5 Minutes with the Media – Sandra Mallon

At MediaHQ, we chat to a member of the media landscape to gain an insight into what it’s like to work in the fast-paced, creative industry. This month, we sat down with the Irish Daily Star’s Sandra Mallon. 

What is your current role in the Irish Daily Star and what does it involve?

I’m the Showbiz Reporter for the Irish Daily Star. My role involves reporting on all things entertainment in Ireland.

Did you always want to be a journalist? What made you want to become one?

I always loved English and loved reading when I was younger but I didn’t know I wanted to be a journalist until I was 15 years old, when my mother suggested it to me as I have the gift of the gab. I set my sights on it as a career and never looked back.

What has been the biggest challenge in your career so far?

For me, my biggest challenge is keeping our readers entertained with fresh, exciting and new entertainment stories daily that haven’t been broken online before. A different angle and a different opinion to a story is what keeps the readers engaged with buying newspapers. 

What piece of work are you most proud of?

In 2013, I was nominated for the Young Journalist of the Year award at the NNI Journalism Awards. Then again in 2017, I was nominated for Showbiz Story of the Year after revealing concerns for the health of pop duo Jedward’s father. I was also nominated Showbiz Journalist of the Year that same year at NewsBrands Ireland Journalism awards. 

How has your experience in the journalism industry compared to the expectations that you had while studying Journalism and Media Communications in Griffith College? 

My degree from Griffith College stood to me. Unlike other colleges, I learned my craft under the guidance of Journalists and Sub-Editors, who continue to work in the industry today. When I left college, I knew the industry would be hard to crack into. I didn’t expect to walk straight into a staff job without the use of persuasion, bargaining and being persistent. The summer before I did my final year at college, I secured an internship with a local newspaper. It definitely helped my CV as local newspaper experience looked favourably to News Editors in national newspapers. 

What are your tips for a PR professional that is trying to pitch to you?

It is always best to put the interview opportunity with the person at the top of your email. For news reporters looking to develop the story, it is always best to have some case studies in your back pocket. 

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