Georgia Love @ RMIT: TV journalism, reality TV and dealing with online trolls

By Simi West | @simwest7

Prime-time television – it creates a cult audience.

When the soppy promos for this show begin to air, you either love it or love to hate it. Australia chose the former, becoming besotted with TV journalist and RMIT graduate, Georgia Love. Although now more widely known for her role in Channel Ten’s popular reality show, The Bachelorette, Love has actually been in the spotlight for longer than most people know. She skipped the sign up and expected selection process for the show, in fact being scouted after one of the producers saw her reporting on-screen.

The 2009 RMIT journalism graduate was welcomed back to the university last month on Friday April 28th. Bracing a room of young journalists in a Q&A, she incorporated topics of TV journalism, reality TV and dealing with online trolls. Facilitated by our own, journalism lecturer Alex Wake, Love gave students an insight into her experience making her way in the journalism field.

Love spoke of one of her first jobs at Prime 7 in Traralgon, where she wrote the local news updates that aired during the ad breaks in the Gippsland region. She then spent two years reporting in Launceston, before becoming an Associate Producer at A Current Affair, just to name a few.

As diverse as her work history is, what was most impressive was her warm demeanor and utmost candor. I watched her season of The Bachelorette and while I was excited to find out her chosen man, I was skeptical of just how accurate the representations of each person were. However, Love proved to be the exact exemplification of how she was encapsulated on screen.

When prodded about how she climbed the career ladder, Love said that a lot of it is “being in the right place at the right time” and that she is “a big believer in no regrets and saying yes to every opportunity”.

She eased students’ concerns by stressing how it is so important to “maintain something you love outside of work”. Being a musical nerd, I found myself smitten with Love as she announced that she performed in six shows while working in Launceston, the first being Grease. Her decision to take a gap year after graduating cemented this notion that it is okay to take your time to let yourself breathe. She worked in hotels for a year before settling into full-time work and to an audience of students fast approaching graduation, it was reassuring to see another alternative presented.

Most poignant of all was how she handled online trolls that sprang up while the show aired. Love is passionate about educating people and this was evident in how she dealt with the nasty comments, saying that “bullying is such a rampant thing” but if you can find a way to educate the perpetrators, that in itself “is a win”.

On behalf of all the attendees at last month’s talk, I thank Georgia Love for taking the time out of her busy schedule to ease the fears of some sleep deprived, coffee-fuelled university students. Not all of us would have the stamina and drive to be put into the spotlight and wear our hearts on our sleeve.

While, yes, I of course will be making fun of all the eccentric characters on the next season of the Bachelorette with Sophie Monk, I have the utmost respect for both Love and Monk for having the courage to tell the world that they are fabulous, independent women and that they are open to love.

Witnessing Love so vivacious and passionate cemented my new stance on the show. You can be normal and successful and be the Bachelorette!

Who knows, maybe the show’s producers are watching my Reporting with Sound and Image class assessments. Simi for Bachelorette 2018? Just a suggestion…

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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