Interview with Tahlia Pritchard, Editor at Punkee
Tahlia Pritchard is the editor at Punkee, Junkee Media’s Gen Z title. She has most recently been shortlisted for Editor of the Year at the 2019 Publish Awards. Previously, Tahlia has written for publishers such as Mamamia, The AU Review and Buzzfeed Oz, and has become an expert at covering the Australian entertainment landscape. Follow her on Twitter at @Tahls.
What are your thoughts and insights on the changing media landscape?
I started in digital just six years ago and it was seen as a stable platform for future journalism. However, we’ve seen some fantastic online platforms take some fatal hits in the last couple of years leading to mass job cuts and it’s quite devastating (and scary) to see. That being said, it also means that media outlets are constantly refiguring how they approach content, which makes the space endlessly exciting.
Are stories easy or hard to find for your area of journalism and why?
The rise of social media has made access to entertainment stories super easy. However, one thing I always encourage my team (and myself) to think about is ‘What’s our point of difference?’, especially when reporting on the entertainment sector. It’s not always easy to find that point of difference but it’s helped Punkee establish a strong authority. We’re also strong fans of what we write about (whether it’s The Bachelor or James Charles embroiled in another YouTube saga) and I think that’s one of the strong differences that shines in our content.
Given that you are very active on social media, how does it support your work?
Social media is a great way to figure out what kind of content people are hungry for. If people find a tweet or post relatable, it’s going to show by the amount of engagement you get. In turn, it can be a great way to get some insight into how well an article or video could potentially perform. The Twitter and Facebook audience can be wildly different but the one thing they have in common is the passion they have for shows like The Bachelor or Married At First Sight, and these shows can create a constant and evolving conversation which means great content!
For a press release to grab your attention, what should it contain?
Firstly, I will always click on one that spells my name correctly (which happens less often than you’d think). Secondly, If I can tell a release knows Punkee as a site and knows what our content is about, I will always assess and consider the content. But when releases are sent in bulk, not keeping in mind what website or person they’re going to, it’s highly likely a lot will get automatically deleted.
Which recent stories have had an impact on you?
I’ve been following BuzzFeed’s Gina Rushton and her incredible reporting on Australia’s abortion laws. One of her latest articles was asking people at the Sydney Decriminalisation Rally what they’d rather be doing instead of protesting the fact abortion is still in the criminal code in NSW. I think it was a great way to highlight how absurd it is that women are fighting so hard for their reproductive rights in this modern era.