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Henry McKean recalls his early media days at Griffith College

This year saw Griffith College Journalism Graduate Henry McKean travel to Los Angeles to report for Newstalk on the Special Olympics. While attending the event he told us of the ‘over-whelming happiness and pride,’ that he had for all the competitors at the games.

We caught up with Henry to get his top tips for students embarking on a journalism course at Griffith College.

Henry advises students not to take up a place in college just because your friends are going there; you should instead imagine yourself in 20 years, and the job you want to be doing. Make sure the course you pick is well matched with securing such a career, or helps you on the road to it. Everyone should follow their dreams until they realise them, according to McKean.

If you are interested in radio like Henry was, then a BA (Hons) Journalism and Media Communications degree may be a course to consider. During his time on the course, Henry took part in Griff FM, the Griffith College radio station. It was at this time McKean realised that you can make money doing something you love, however, the popular journalist also liked how the learning experience worked. He learned how to work with people under pressure and the inner workings of a professional radio station. It is also a great place to make mistakes.

In one of his most memorable mistakes during his time training at Griff FM, McKean recalls working with Mark Simpson, now producer of George Hook’s programme on NewsTalk. McKean produced a piece containing sexist comments and swearing from a pub crawl; trusting his friend, Simpson played it without pre-listening. Needless to say, neither has made the same mistake again; a vital lesson had been learned!

The best piece of advice McKean can offer for new graduates is to work hard, take rejection well always, and smile and to come up with ideas. It is the funny, smart and easy-going ideas that producers look for when putting together shows.

Henry feels that radio will always be an important media, as long as there are cars and traffic jams. He sees the future becoming more on-demand, looking at a time when there will a greater choice for the listener to create their own playlist with modern technologies. 

Why not check out Henry McKean’s radio show ‘Under the Covers’ on NewsTalk every Sunday Morning from 7-8am or listen to his podcast

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