Kara Irving is a Digital News Journalist and Food & Drinks Writer at the Herald Sun in Melbourne. Kara writes premium news, lifestyle and food content online, as well as building stories for the web and occasionally running the Herald Sun homepage. She also presents a food video series Eating My Way Around…for the Herald Sun’s social media channels. You can Tweet her at @Kara_Irving.
You’ve worked in a few different areas of journalism – what’s your favourite?
That question is as hard as ‘what’s your favourite restaurant!’ I love telling stories and am lucky to do this across a number of platforms – web, print and video. My main love is food and wine, but I also get a thrill from breaking news and crime stories.
How did you end up with the much-coveted job as a Food and Drinks Writer?
I’ve always been a massive foodie, so it really was a blessing to be asked to help write restaurant, cafe and bar reviews for the Herald Sun in 2019. It’s important to note this isn’t my main job at the Herald Sun, but it provides a lovely balance between reporting on the news of the day for the web. Each fortnight, I write a restaurant or cafe review for our Weekend liftout, and more regularly wine and drinks stories online.
What does a typical workday look like to you?
I’m fortunate to still be working from home at the moment, so most mornings involve catching up on the news of the day, reading the Herald Sun website and generating premium content for our subscribers. My role is quite varied – some days I’ll interview epidemiologists about a coronavirus outbreak and others I’m writing about wine trends of the summer.
What tips would you give to a journalist starting out now?
Work hard and love what you do. Be prepared to go the extra mile to stand out from the crowd. Never compromise on your dreams and aim high. If you want something badly enough you will make it happen. This all sounds cliched, but it’s worked for me so far.
You must receive a lot of releases working in the food and drink area of journalism. For a press release to stand out to you, what should it contain?
I love press releases and emails that address me personally with relevant information. We’re all busy, but my big pet hate is publicists not putting any time and effort into their email pitches. So many non-personalised or relevant emails won’t get read at all. It’s also handy to be sent across hi-res food and drinks images in workable formats (JPEG) and food and drink menus of new venues.