6 reasons you should apply for the Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship with Nine

Ella McCrindle dishes on the great outcomes she’s had after winning the 2021 scholarship.

Ella McCrindle (second from left) with past scholarship winners Lydia Bilton and Annalise Bolt, and Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship founder Anita Jacoby.

I’ve always loved 60 Minutes. I used to watch it as a child and fantasise about becoming a reporter, travelling to the far reaches of the world to hunt down a great story.

In early 2021, working on my dream show seemed about as realistic as going on an overseas holiday mid-pandemic. Less than a year later, I was producing my very own story.

The Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship with Nine changed my career forever. The 2022 Scholarship is currently open for applications to aspiring broadcast journalists aged 28 and younger (university qualifications are not required). With 14 weeks of practical experience and a stipend for living expenses up for grabs, here are my top 6 reasons why you shouldn’t let the opportunity pass you by.

1. Get a taste of everything

Some people are born knowing exactly what they want to do with their careers. I am not that person.

While I’ve always wanted to be a journalist, the possibilities seemed endless. Radio, television, print; current affairs, sport, entertainment.

Without ever setting foot in a newsroom, I wondered how on earth I’d work out where I fit in. That’s where the Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship stepped in.

From the nightly news to breakfast television, I got a taste of all that Nine has to offer. This included stints in social media, digital news, 9 News, Today, A Current Affair and 60 Minutes.

I capped off the experience with four weeks at the Walkley Foundation, where I not only attended, but helped run, the 66th Walkley Awards.

How many interns can say they’ve done that?

Ella McCrindle in the Nine studio

2. Learn…a lot

Let’s face it, universities don’t always offer the best industry experience. I’m grateful for my media degree, but felt it taught me more about ancient philosophy than how to write a good news article.

Ten minutes into joining Nine’s digital news team, I was pitching ideas for the Editor and writing my very own story.

“This is the definition of being thrown in the deep end,” I remember frantically texting my partner.

Out of university, floaties off and ready to take the plunge, I can safely say I learnt to swim. I had my first byline on nine.com.au later that day.

3. Meet your idols and make connections

Ella McCrindle with 60 Minutes reporter Tom Steinfort.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the Scholarship is the chance to be surrounded by iconic Australian journalists.

Catching an Uber with TV legend, Karl Stefanovic, wasn’t out of place on a typical Monday at the Today Show.

While snapping the occasional selfie with journalism royalty was a great perk, the connections I made and the career advice I received was truly invaluable.

4. Get published

It’s a surreal and thrilling experience to watch an illustrious 9 News presenter read the words that you’ve just written…let alone with the knowledge that thousands of Australians are watching.

That strange sensation is one I got to know well during my time at Nine, where I was trusted to independently produce content for TV, print and social media.

5. Get a job in the industry

Getting a job in journalism is often more about who you know than what you know, and before my time at Nine, I knew absolutely no one.

Not only is my phone contact list now full of prominent journalists, but I was offered a job within three weeks of starting the Scholarship.

My new role as an Associate News Producer was not advertised and wouldn’t have come about without referrals from people within 9 News itself.

The Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship was, for me, a foot in the door, paving the way for a future that couldn’t be brighter.

6. You have nothing to lose

When I applied for the Scholarship, I didn’t think I stood a chance. The work I submitted in my application was the outcome of university assignments, and the closest thing I had to broadcast experience was as a volunteer for a radio station.

The judging panel that interviewed me valued my drive and passion for journalism, not once asking me about how many stories I’d published or what awards I’d won.

The Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship has taught me it’s always worth taking the shot, no matter how unlikely success may seem.

After all, what have you got to lose?

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN for the Jacoby-Walkley Scholarship with Nine. Apply online by 11.59pm AEST May 2, 2022.

If you’re aged 28 years or under with big dreams of carving out a career in the competitive television industry: this is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Established in 2013 with support from media executive and award-winning TV producer Anita Jacoby to recognise the legacy of her father Phillip Jacoby — a pioneer in the Australian electronics and broadcast industry — this scholarship offers applicants the chance to learn from some of Australia’s leading news and current affairs journalists and producers.

This fourteen-week scholarship will be broken down into 10 weeks with Nine in Sydney and four weeks with the Walkley Foundation. The scholarship recipient will receive a stipend to cover living expenses for the duration of the scholarship.

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Inside the Australia and New Zealand media – stories by and for journalists.

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