As a new journalist, Sarah Ramantanis knows the world of reporting and writing isn’t what it used to be.
But she’s still ready to do what she can to make a go of it.
“I think I’ve always gravitated toward hearing stories about people going through something challenging,” she says. “One of the main reasons I want to be a journalist is I want to be a voice for people who don’t have one.”
A recent college graduate, Ramantanis is working with World Vision Australia, where she’s an intern working in a newsroom with a handful of others in support of the team’s solo reporter in the field.
“World Vision is made up of a handful of journalists, all with such different roles. One role is the emergency communications officer, she’s like a foreign correspondent. She’s the only one who travels and reports the stories,” she says. “The others are in the newsroom trying to get her stories out, pitching World Vision stories to other organizations. It’s really interesting working in a newsroom like that compared to a more traditional one, with 50 journalists all working on different things.”
Stories are assigned based on days of awareness in addition to larger overarching themes, including climate change.
Ramantanis isn’t stopping here, however, and has realized she might need to tap into her entrepreneurial side to start her career in journalism.
She’s recently launched KOS Magazine, with the help of some friends still attending school.
“I had the idea of, look, if I’m not going to be a journalist now, I might as well do it myself,” she says. “Why not just share stories as best as I can? I reached out to a couple people I thought would be good to interview to start. I pitched the idea to other students at university, would you like to volunteer to write and build up your portfolio. They keep me on track and keep me driven to keep sharing stories.”
The publication launched a few months ago and has published 30-40 stories already.
“I don’t get paid for it but I get to be fulfilled and share stories that need to be told,” she says.
It’s also helping her keep her perspective about why she wanted to go into journalism in the first place.
“The main thing that’s getting me through the early stage of my career is to keep reaching out to experienced journalists and say if you have any advice,” she says. “That’s the best way forward, to learn from someone experienced. That’s the best thing I can recommend in addition to applying for that job.”
This week, It’s All Journalism host Michael O’Connell is joined by Sarah Ramantanis, an intern with World Vision Australia and founder of the recently launched KOS Magazine in her home country. They talk about the challenges facing new journalists and how she’s trying to make a name for herself.