Macquarie University student Zac de Silva has been named the winner of the 2020 Brian White Scholarship.
Zac, a final year journalism student from Mount Colah, was selected as the recipient of the award from among 12 finalists from six universities, following a workshop with leading radio news directors.
The workshop was conducted online for the first time due to COVID and was led by commercial radio news leaders Deborah Clay (Australian Radio Network), Michelle Stephenson (NOVA Entertainment), Natalie Peters (Nine Radio) and Amy Drew (Southern Cross Austereo).
The finalists took part in a series of newsroom exercises and were required to record a live cross about a current news event. They also had the opportunity to receive individual feedback and advice.
Zac said he was honoured to have been selected for the scholarship. “I’ve always loved the immediacy of news radio and I’m so excited to take this next step in my career as a journalist.”
The finalists come from six different universities in New South Wales and Western Australia. They are:
As part of the selection process, the finalists will attend a one-day workshop in late 2020, where they will participate in newsroom tasks and gain feedback from commercial radio news directors Deborah Clay (Australian Radio Network), Michelle Stephenson (NOVA Entertainment), Erin Maher (Nine Radio) and Natasha Jobson (Southern Cross Austereo).
From there, one winner will be selected to receive an eight-week paid internship in 2021, working across Nine Radio, SCA, ARN and Nova in either Sydney or Melbourne.
The Brian White Scholarship launched in 2017 and is conducted annually. The program aims to encourage and foster the brightest, aspiring young minds in commercial radio news. It will help the recipient transition out of study and into the commercial radio industry.
The competition is open to recent graduates or students who are in their final year of study in an applicable course such as Communications, Media, Journalism and Radio. Entrants should have graduated no more than two years prior to the opening date.
The judges will be looking for a journalist who has a passion for radio news and is ready to take up an exciting opportunity to see how the major metropolitan newsrooms operate at Nine Radio, Australian Radio Network (ARN), Nova Entertainment and Southern Cross Austereo (SCA). The successful applicant will be immersed in the news cycle and will relish the chance to sit in the same room as senior journalists at commercial radio stations to experience how the news is sourced and compiled.
Finalists will be invited to attend an online workshop. This is a unique opportunity for them to gain knowledge and insights from commercial radio news directors and to receive valuable feedback about their news presenting style and delivery.
The Brian White Scholarship offers the winner the choice to serve eight weeks paid work placement in either Sydney or Melbourne. The winner will spend two weeks at each network (Nine Radio, ARN, Nova and SCA), working with senior journalists and the wider radio teams on live and breaking news scenarios and helping to produce news and updates trusted by millions of Australians every day.
NB: Accommodation and flights will be included if the recipient lives outside of the city in which the attachment is to take place.
The placement will take place in 2021 at a time to be determined.