From RuPaul’s Drag Race to salty snacks and reggae: Inside the world of the ABC’s Edwina Throsby
Welcome to Quick Q – Monday Media’s weekly Q&A series dedicated to finding out more about the personalities that matter most in the Australian media landscape.
Every week The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age asks key figures across corporate media, business, sport, federal politics, radio, television and culture to answer a series of questions about their life, careers, hobbies and news habits.
This week’s conversation is with the ABC’s managing editor of arts, factual and culture, Edwina Throsby.
Edwina Throsby, managing editor, Arts, ABC Factual & CultureCredit:Nic Walker
How did you get your big break?
One of the locals in the pub I was working at turned out to be the EP of a current affairs show, and he was looking for a junior researcher. I guess it was wrong place, right time?
What are daily news media habits?
I still get the newspapers delivered to my house every morning. I know it’s desperately old-fashioned and environmentally sub-ideal, but there’s something about spreading them out on the table at breakfast time that a tablet can’t recreate. On top of this, there’s ABC radio, the international papers on the phone, various magazines. Ironically given that I started in TV news/current affairs, television is probably the last platform I get my news from these days.
Your guilty streaming pleasure?
I have a deep and long-term love of reality television. I can get pretty bottom-feeding, but my enduring addictions are classics of the form: Survivor (pure politics) and RuPaul’s Drag Race (wonderful celebration of difference).
What was your first job?
When I was too young to legally work, the local real estate agent paid me under the table to answer the phones after school, and go to the corner shop to buy him his Benson and Hedges Special Filters.
Facebook or Instagram?
Recommend a podcast…
Ideas at the House, the Sydney Opera House’s Talks & Ideas podcast, of course!
What’s one vice you wish you could give up?
Salty snacks. I can resist chocolate, I can push away cake but put a bowl of potato chips in front of me, and I’ll empty it with a focussed efficiency.
The song that’s always on high rotation?
I listen to a lot of reggae and dub. King Iwah’s Give me Power is good for motivation.
What are you reading?
I’m halfway through Shirley Hazzard’s The Transit of Venus, which to my shame I’ve never read before. It’s masterful writing, and puts much of the contemporary literature I’ve been reading recently in the shade.
Top of your sporting bucket list?
Having worked with Roy and HG on three Olympic Games, I think I probably peaked early on this one, and can’t imagine how anything could top it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I used to have a tendency to apologise for things that didn’t have anything to do with me. Some guy walking in the other direction in the street would run into me, I’d be the one to say sorry. It’s a very feminine trait. A wise friend once told me that when you’ve done something wrong you need to own up and apologise, but otherwise, catch yourself before you automatically say sorry.
What are the three things you couldn’t live without?
The ocean. Good meals with family and friends. The creativity of talented and thoughtful people.
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