The Bigger Picture - Emma Dallimore

5 May 2015

Emma Dallimore Bachelor of Journalism - ’99. In a media world with a 24-hour news cycle, journalists are now working to an increasing number of deadlines with limited resources.

Network Ten Australia’s US Bureau Chief Emma Dallimore said the best piece of advice she ever received was counter-intuitive to this hustle and bustle environment.

“I was told to stop every now and then and take it all in,” Dallimore said.

“As journalists, we are often blessed to have a front row seat at some pretty historic events and it can be easy to just concentrate on getting all the elements of your story and watching the clock.

“Sometimes you need to just stop for a minute and see, really see, where you are in a larger context. It not only provides a bit of a personal memento, but it sometimes helps you break the story down and let the viewer understand your perspective,” Dallimore said.

Dallimore has been in her current role for the past four years, and says the stories that most readily come to mind over that period involve both tragedy and inspiration.

“Nothing can quite prepare you for going to a place like Haiti after the earthquake there, or to the little village of Newtown after a massacre of Grade One kids.

“Those stories stick with me – and at times they’re incredibly hard to deal with – but the people you meet there always remind you of human resilience and sometimes, just incredible bravery,” she said.

Despite working in a hectic modern media world that has seen the rise of social media as a legitimate information source, Dallimore says accuracy will always remain her number one priority.

“CBS Anchor Scott Pelley recently recalled advice he was given by the late CBS Executive and TV Pioneer Fred Friendly: ‘If you are first, no one will ever remember. If you are wrong, no one will ever forget,’” Dallimore said.

Dallimore’s career started a world away from the bright lights of Los Angeles, having joined Channel 7 Mackay while in her final year at UQ. She said the experience was invaluable.

“I learnt so much in regional TV. So many of my close friends who are also in the industry started in regional TV and we all talk about how much that experience taught us,” Dallimore said.

“You’re generally in a small newsroom without great resources, so it teaches you to be creative in the way you tell and present a story. It also teaches you to be quick and decisive under pressure, as often you’re writing more than one story, then you might be presenting the weather!

“Being able to rotate through as Chief of Staff, presenter and reporter so early in your career really provides you with a sound understanding of how all the pieces of a newsroom work.”