GUEST SPEAKERS: Alison Sandy and Paula Doneman will be delivering talks and workshops on how to make a successful podcast.
GUEST SPEAKERS: Alison Sandy and Paula Doneman will be delivering talks and workshops on how to make a successful podcast.

Festival guest speakers share their secret to success

WITH a combined 47 years experience between them, veteran journalists Alison Sandy and Paula Doneman have a wealth of knowledge to share about true crime, politicial and podcast journalism at the Words Out West Festival on Saturday, February 15.

The two inspiring writers will be speaking about their respective podcasts and careers during the festival in a series of workshops and keynote speeches.

From finding a topic you’re passionate about to using the correct microphone, Ms Sandy and Ms Doneman will be sharing their experience diving into the world of podcasting, and how to be a successful podcaster.

Alison Sandy became a journalist to be a champion for those without a voice, and to help others seek justice when they had been wronged.

It was this passion that led her to create The Lady Vanishes, a podcast following the 1997 disappearance of Marion Barter.

“My reason for being a journalist was righting wrongs, or following tales of injustice and trying to get justice,” Ms Sandy said.

“That was the incentive for me.”

Ms Sandy is also the nation’s first female Freedom of Information editor for 7 NEWS, a role she felt compelled to take on early in her career.

“It’s a cornerstone of democracy,” she said about Freedom of Information.

“This is information that the public is entitled to, and own. The public services are just the gatekeepers. They are supposed to be given that information unless there’s a legal reason.

“Information is power, the worst dictatorships are places where freedom and freedom of people and freedom of the press go hand-in-hand and are controlled.”

Ms Sandy will also be joined by author David Fagan and political cartoonist Mark Guthrie for a panel called ‘Politics – Taking the P-ss’ where they will be commenting on Australia’s history of political reporting, and what goes on behind the scenes in a newsroom when it comes to reporting politics.

Fellow guest speaker Ms Doneman has a special connection to the Western Downs.

Her podcast Pendulum follows the story of Jandowae local Margaret Kirstenfeldt, who suffered a violent death in Sarina, Queensland.

While delivering advice for people looking to make their start in the world of podcasting, Ms Doneman will be sharing her own experiences diving into the lives of the Kirstenfeldt family.

“She was a young mum of two whose life was cut short in the most brutal of circumstances,” she said.

“It was something that warranted further research and further investigation.”

It was with the support from a dream team around her and a passion for the story of Margaret Kirstenfedlt that made the transition from print and online journalism to podcasting an easy one.

“It is a new medium which makes it exciting,” she said.

“It’s long-form journalism which is what my background is. All of my career I’ve done crime and investigative journalism and this is just another form of it.”

Tickets to hear Ms Doneman and Ms Sandy talk about their podcasts Pendulum and The Lady Vanishes are available at www.eventbrite.com/e/words-out-west-readers-writers-festival-tickets-86092562171.

Where to see Alison Sandy:

Workshop: So you want your own podcast? – Saturday, 10.15am – 11.15am

Partners in Crime – Saturday, 1 – 1.45pm

In Conversation: Politics – Taking the P-ss – Saturday, 2 – 2.45pm

Where to see Paula Doneman:

Partners in Crime – Saturday, 1 – 1.45pm

Workshop: Autopsy of a Podcast – Saturday, 2.15 – 3.15pm


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