Meet Melissa Davies. Well, technically you may have “met” her before on your tv screens during the 6pm news but how well do you really know her? When the weird world of fashion somehow brings her into our life we have learn’t that Melissa is a role model, women should feel inspired by. She’s a go-getter, a dream chaser and above all a hilarious human being. Read more here…
1. HOW OLD ARE YOU? 34
2. HOW OLD DO YOU FEEL? 24 ..the last decade of my life has passed by in a haze of late nights and early mornings working all over the world. Sometimes I feel like I fell down the most wonderful rabbit hole and was spat back up 10 years later!
3. IN A NUTSHELL, WHAT DOES A DAY IN THE LIFE OF MELISSA LOOK LIKE?
No two days are the same in journalism which is one of the main reasons I love what I do. However, my life does have more routine now that I have moved back to New Zealand. I was based in London for TV3 for 5 years as the Europe Correspondent and was basically on call 24/7. If there was breaking news, I might be up at 4am booking flights to Europe and doing live crosses back to New Zealand.
These days, it’s more likely that I’m in work for the morning meeting to discuss story ideas for the day. Whatever I may be working on – I’ll be writing scripts and filing throughout the day for our website newshub.co.nz, RadioLive news bulletins, our 4pm bulletin, Prime News and our evening bulletins. News is a hungry beast!
It’s a little more glam on the days when I’m presenting as I can be in hair and makeup for up to an hour. After a day out filming, traipsing around with hefty camera equipment – Newshub stylist Sarah Stuart and the hair and makeup team work small miracles on me!
4. HOW WOULD YOUR PARENTS DESCRIBE WHAT YOU DO?
My parents probably think that I spend my time going from the world’s best news and sports events to the world’s worst conflict zones. That is not untrue in some ways – but there are many days spent in between covering court cases, sitting through Council meetings, thrashing the phone requesting interviews, getting soaked in the rain at police cordons and still standing in those squelchy socks 8 hours later to do live crosses for Newshub Live at 6pm.
5. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE GIRLS WHO WANT TO TAKE UP JOURNALISM?
Do it for the right reasons. If the stuff in the previous answer doesn’t put you off then you’re on the right track! It’s about telling people’s stories, realising that journalism has a power to effect change by highlighting issues to a wide audience. However, with that power comes a responsibility to be truthful, accurate and caring.
Don’t be afraid to try and contact a journalist you admire and ask any questions you might have about the profession. I’m sure you’ll find they will be more than willing to help.
6. WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
One strong female I admire is CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, Christiane Amanpour.
My cultural background is something that I also count as inspiration to what I do. I’m part Chinese, part Dutch which has driven my keen interest in the many diverse ethnic communities we have in New Zealand and making sure their voices are heard in mainstream media.
7. DO YOU FIND YOUR CAREER IS PREDOMINANTLY MALE OR FEMALE DRIVEN?
Once upon a time I would have definitely said male driven but I feel we are seeing far more females in management and decision-making positions. The balance is tipped closer towards equality than it was.
8. WHAT’S A SECRET ABOUT THE NEWS THAT WOULD SHOCK YOU?
One of the questions I’m often asked is if Tom McRae and I are just pretending to talk to each other when the opening music plays for Newshub Live at 6pm on the weekends. It’s not pretend!
We are having a genuine conversation – usually about the lead story for that evening or any last minute instructions about the order of the bulletin. Very often those stories are still in editing and are sometimes only ready to go just seconds before they’re due on-air. We wear an earpiece so that the Director can let us know about any changes to the order of stories.
9. WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR GUILTY PLEASURES?
I’m a big fan of hard house dance music. This usually raises eyebrows from people who only know me in a news capacity! I’ve recently been learning to DJ and spin my own little house parties. I don’t know why, but I feel there’s something a bit embarrassing about that!
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
I am trying to spend as much of my spare time as possible on the water or at the beach. I recently tried scubadiving for the first time and loved it so I’m hoping to get into more of that this summer.
You can stalk Melissa here, or on Newshub… Duh.