We’ve given the mic to the industry’s future leaders. Jordyn Rudd, a television producer and reporter at TVNZ, shares her thoughts on New Zealand’s media.
How did you get into TV? What sparked your interest in getting into the industry?
I’ve always loved news and writing so there was never a plan B when I was going to university – Communications was it. Back at intermediate, we did a Newspaper Day, where the teacher turned our classroom into a newsroom and fed us information throughout the day to put together a story. I remember that day so vividly and knew from then it was an industry I wanted to be in. I did a Bachelor of Communications at AUT, majoring in journalism and minoring in TV. While I was studying I started writing stories for 1 News online, which led onto a producing opportunity at Breakfast.
How did you go from being behind the camera to in front of it?
I manage all Breakfast’s social media platforms and also produce content for the show, which use to involve setting up a daily entertainment news segment for a regular radio host to come on and present. One week she was away so I asked my amazing and far-too-trusting boss Jonathan Williams if I could give presenting a crack. To my utter shock he said yes – an answer I hadn’t prepared for. I did some training (with Hilary Barry, life goal = check) then was plonked in front of the camera for the scariest moment of my life. I now present daily social media and showbiz news segments throughout the morning on Breakfast and I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had.
What’s your favourite piece of work so far?
I went to South Korea to check out Cirque Du Soleil’s show ‘Kooza’, which came to Auckland in February. It was the first story I’d ever done – so doing that overseas was daunting. It was a whirlwind but I got to spend three days with the amazing Cirque Du Soleil crew, experience a snowy South Korean winter, and put together a series of stories I’m really proud of. I also did the splits on air without actually splitting my pants so that was an achievement in itself.
What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve had to deal with in your role?
The early starts on Breakfast definitely aren’t for the faint-hearted. I’m a morning person but 3am is a whole new level of early. Imagine feeling jet-lagged basically 24/7? That’s it.
I always feel slightly zombie-ish, so coffee and daily naps have become an integral part of my life.
Also on a more serious note – seeing and hearing devastating stories such as the recent Christchurch mosque attack is tough mentally. You see stuff you wish you hadn’t, and will probably never leave your memory. But it’s the reason we do this job and in many ways it’s a privilege to be able to cover.
What’s the best part of working in TV?
The people and the pace. I’ve met the most incredible and knowledgeable people working in the TVNZ newsroom – from both the presenting and producing realms – and I learn something new from at least one of them every day. The pace at which a news programme works is something to be seen. It’s both a buzz and exhausting, but ultimately so rewarding.
I can’t imagine another workplace emulating that feeling. Daily hair and make-up is fun too – I’m a beauty addict.
What’s your advice you would give to those entering the industry?
I feel too young in my career to be dishing out advice. Ask me in 20 years! But a few things I’ve learnt so far: say yes to every opportunity, especially those outside your comfort zone. Work long hours if needed. Remember why you want to be in this industry – is it for recognition or for making a difference through storytelling? Treat every person you encounter with kindness, not just someone who you think can help you. Take your job seriously, but not too seriously.