IT’S a tough time for young people in the workplace, with high unemployment and an internship culture keeping many out of full-time employment or nudging them towards emigration.
However, Shannon’s Orla Walsh isn’t having that experience, having landed something of a dream job presenting RTÉ’s News2Day programme.
She applied in May and has been on TV screens since September, having graduated with a BA in Journalism and New Media from UL in 2012.
Speaking to The Clare Champion, she said she has settled well at Montrose and wants to carve out more of a niche for herself with the national broadcaster. She is always pleased when her work gets bumped up and used for the main news.
“I absolutely love it. Since I was young, I always wanted to be on RTÉ and I always wanted to present the news. To get the chance to come in, do the children’s news and get such fantastic training is amazing. Every time I have a report on the six o’clock news, it’s the best feeling ever. The goal is just to keep going. I’m in the job for the next year or so and the idea is to keep going, get as many reports as I can done and stay in RTÉ. It’s a great start for me.”
In the past, she spent some time as a newsreader and presenter with Spin South West, while she has also done some work with Clare FM and the Irish Examiner.
During her time in UL, she had the chance to go abroad to develop some TV skills, which helped her get her foot in the RTÉ door.
“During my Erasmus, which is like a foreign exchange, I went to Denmark and I attended the Danish school of media and journalism for four months. I learned all sorts of things, how to interview someone for TV, how to edit and how to get your final product together. It was completely hands-on and I think it really stood to me in getting this job. I had a leg up. I knew what I had to do.”
Orla and Conor McNally share the programme, one doing five days presenting with the other reporting. The two then switch. She says she doesn’t really have a preference between the reporting and presenting.
“It’s hard to pick. The reporting week is tough going. You’re going out every morning; you’ve a lot to do. The presenting week, you wouldn’t have as much to do, you’d have to do your news-in-brief at base but it’s a bit calmer. You’ve five days a week so you get a good blast of each. It’s great to get a chance to do both.”
She sometimes gets recognised in the street, mostly by members of her young audience and she has been thrilled with the backing she has got from her home county.
“The support from home is great. The people of Shannon and Clare have been great. You’ve no idea how nice it is for me to come home on a Friday and my dad to say he met so and so in the town centre and they said you were great,” she concluded.