Humans of RMIT: Nicolas Zoumboulis

Nicolas Zoumboulis, Graduate Diploma in Journalism, RMIT

At the beginning of this year, I began the Graduate Diploma in Journalism at RMIT, having previously completed a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in politics and philosophy at Monash University.

In the first semester I undertook a 15-day internship with RMIT ABC Fact Check. Even though we were all working remotely, it was an incredible experience to work really closely with such an experienced team of journalists, led by Director, Russel Skelton and Senior Journalist, Sushi Das, who very much became my mentor during my time there.

When I first began my internship I pitched in a claim to the team that I wanted to investigate which related to a post that had been shared widely on social media claiming that Western Australia had passed a “COVID-19 Emergency Powers Act” that authorised officers to forcibly test and vaccinate children at school.

I spent the vast majority of my time fact-checking this claim and subsequently wrote a piece which was published on the RMIT ABC Fact Check website, and which ultimately found that this claim did not tell the whole story.

Sushi told me I was only the third intern to have a piece published on the website, so it was a really valuable and satisfying experience.

Since then I have done two other internships, including at ABC Radio’s Pacific Beat program, and I am about to do my final one for the year at the Canberra Times, although I will be working from my home office here in Melbourne.

The internships have been incredibly valuable because they have allowed me to put everything I am learning in the course into practice, as well as learning new skills and gaining real insights into the role of a working journalist.

My time at RMIT ABC Fact Check was particularly valuable and to see first- hand how this really accomplished team of journalists and researchers worked through the process of fact checking and writing, and also how they work through problems was really amazing.

I feel incredibly lucky to have been mentored by Sushi and the team and I just got so much out of it in terms of personal skill development and developing a greater awareness of how the industry works.

While the coursework is really great, I think being able to go in and do an internship within the industry you are being trained for, is critical. For me, it has just cemented my confidence in myself and my ability as a working journalist.