Telum Talks To...David Scutt, Anchor at ausbiz
What does a day in your life look like?
I'm usually up before sunrise. I check what’s happening on Wall Street to see the big market news overnight, and then look ahead into our programme and try to figure out how we can move the story on the Australian time zone.
Were TV and video reporting always on the cards when you started in journalism?
No. In short, it was an opportunity that came up and a challenge I was really keen to sink my teeth into. I started my career in banking and then moved into journalism almost by accident. Rather than using words all the time in written form, I thought to actually try TV anchoring.
Whether in journalism or not, you've got a lot of career experience in banking and finance. What drew you to cover the finance and markets sector as a journalist? Was it passion or experience?
A combination - I’m concerned about the level of financial literacy we see out there. Not only immediate foreign financial markets, but the general public. Having seen some of the damage that was done during the GFC and other crises before that, I thought it was an opportunity to go and use my knowledge, and the knowledge of the very smart people that I’ve met in my career, to make people more educated about their money so they know how to preserve and build their wealth.
What has been your most memorable story to date?
Just after the pandemic plunge when stock markets and the Aussie dollar were getting absolutely hammered. That period of time was unique. It reminded me exactly of what we were seeing back during the GFC. There’s no story specifically, but that period of time sticks out as one that people who have been in finance for half a century had never seen in their careers before. That was a very unusual and nerve-wracking ride.
More recently, the central banks’ shift towards being very aggressive with interest rate heights has been incredibly interesting, as well as the impact it’s now having on financial markets. I remember when the RBA effectively went and abandoned the yield curve control target, and we saw some crazy moves in the Australian market where people had never seen that kind of price action before.
Ausbiz covers a lot of different economic markets and trends - how do you keep on top of all of them?
I’m well-read. I have a good network of people who can point me in the right direction of people who work in finance in the media. I have a macro-economic background, so I’ll look at the macro side of the story and then filter it through different companies and maybe different aspect classes, but it really comes down to being well-read, well-read, well-read!
Do you work with PRs? If so, do you have any top tips or personal preferences when working with them?
I don’t get as many pitches as some other financial journalists do because I’ve got more of a niche background, but occasionally there is a good nugget.
Firstly, there’s got to be more discernable aggregation of who you are sending your pitches to. Know the person you’re sending your pitch to. If you’re sending an economist take to someone who works as a stock-picker or someone who goes and covers companies, it’s probably not going to work and vice versa. We get so much information overload that comes into our inbox every single day so make sure that if you’ve got something really good, you pitch it to the right person.