Dimattina breaks into TV reporting with Nine

Nine News reporter and Monash journalism alumna Nadia Dimattina says a willingness to pursue unpaid internships has contributed to her development as a regional journalist, based in Gippsland. Ms Dimattina first broke into Nine News soon after her internship, when she was appointed as a social media producer.

Name: Nadia Dimattina

Course: Bachelor of Arts

Faculty/Division:Arts

Dept: Journalism

Campus: Caulfield

Year graduated: Finished in 2017, graduated in May 2018.

Current position: Nine News reporter for Gippsland.

What was it like breaking into the industry? Was it more “who you know” than “what you know”?

If I had one word to describe how to get into the industry I would say ‘internship’. In my final year, I completed internship after internship and it was the most beneficial thing I have done.

You are lucky to find an internship that is paid in the journalism industry and a lot of people from other courses were shocked that I continually accepted unpaid positions but I learnt so many new skills and it is the best way to meet people in the industry and create a portfolio.  

My final internship was a week at Channel 9 and through making contacts there I was able to break into the industry. After my final exam I was offered a full time job and I started working straight away. Therefore I believe it is about ‘who you know’ to get into the industry as through the connections I made at 9 during my internship I was able to secure a full time job.

What is a “day in the life” of your current role?

A day in the life of a ‘social media producer’ for 9 News is different each day. I go into work not knowing what could happen during the day and that is the most exciting part.

At the beginning, breaking news was so daunting and I always hoped it never would happen but the longer I worked there, the more excited I was when there was breaking news.

A typical day would be checking facebook inboxes for exclusive videos or photos that could end up being a lead story, posting content on Facebook, twitter and instagram platforms, using photoshop templates to create promo posts and overall having an understanding of what would work well on social media.

I am also responsible for posting content on our 4 regional bureaus too which allowed me to make contacts with our regional team. Through this connection, I completed a few casual reporting shifts and now am moving to traralgon in a few weeks as a full time regional reporter.

What was a key lesson you learnt at Monash that translated into your workplace?

The key lesson I learnt was the more you put into something, the more you will get out of it. For example, we were offered a range of internship opportunites through Monash and I made sure to apply for as many as possible.

During all my internships I made sure to work as hard as possible and this translated into a heap of new contacts, published articles and a wonderful portfolio of work. Therefore, I learnt through Monash that if I work hard at something, the benefits will follow.

If you could go back and do your degree again, is there anything you’d change? Subject choice? Time management? Internships?

I would have travelled more. Now that I am in the full-time work, there isnt much time to travel and I regret not going overseas during my degree on exchange. I did a short-term program in Japan but would have loved to study overseas for a longer period of time so if I had to go back and do it again, travellling and studying overseas would be my number 1.

What skill (or skills) would you recommend aspiring journos acquire before getting into the industry?

I would highly recommend doing internships as much as possible. It was the only way I could properly understand the industry and learn more about style-guides for different publications and how to write succiently and professionally. I think practical assignments at Monash were great as you were able to find stories, learn how to interview people, how to structure stories and how to edit.

However, I believe being in a newsroom or in the industry is the biggest learning experience and where aspiring journos will learn the most.

When you were a child, what was your dream job?

When I was a child, I always wanted to be a teacher. I loved to learn and enjoyed teaching others about what I had learnt.

What is your dream job now?

My dream job is being a reporter or journalist. I am very passionate about news and I want to be able to find my own stories and share them with others.  I have always had the dream to work in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with my knowledge of Japanese language but that is coming up very soon……

Who do you look up to most in the industry?

I am really inspired by the young journos in the 9News Melbourne office. It gives me so much hope that there is a pathway to become a metro reporter even at a young age if you work for it. We have an exceptional team of reporters and I am continually amazed by their stories. Someone in particular I was amazed by was Alexis Daish who recently moved to America as the U.S correspondent. I think she is an exceptional journalist and seeing her progress as a reporter to a U.S correspondent was inspiring. It showed me that if you work hard at something, anything is possible.

Have you kept in touch with any of your fellow alumni?

A few. I found after uni, everyone went their separate ways and it was really hard to keep in touch as people moved interstate or overseas. It is great to see everyone progressing in the industry. However in saying that I have bumped into so many Monash alumni at work and even during my regional reporting shifts. Monash alumni are everywhere!

Do you follow any sports teams?

Not a huge sports fan but I do love tennis.

What’s your coffee order?

I think I am the only person in the newsroom that doesn’t drink coffee. Chai latte is my go -to order.