Be versatile and work hard: a sports reporter’s advice
“My philosophy is to do the best that you can at the job that you are given,” says Emma Vosti, television sports presenter, journalist and producer at Channel 7.
Vosti says she loves “live TV and live anything”, especially big sporting events.
How did you get started in the industry?
I had an internship at Channel 9 while I was still at university. I started by driving the Gojeeps around. I then began in public relations in the PR team and worked my way up.
I knew what I wanted to do. I knew it relied heavily on experience, internships and things like that, so having that intel, I was hell-bent on getting internships.
What appealed to you about reporting?
I always loved sport, and I grew up in a sporty family. My father played AFL, my grandad was in broadcast television for many years, and I love live events. Such significant events like the Australian Open were exciting to me growing up.
I just naturally liked producing, liked storytelling and loved people. With the thrill of live TV and live anything, whatever it was, I wanted to engage and think about the best way to bring the story to life.
What are some highlights of your career?
The biggest highlight for me was covering the Rio Olympics and Paralympics in 2016 and then, more recently, the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Covering the Australian Open is always a highlight. The year Roger Federer played Rafael Nadal, I had to do one of Roger’s interviews, and my interviews will never be about their sport. We want to know who they are, and I apply that to all my interviews.
What challenges have you faced?
I think job opportunities, there are many different ways of doing things, and in journalism, everyone’s different. I think it’s easy to compare yourself to other people, and you’ll be challenged to compromise on your values.
I believe you must learn who you are and the type of journalist you’d like to be.
What skills do journalists need?
It is essential to be multi-skilled. It’s easy to get excited about the role we want and not necessarily do our existing position well. You have to work hard at the task you’re given and do everything to the best of your ability.
We need to be versatile because the most dynamic people in broadcast or any media are good at writing, they’re good at speaking, they’re good at producing their work. You need to be able to do more than one role to have a long career.
What advice would you give to aspiring journalists?
Your actions have to marry up with your words. I was always taught very early on by the people that mentored me, “we want to see action”. When people take action, more than what they say they are going to do is always appreciated. People want to see you do well, and people like working with other people that work hard.
My philosophy is to do the best that you can at the job that you’re given. It might not be your time yet. You might have big aspirations but do what you’re given well, always look for opportunities to progress, and don’t get ahead of yourself.