Interview with Tiffany Dunk, Managing Editor of Lifestyle.com.au
With over 20 years publishing experience on some of Australia’s most-loved publications and brands – including News Corp Australia’s national mastheads such as The Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph and Courier Mail, DOLLY, TV WEEK, CLEO and NW – Tiffany Dunk is an editor, journalist, brand consultant and presenter. As of March 2018, she is the managing editor of leading website Lifestyle.com.au.
You recently started as managing editor at lifestyle.com.au. How are you enjoying the role so far?
Honestly? Far more than I anticipated. The Lifestyle team are so incredibly passionate, welcoming and innovative, it’s been a pleasure to join them. Not only that, as a newly created role the scope of the job is limitless. I’m learning so much and I come to work every day excited to see what we can achieve next.
What has been your favourite medium to work in throughout your career?
Having started my career in magazines I will always have a soft spot for print but my favourite jobs have always been ones that have blended multiple mediums. I love podcasting, I’m passionate about the immediacy and flexibility of digital and social media, but I’ll never tire of the thrill of writing or editing a meaty editorial feature that comes to life on the page. The beauty of all mediums – and what keeps me passionate about journalism as a career – is how swiftly they are evolving and how much more entertaining it makes things for the reader (or listener or viewer).
What are the biggest challenges facing the media industry at the moment?
For journalists, I’d say it’s earning your worth in a fragmented market. While content will always be king, with so many outlets competing for the same advertiser dollars and eyeballs it’s harder to monetise great journalism. But in the same breath, having recently freelanced and really enjoyed the experience, I’d say that same overwhelming number of publishers also opens up opportunities you may not have previously considered.
For a press release to stand out to you, what should it contain?
An understanding of who they are pitching to. Compared to when I started in journalism, today editors are dealing with far leaner teams with less time to spend on weighing up the pros and cons of the material that floods our inboxes. So if a press release is delivered with a note as to how this particular product/launch/issue is relevant to the publication that’s always gratefully received.
What advice would you give to young journalists?
Don’t listen to the people telling you it’s a dying industry and don’t take an initial knockback as a reason to give up. I have interviewed and ultimately not given jobs to many amazing young, talented journos – who have gone on to much bigger and better things – because the timing was off, they weren’t exactly right for that particular role or there was somebody else who was a better cultural fit.
Also, never take feedback personally. Early in my career, I would take constructive criticism on my articles like it was a dagger to my heart but growing a thick skin not only helped me become better at my job but allowed me to take chances that have occasionally paid off to glorious effect.
Last but certainly not least, give back. I’ve been fortunate to have some incredible and inspiring bosses in my career who have nurtured me and helped me get to where I am today. It’s a pride of point that I now try to do the same with young journos I come across. The industry is tough and having a support system is crucial. A wise colleague once said to me, “I don’t shine if you don’t shine” and it’s a mantra I try to take forward with me in every job along the way.