Telum Talks To... Sally Young, News Director for 7NEWS in Queensland

Telum Talks To... Sally Young, News Director for 7NEWS in Queensland
Chloe Arentz

Tell us about your career in journalism. What led you to your current role at Seven?
I started my career at the Melbourne radio station, 3AW, where I worked for four years as a News Reporter, Producer, Chief of Staff, and Presenter. I was still studying journalism at RMIT, so I was very green, but the hourly deadlines provided invaluable training for thinking on the run and time management. By chance, there was a position going at 7NEWS Melbourne, so I gave it a shot and got the job. Again, I think the radio experience stood me in good stead.

For the next six years, I worked as a Reporter and Producer, before resigning to go to London, where ironically, I ended up freelancing for Seven Network's current affairs program, Real Life.

Two years on, I felt the pull to come home, so I came back to 7NEWS Melbourne as a News Producer / Chief of Staff before a sea change took me to the Sunshine Coast as Supervising Producer of 7NEWS Queensland. When the News Director retired, I accepted the role.

Which newsrooms do you currently oversee?
7NEWS Queensland covers local news and is separate to (but works in collaboration with) 7NEWS Brisbane. Our markets are in Toowoomba, Maroochydore, Wide Bay (which includes Bundaberg and Hervey Bay), Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, and Cairns. Each office consists of three to four reporters and two to three crews, who work their butts off to cover the stories that matter to their patch.
Describe a day in the life of a News Director.
No day is the same for me or for our team, but typically we have a morning conference call with all regional markets and Brisbane, so the Seven Network is apprised of what we have to offer. Then there are usually one or three dramas going on that need my input; staffing issues, budget, equipment, etc.

My role is part boss / supervisor / den mother / mediator / guidance counsellor. It’s a very delicate balance, and I'm not sure that I get it right sometimes. I try to sort out any administrative tasks in the morning so I can lend a hand in the afternoon with story subbing.
Do you engage much with PRs or media professionals beyond the Seven network? If so, what are your top tips for them when working with yourself and other journalists?
We are approached all the time by PRs and media professionals, the majority of whom are ex-journalists and more than a few ex-7NEWS Queensland journalists!

The good ones know how to write an attention-grabbing brief, work around changing deadlines, and provide visual opportunities and interesting interviewees. The bad ones call incessantly and demand to know if we’ll cover something in a week’s time, get put out if we suddenly can’t make it or dare to do our own research, or they overhype a boring topic and try to play favourites. Thankfully the good ones far outweigh the bad, and most are only too happy to help.

Answers submitted by Sally Young, News Director for 7NEWS in Queensland.

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Telum media database

  • Sally Young
  • Channel Seven (Rockhampton) 7NEWS Central Queensland
    4 contacts
  • Channel Seven (Maroochydore) 7NEWS Sunshine Coast
    9 contacts
  • Channel Seven (Cairns) 7NEWS Cairns
    10 contacts
  • Channel Seven (Townsville) 7NEWS Townsville
    8 contacts
  • Channel Seven (Mackay) 7NEWS Mackay
    5 contacts
  • Channel Seven (Toowoomba) 7NEWS Toowoomba
    7 contacts
  • Channel Seven (Wide Bay) 7NEWS Wide Bay
    5 contacts

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