Podcast Episode Transcription: Season 1, Episode 3


Emily Angwin:
My name is Emily Angwin. I’m currently an international news anchor at Al Jazeera English, based in Doha, Qatar, which is in the Middle East.

I graduated high school in 2005. I have lots of fun memories from my time at Caulfield Grammar. I think there was always so much that you could get involved in, whether it was sport, theater, art, or academia. There were always lots of options. One of my standout moments would have to be going to the Nanjing campus in year 9, going to China, and experiencing an entirely new culture.

For me, that was really pivotal and something that spurred on my love of travel and experiencing new cultures, countries, languages, and food. I was actually one of those weirdos who always knew what I wanted to do from the moment I had a lightbulb moment around the dinner table one night. I thought, “I want to be a journalist.” So I went straight from high school to university.

I went to RMIT and studied a Bachelor of Communications, Media. It was a fabulous experience, really hands-on. We did radio, visual media, made a little movie, and did online web design. At the time, I thought, “Oh, there’s no way I’m going to need any of that,” but all of it has been crucial to my career. Every day is different. We work shift work. Sometimes I start work at 3 am, sometimes at 3 pm, and other times at 10 am. I usually come into the office three hours before my news bulletin and work with producers, executive producers, interview producers, and the news director to discuss what’s going to be on the show that day. We discuss the news lines and whether we have correspondents in those locations. After that, I go into hair and makeup for about 45 minutes to an hour, then I do more research. But all of that can be thrown out the window if there’s breaking news.

I really enjoy chatting with people and sharing their stories, finding out different things about people. How we live in Australia is just a tiny portion compared to the rest of the world. It’s amazing and interesting to speak to different people from all backgrounds and walks of life. Sharing people’s stories can often lead to change, but it can also be hard because some stories are heartbreaking, like the women in Afghanistan who don’t have access to education or basic human rights. Telling those stories can be really challenging and frustrating because you feel helpless.

In news, you often only tap into the very surface of a story, and there’s usually a lot more to tell. Time constraints can be frustrating. As a young woman starting out in your career, you face obstacles like not being taken seriously. But as I’ve gotten older and more confident, and gained more experience, I’ve found that beneficial in my career. Gender hasn’t played so much of a role as I’ve advanced, but I think it’s important for women to help other women. It’s crucial to champion the sisterhood and help out younger, less experienced women journalists. It would be great to see more women and more diversity in high-profile roles within the media.

My advice would be to trust your gut. Despite what people are telling you, whether it’s about a news story or something else, trust your gut. You have the skills to do what you need to do, and don’t let the haters get you down.