Anna Klauzner, electionWIRE's Executive Producer and core member of the editorial team, was involved with the project from its inception. She's been involved with Vibewire for several years as an intern, a staff member and a board member. She also works at the ABC and keeps busy as a freelance journalist. Not only was Anna an important part of the dreaming and planning which got electionWIRE off the ground, she brought her production skills and honed editorial instincts to the daily operations of the project. She's had plenty of experience working in the media, but for Anna, electionWIRE offered the chance to work with a motivated, passionate, and exceptionally intelligent team of journalists, editors and media professionals.
It was a "steep, steep, steep" learning curve for Anna. "Turns out that pulling-off a 30 person, Australia-wide project that runs smoothly from end-to-end in three months is VERY hard!" Like all the teams, Anna learnt this the EXTREMLY hard way, with the sudden announcement of the election tightening the timeframe even more. Given the turbulent political climate and crowded media landscape, pulling this project off was an even more exceptional feat.
From Anna's point of view, electionWIRE was a huge success and she reckon that anyone involved in the project will benefit from its good reputation. She says, "I have been lucky enough to meet total strangers who, after the election was over, told me that they had discovered the project online and had used it as a major source of news during the Federal Election campaign. In my personal career, this is a huge addition to my CV and one that gets a lot of attention when I mention it to my fellow media professionals."
Creating opportunities for young people is part of what Vibewire does but there's a greater significance to a project like electionWIRE – and that's in helping the broader public hear what young people have to say. In Anna's words, "Young Australians are the next generation of the country's leaders and opinion makers, yet we rarely hear their views on the major issues affecting the country. electionWIRE provided a platform for young Australian's to identify the issues that they felt were pertinent to their generation and to cover it from their perspective. It is through projects like electionWIRE, that older Australians get to meet the next crop of opinion-makers and see what makes them tick."
This all creates some interesting questions about what the phrase "youth media" means – it is about producing content for young audiences, or is it content produced by young people? Anna thinks it's quite simple: "Youth media is a way of recognising that is more than one point-of-view that deserves coverage. As young people are Australia's future it is important to find ways to engage with their opinions and understand what matters to them."
Anna remains a Vibewire board member and will keep playing a role in the determining the future direction of Vibewire.