/  2024   /  Quick chat with Shannon Molloy

Quick chat with Shannon Molloy

You’ve been a writer and journalist for many years. What do you love about what you do?

My absolute favourite kind of stories are people stories. After almost two decades in the media industry, I’ve discovered that everyone has a story – and those who are sure they don’t often have the best tales to tell. As a journalist, I love being able to share the impactful stories of people, both ordinary and extraordinary.

Everyone has a story – and those who are sure they don’t often have the best tales to tell.

What have been the highlights of your career so far?

Being named Journalist of the Year at the Publish Awards in 2020 was a really proud moment for me. The body of work I submitted was pretty diverse – an exclusive series on a pub baron allegedly underpaying staff to an unprecedented extent, a major climate change campaign, and a hard-hitting opinion piece. It was recognition of my approach to covering the news, which is to be adaptable and curious.

I’ve had the privilege of interviewing some extraordinary people. For almost four years, I was an entertainment correspondent and spent my days on film and television sets or red carpets. That was a lot of fun but hugely challenging because I was interviewing people who’ve been interviewed hundreds of times. Getting something interesting and different out of very, very polished people is hard.

Have you always worked for news organisations? Or have you spent time freelancing?

The bulk of my career has been in the news media industry. I’ve worked for newspapers, magazines and digital publications. I’ve had a few brief stints on the so-called dark side, working in public relations and communications, for a not-for-profit and for a political leader. I loved both experiences but I think I’m meant to be a writer. For now.

Outside of my day job, I write books. I’ve penned two for myself, both non-fiction. I’ve also taken up ghostwriting for prominent and notable Australians, with two projects under my belt so far. I can’t tell you who though. Sorry!

I’ve also done my share of freelancing. I love the freedom of choosing when and how I work… but I do like the financial security of a regular gig.

What skills do you think are the most important for freelancers to acquire?

Adaptability.

Making yourself indispensable and an asset across as many fields as possible is a great way to future-proof (and recession-proof) your career.

A few years back, I made myself lean into the things that made me uncomfortable – namely being in front of a camera and a microphone. It means I’m able to podcast and host video pieces pretty comfortably, which has expanded my reach.

Why do you think the Summit is important for freelancers?

There’s power in collective wisdom.

Freelancing can be a lonely pursuit and I’ve found myself stumbling along helplessly at times. I think if we share what we know – our tips and tricks – and support each other, we can all be winners.

The conference theme is all about futureproofing your career. What steps are you taking to futureproof your own?

I have no other discernible talents other than writing, so I’m thinking about how I can branch out and open up new doors. With journalism, I’m going to keep dancing until the music stops, because I fear it will one day. That’s why I like the book stuff. As well as being interesting, it takes what I already do and applies it in a different form. I’m also an accidental playwright, which has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

Do you think the future is exciting for freelancers, and if so, why?

I think the future is challenging but also exciting. Isn’t that true for most great things worth pursuing though?

What are you most looking forward to at the Summit?

I’m excited to be in a room jam-packed with creative energy!


Shannon is a Day 1 panelist for Interviewing and the art of storytelling.


Find out more about Shannon on his
profile page or via his website.

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