkley Award-winning Jo Chandler. Students can write for the publication across the course, including in a specialist newsroom subject.
“It shows that the university takes the degree very seriously,” Roddan says.
While writing industry-standard work, he was also studying a variety of subjects. Students are encouraged to take electives from all over the university.
“I took philosophy electives and stuff like that, which were opportunities to branch out into something different,” he says.
The industry is changing rapidly, and it’s hard to predict where journalism is going. For Roddan, that means being adaptable, while not compromising on key reporting skills.
“I’d like to keep getting better at what I do, and delve further into investigations,” he says. “TV is growing as a medium, and there’s a lot of fun opportunity in that side of the industry. And I also have plans to work on a book.”
And his advice for budding young journalists?
“Work really hard. Find your niche. And hold the faith!”