In with the news

John Corlett will be driving the agenda in the Newsroom as part of the New Journalism program. We turned the tables on this journalist and posed a few questions to learn a little more about who is he and how he came to be at The Edge.

What was your role before you came to The Edge? And before that? And before that? Have you had any interesting careers – taxidermist? Phlebotomist?
My recent history has been all about journalism. I just completed a short stint at Australia’s beef capital, Rockhampton, where I was working as a digital journalist for The Morning Bulletin. ‘The Bully’, as it’s affectionately know by the locals, is a mid sized regional print newspaper and like all other newspapers in the world it is coming to terms with the digital age.

Before Rockhampton I worked in regional television in the far western NSW mining town of Broken Hill – the birth place of mining giant BHP (Broken Hill Proprietary Limited). The most interesting feature of this town was the local councillors who had a habit of turning council meetings into heated, passionate arguments often digressing into them threatening each other with drive by shootings. As far as I know the threats were never carried out but eventually the entire council got the sack.

Before that I was a digital journalist at The Courier Mail and the local Quest publications. I’ve also done stints with 4ZzZ radio and some freelance filming work.

To sum up the ten odd years prior I have been a structural landscaper, barista, business owner, infantry soldier, prison officer, horticulturalist, Army communications technician and IT consultant (not all at once).

Have you ever lived overseas? What were you doing? Travelling? Studying? Stowing away in the holds of a ship?
My biggest, and probably best, trip overseas was with the United Nations mission to East Timor – now known as Timor Leste’. I was an Army infantry communications technician at the time and worked with the armed forces of many nations to ensure they could maintain contact with troops across the country.

The job saw me spending long periods in very remote parts of the country – some only accessible by helicopter. These remote locations meant close interaction with locals in small villages and spending a fair part of the day playing soccer or volleyball with kids using balls made from rolled up plastic bags. That’s one of my fonder memories, eating canned Army rations day after day for weeks on end would have to be my least fond.

Do you have a piece of advice or a motto that helps you make decisions in life? Always seize the day? Extra pickles please?
Don’t ever stop making decisions, even if they turn out to be the wrong ones. The worst thing you can do is to not make any decision at all.

When you open your web browser what are the first three tabs you open up?
Google, Google, Google – why would I need anything else? An interesting fact is that the new generation has never know a world without Google or Facebook….

Are you in the habit of keeping strange pets? Ever owned an axolotl? Or a blue winged macaw?
I don’t have any pets but more than ten years of share housing has seen me ‘keep’ some pretty strange housemates. Some could be considered as pets, I suppose.

In my spare time I like to: Either ride or fix my motorbike, depending if it happens to be running or not

My favourite food is: As a vegetarian you can’t really beat Indian cooking

If you were to give me $10 I would spend it on: Coffee, everything else follows but nothing can come before

If you were to give me $1000 I would spend it on: Ensuring I had a steady supply of coffee for the future (see above)

Mac or PC? PC: I don’t like to be told what I can and can’t do on my own computer thank you Apple

Dog or cat? Dog – you can’t go past the pure entertainment.

For more information on the New Journalism program or to have a chat about how you can be involved, get in touch with John.

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