Interviewing My Mentor: Renae Leith-Manos

There were many influences to why and how I launched Travel Bug Official, my mentor Renae was one of them.

Now, I know I would normally be sharing an adventure story of my travels abroad here, but I wanted to try out something new this week, and interview someone who has made a huge impact on my life, by accepting me as one of her interns for two online publications Bondi Beauty and Renae’s World.

Renae has played a significant part in my life over the last two years, teaching, guiding and mentoring me, on what it takes to be a modern journalist in the digital age.

With over twenty-five years experience in the field of journalism; which ranges from her writing as a celebrity journalist, a political journalist and beauty columnist, Renae has shared her world of knowledge in the field of journalism, and mentored me through my own journey to hopefully become a successful journalist myself, in the field of online publications.

Renae really jumped to the forefront of online media here in Australia, and proved to many other journalists in the field, that it can be done. All you need is the right drive, self-motivation and a strong passion for what you do.

“I was working at ACP Magazines for some six years, the biggest magazine company in the country, at that time. I was working on a magazine called Women’s Fitness and I could clearly see that things were changing in the industry digitally. I was actually concerned I night be out of a job.

I was divorced with two young children then. So making the change to become a freelance online journalist with my own brand made sense. It was a lifestyle thing, as well as a work thing. Especially as I knew it was going to be difficult raising two children, in a job that’s never nine to five. So I thought, let’s give this a go.

That was about four years ago, and I launched Bondi Beauty.”

me and renae 3
Me with Renae at an exciting beauty launch in Sydney.

With a motivating story on how Renae started her journalism career, it just made perfect sense to sit down and chat about what it takes to be a digital journalist.

In the digital age, the field of journalism has often been viewed as a profession which is dying out. With so many self-made vloggers, blogger and influencers, it can be overwhelming for many of us newbies in the field of journalism. To step out into the world and make a name for ourselves.

“The social media age has given rise to a lot of people who, particularly if you think about Instagram, who are there because they’re good looking, and they’ve got great bodies. And not necessarily any sort of qualifications, whether that be nutritionally, or fitness wise in the health space, or as journalists.

And where, I think there is always a space for that. I think that for too many years, people have felt bombarded with the opinions of people who owned publications and owned media companies, as opposed to perhaps genuinely editorial pieces.

So, I think it’s a real positive that people’s opinions are getting out there. But, I think that we are heading towards an age of far more authenticity.”

Being ahead of her time in the field of freelance journalism and launching her very own online publications in the field of beauty, travel, health and lifestyle, has pushed Renae to be at the forefront of modern journalism in the digital age. Particularly in Australia.

Where many colleagues at the time warning her of the risks associated; with leaving a well-known publication like ACP, to move on and do her own thing, Renae persisted through to make a name for herself, with two very signifying online brands.

She has supported me through the many trials and tribulations of what it takes to be a good journalist in the digital age. And the lessons I have learned working with Renae has taught me a valuable lesson on what to do, and what not to do, in this new and exciting digital age of online publications.

And the main lesson I have learned; print journalism may be dying out, but online and broadcast journalism is alive and strong.

To listen to the full interview, click on the below sound cloud link and enjoy.

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