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To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th, Emma Clifton sits down with Carol Hirschfeld – broadcaster, journalist, advocate, executive – to discuss her thirty-plus years in the media world, and how it has changed for women in that time.
CAROL HIRSCHFELD EXPECTING THE UNEXPECTED
fine, I never want to be in front of the camera.’ I sawmyself very much as a backroom person.” But after 12 years at TVNZ, Carol moved to Me- diaworks in 1997, where she sat alongside John Campbell each night and delivered the TV3 News to the nation. Even then, she still kept her options open by also working as a producer for other shows. “For me, it was al- ways ‘Well, this presenting game... who knows? You never can rely on it!’” No matter the role, Carol says, there was al- ways the same clear aim: Can you tell a story? And can the person whose story it is trust you? “Knowing you’re actually dealing with people and these are people’s lives you’re talking about – and the trust that is involved with tak- ing care of people’s stories. That’s why it re- mains an incredibly important job – even though it’s got so hard to do these days.” In 2004, Carol and John left the news to start Campbell Live , with Carol as producer, but the toll of producing a 7pm show every night took a toll on her family life, and so Carol made the move to Ma¯ori Television in 2009 to become Head of Programming. Then it was on to Radio New Zealand in 2014 as Head of Content, and then Head of News. Then it was on to Radio New Zealand in 2014 as Head of Content, and then Head of News. For the last couple of years, she's been Head of Video/Audio and Content Partnerships at Stuff. You can see Carol's latest curations here Play Stuff Originals , and Play Stuff . SEE MORE During her time inmedia, Carol says the change
When a young Carol Hirschfeld was in high school and considering what she wanted from the possible career paths that stretched be- fore her, she had just one request. “My great fear was that I’d end up in an office some- where, not having a very interesting life,” she chuckles. “With journalism, [it felt like] you could get up one day and not really know where you might end up in the afternoon. And that was very true!” With a broadcasting career that has spanned 30 years and seen her in prominent roles in nearly all of New Zealand’s media companies, Carol, 59, says it is still that nature of expecting the unexpected that fuels her love for working in news. Growing up with a dad who was a real news hound, she saw the impact that the headlines could have on people. “Journalism was something with real value for working peo- ple; it helped people make important deci- sions in their lives, and they relied on the information to be credible and accurate.” Her first role was at TVNZ, very much behind- the-scenes, as a sub-editor for Eyewitness News in 1985. In fact, it was such a behind-the-scenes role that her two bosses – whom she’s still close friends with – joked that it was never going to get her in front of the camera. “I said, ‘That’s
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