We chat to an international reporter who has seen the best and worst of humanity.
Claire Hedman is a former radio journalist now working for an international news agency. Her job has taken her everywhere from Dirranbandi in outback Queensland to Fukushima, Japan.
Live4: What made you decide to become a journalist?
Claire: As a kid I always thought it looked so exciting, being a part of breaking news. Then I did high school work experience at Channel 9 and it was just as good as it looked, working with the chief of staff and flying in the helicopter to crime scenes. That was until I had to sit through a Police Integrity Commission hearing for six hours straight.
Live4: Journalism is a notoriously difficult industry to break into. How did you do it?
Claire: By annoying a lot of people! The most important thing I’ve learnt is to never stop trying, and to surround yourself with people to learn from. Oh, and networking will get you everywhere.
Live4: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done for a story?
Claire: Trying to catch feral piglets by hand in outback Queensland is definitely up there.
Live4: What’s the best thing about your job?
Claire: You meet some fascinating people and you’re on the front line (so to speak) for some of the biggest moments in history.
Live4: What’s been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
Claire: I was working in the newsroom when word of the tsunami in Japan broke. The raw footage of that wall of water outrunning cars, sweeping away boats and houses full of people. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen but we just had to put that aside and start sending out stories as more details came in.