Interview with Lyndsey Rodrigues, Head of Content for Kiindred
Lyndsey Rodrigues is Head of Content for Kiindred and has over 18 years of experience managing teams and creating content across broadcast and digital media.
Lyndsey sat down with Medianet to share some of her experiences and insight into the media industry.
You're currently working as Head of Content for Kiindred and have extensive industry experience as an Editor, Writer, Producer and Reporter. Can you tell me a bit about your start in the media industry?
I started working at MTV as a presenter when I was about 22 years old, but prior to that I had studied film, playwriting, acting, musical theatre - you name it! I've always been obsessed with storytelling.
After a few years of working at MTV Australia, I was lucky enough to be hired by MTV US as a host and relocated to New York. Over the course of the next 12 years, I worked for a wide variety of outlets such as Cosmopolitan, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Amazon, People and The Hollywood Reporter in roles that required me to work both in front of and behind the camera.
I have always loved writing and producing which was lucky as the media industry really evolved to a point where you had to be able to "do it all". I loved working in entertainment but I had gotten to a point where I felt I’d achieved all I wanted to in that space and was eager for a new challenge, so I’m extremely excited to now be part of the Kiindred team.
How has your previous experience prepared you for your current role and future career goals?
Each of my jobs has equipped me with the tools I need to do my job now - it’s been like one, long (and really fun) university degree. Working in live TV taught me how to roll with the punches, think on my feet and manage some pretty big (and sometimes difficult) personalities. Being a writer and a producer has helped me to see the big picture on jobs and to constantly push myself to think creatively and through different lenses. I think what will be interesting in terms of my future career goals will be how to take the things I’ve learned and continually adapt them to a constantly changing and competitive landscape.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Working in New York for so many years was absolutely the highlight of my career, particularly serving as Senior Reporter/Producer/Writer at The Hollywood Reporter. It was such an interesting time in the US: between Trump being president, the #MeToo movement, the ongoing gun control debate, and evolving conversations around diversity and inclusion - particularly in the arts. It was around that time that my passion for news and the intersection of politics and culture really came to life and I also learnt so much in the process. It was also a role where I truly felt I was using each part of my skill set, which is very important to me - and something I am happy to say I am doing once more in my role at Kiindred.
What perspectives and stories do you want to see more of, or featured, in the industry?
This is an interesting question because I actually think we have a lot of amazing content being produced by people who historically have not had much of a voice, but the problem is in the platforming. Because so much of our industry now relies on clicks, page views and sensationalism, I feel important and original stories get overlooked for endless “easy wins” about celebrity scandals and reality tv. I’d love for there to be better and more commercial opportunities for underrepresented communities to not only create engaging content (which they are already doing) but to have it reach a wider audience. It’s easy to say that the Australian public “only wants to read about Married at First Sight”, but are we actually giving them a choice or conditioning them to only seek that content? It’s something I really feel outlets need to think about and be braver in addressing.
What is a commonly held belief about your job that you disagree with?
That you need a degree in journalism or communications. My degree is in film which is fairly useless in an age where we shoot on our phones! I think that if you are willing to take some chances, try new things, be open to feedback and always be willing to pitch in wherever you are needed you can forge a really successful career in media. Sometimes you may also have to take slight detours here and there but as long as you don’t lose sight of your end goal you can find ways to learn from every experience.
If you could go back 5 years, what advice would you give yourself?
I might warn myself about the pandemic so it wouldn’t have come as such a shock! I'd like to give myself a heads-up that, as I mentioned above, there would be some detours but I’d still reach my end goal.
I’d also tell myself to download TikTok when it first came out so I wouldn’t have to now play catch-up like a total boomer. I’ll probably master it just as it becomes obsolete and be back at square one with the next social media trend!
Where do you see yourself in the future and where would you like your work to take you?
To have the role I have now is the fruition of something I’ve been working toward for a long time, but between the pandemic and having my son it took a little longer than expected. Now that I'm in my ideal role, I plan to use all of the experience I’ve gained over the last 20 years and use it to disrupt the parenting space and create content that modern parents can actually relate to. It’s definitely time for a shake-up! I’d also love to use my knowledge of the US market to see what we could do over there. Ultimately, as long as I feel challenged and am learning new things, I’ll be happy.
Any upcoming work we should keep an eye out for?
We have so many exciting projects we are working on at Kiindred (including a gorgeous re-brand) across editorial, video, social and more so watch this space!
What are your pitching preferences?
Anything related to parenting, pregnancy and fertility as well as lifestyle, travel, entertainment, tech, beauty and arts/culture.
We are looking at a huge 2023 so pitches across these categories are very welcome.