Australia’s fastest-growing music and entertainment publisher The Brag Media is in good hands with its latest internal promotion.
The company has tapped Tyler Jenke for the newly created role of News Director. Jenke had most recently been Staff Writer where he worked across The Brag Media’s five publications, Tone Deaf, The Brag, The Industry Observer, Don’t Bore Us and The Brag Dad.
Based out of Melbourne, Tyler has now been tasked with leading the editorial staff across Sydney and Melbourne, overseeing all news editorial output and strategy, as well as collaborating with the company’s campaign and partnerships teams. He’ll report into yours truly, the company’s Managing Editor, Poppy Reid.
Jenke got his start as an intern at one of The Brag Media’s music publications, Tone Deaf, in 2016. He commenced his internship in August, working with now Response Manager Brandon John before the title was acquired by The Brag Media (previously Seventh Street Media) and re-launched in January 2017.
Check out our Q&A with Tyler Jenke below, where he discusses the new role, what changes we can expect to see, what he looks for in a pitch, and more.
Congrats on the new gig! Tell us about what your role will look like as News Director
As the News Director for The Brag Media, I’ll still be hard at work as one of our writers, but I’ll also be taking on a bit more of a behind-the-scenes role, focusing on making our published content more relevant, and providing a bit of guidance and structure for the rest of our editorial staff.
At the end of the day, we’re aiming to make The Brag Media one of the most well-known and respected publishers in the country, and I hope to be able to help us achieve that with this new role.
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What motivated the need for a News Director at The Brag Media?
Simply, the main motivation came from a necessity for consistency and unification across our publications. With a noted growth in both our audience and client base, this means that our titles are consistently being seen by more and more people.
At the end of the day, we’re aiming to make The Brag Media one of the most well-known and respected publishers in the country
As such, we wanted to ensure that throughout all of these publications, we’re speaking with a voice that conveys the same message of quality and consistency wherever we go. The role of a News Director seemed like an obvious step in order to achieve this as a company.
Can we expect to see a change in direction across the different titles?
Ultimately, all of our titles will still be covering a lot of the same local and international content that they already cover, but moving forward, we’re hoping to see renewed focus on Australian artists, local tours, and stories that appeal to our core audience.
As an Australian-based company our audience is therefore predominantly Australian, meaning that we want to ensure we’re providing relevant news and stories to our local fans, while also ensuring our international audience is catered to as well.
What do you look for in a news pitch?
Right off the bat, relevance is the main thing. There’s no point in committing to a story if it’s not something that will appeal to our wider audience and engage their interest.
Having previously served as one of the readers of Tone Deaf for a number of years before I joined the team, I began to understand the sort of stories that resonate with our audience. As I came on board with The Brag Media and we expanded our audience with publications like The Brag, The Industry Observer, and Don’t Bore Us, I soon realised how diverse our readership is, but noted that there is a core desire for informative content that appeals to their interests.
While any writer will tell you that a news pitch or a story has to have a hook to draw in any prospective readers, I’ve always felt there is no point committing to a big story if it’s not going to be one that our readers will care for.
At the end of the day, it’s all about knowing your audience, what they like and what they care about, before you decide to take on any news story.
There is no point committing to a big story if it’s not going to be one that our readers will care for.
What makes you immediately pass on a news pitch?
Following on from the last question, I’d be remiss not to say a lack of relevance, but the main thing that makes me pass on a pitch is a lack of focus. If we’re wanting to champion a new local band with a piece of written content, a news pitch that consists of nothing but filler, unnecessary background information, or even just solely pictures likely isn’t going to get across the line.
As a writer, I prefer to approach a news piece like the music reader I have been my whole life; if the who, what, where, when, and how aren’t immediately visible, it’s something that won’t capture my attention, won’t capture the attention of our readers, and therefore won’t be a good choice for us.
The main thing that makes me pass on a pitch is a lack of focus.
What’s the most challenging part of your role?
While I think the most obvious answer would be something like remembering names, faces, band members, and other music-related facts, I think simply my biggest challenge is saying ‘no’ to things. I feel it’s always been in my nature to make people happy, so it pains me to pass on a pitch, especially when I think they’ve taken the time out of their day to contact me.
Another Melbourne writer recently offered some sage advice by reminding me that you don’t always have to please everyone, and while it’s a great idea in theory, it’s still something I constantly struggle with.
What’s the best part of the job?
Undoubtedly working with a family of like-minded music-lovers in such an open and welcoming environment. With the company based out of Sydney, and with me being based out of Melbourne, there has also been a large amount of flexibility from within this job that I doubt I would’ve found in any other company.
Likewise, being able to work with new entrants into the music industry is such a wonderful feeling as well, with these mentoring opportunities being made available, it’s exciting to be able to take such a hands-on role in helping to guide the next generation of Aussie music journalists.
There has also been a large amount of flexibility from within this job that I doubt I would’ve found in any other company.
What is it about The Brag Media in particular that excites you?
Without hesitation, the impact we’re having on the Australian and global music scene, and the potential for our growth in the future. If you were to ask any aspiring writer, they’ll most likely explain that they want to make a difference with what they do. They want their words and actions to make more than just a ripple in the waters of global journalism, and they want to ensure that they’re not going unheard.
With our audience and client base continuing to grow, the sky is the limit for us as creatives and media professionals.
From working with The Brag Media, it’s amazing to see that our efforts transcend not only our native Australia, but are seen, admired, and noted by a number of international readers and publications.
With our audience and client base continuing to grow, the sky is the limit for us as creatives and media professionals, and provides every one of us with a rare chance to not only help make a difference in the global music scene, but to be seen as a company that is helping to set trends and being recognised for the differences we make.
The Brag Media is hiring across multiple sectors of its business. Check out a few current openings below: