“You need to be willing to broaden your horizons, regardless [of whether] you have an interest in a particular area. You need to be adaptable to be valuable in today’s media world.” These were among Melissa Hoyer’s words to journalism students when she visited Macleay College.
Hoyer is entertainment and style editor-at-large at news.com.au, working with publications such as Vogue, Delicious and GQ. Her working life is nothing short of busy, since she is involved across multiple platforms in media.
A contributing writer and editor for news.com.au, a commentator for TV’s Sunrise, The Morning Show and The Daily Edition, as well as the go-to radio commentator for all things pop culture and style, the veteran journalist believes it is “so important to expand your brief” – something she has consistently done.
Always having had an inquisitive nature, Hoyer said it was her interest in people that really steered her towards the path of journalism.
“I love hearing stories … when people ask me about me, I think… ‘I want to know about you‘.” Her first gig was when she was 15. While doing work experience at the ABC, she wrote a story for their internal newspaper Scan, which was about a costume designer working there at the time.
Hoyer explained that 15 to 20 years ago the phrase “pop culture” was not seen as related to news. “It was something that was found on the back page in what they used to call the ‘women’s section’,” she said.
Pop (or popular) culture encompasses many subjects including sport, lifestyle, theatre and fashion, and is a bigger area than people first think. “Pop culture stories go crazy,” she said.
Hoyer used to pay out of her own pocket to go to Paris and Milan to cover Fashion Week and would make it her goal to find new stories on the runways. Whether there was an Australian designer or model involved, it put fashion into the news pages.
I really think I was part of a small group of journalists at the time that moved pop culture from the ‘women’s pages’ to page 1 and page 3.
When asked what she would look for if she was to hire a junior journalist, she said: “I would want someone who is interested about life and about people and someone who is passionate about how they tell a story. Someone with a bit of oomph!”- @montana__duncan