Telum Talks To: Emma Stanford from Stuff

Telum Talks To: Emma Stanford from Stuff

By Cindy Paskalina Kweesar

International Women's Day 2024, themed "Invest in Women", advocates for the United Nations' gender equality sustainable development goal to be met by 2030. In light of this campaign, Telum spoke to Emma Stanford, Senior Travel Journalist at Stuff, about how she started her career and gender inequality in the industry.

What inspired you to start a career in journalism?
I was a big reader of teen magazines, pouring over the pages and always looking to see who had written the articles and who the editors were. I just thought they were the coolest women out. I also loved watching The Devil Wears Prada, featuring the three amazing actresses, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Anne Hathaway, portray the world of magazines. Ironically, most of my career has been in radio broadcasting. 

What are some of the stories you are most proud of?
The Whakaari / White Island trial stands out to me. It was long days in court, firstly listening to many of the victims' experiences from the day, but then also wading through all the evidence each day to make the story simple for the public to understand. The tragedy was a big moment in New Zealand's history, and it was a big moment for me to report on the court case.

I was also covering Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Anniversary floods. I was working in radio at the time, and I just knew how important it was to be a source of potentially life-saving information to people who had no internet or ways to communicate with authorities and loved ones. We worked some long hours but took our role of being a source of public information very seriously. 

How do you believe gender inequality manifests itself / exists in the industry, and why does women's inclusion matter?
There is always more to do, but New Zealand is definitely getting better. There are a lot more women who are leaders in newsrooms now compared to when I first started in journalism. The same can be said for a lot of sectors, but until there is no longer a gender pay gap, there is still work to do. It would be good to see more women included in topics that are not typically female-focused and have far less focus on their appearance. There is more to be done there. 

Including women is so important because, without them, you forget the voice of half of the population. Women themselves are very diverse, so it's not enough just to have one woman at the table, but several and from various backgrounds. 

Picture credit: Ricky Wilson / Stuff

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