Jack Ward is an award-winning student journalist studying Year 12 in 2021 at Ararat College in regional Victoria, navigating his school work and covering local news. Jack founded Ararat College's student-run news station (AC News) at the beginning of 2017, turning it into one of Ararat's major news sources. Now he is a paid journalist at the age of 17.
When AC News launched in March of 2017, the students were publishing video segments via Instagram to less than 100 followers. By the end of 2019 - when Jack stepped away from his passion project - his team was producing high-quality video segments, written articles and photojournalism. AC News was reaching thousands each month.
Jack's passion for telling a story has been with him for as long as he can remember, as has his love for news. As a young child, he watched breakfast television, the nightly news, listened to the wireless and read newspapers, admiring the work of journalists and presenters.
When launching AC News, he began his journalistic journey - soaking in the work of professionals and gaining valuable 'real-life' experience. The 17-year-old has interviewed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Ministers, Nine's Peter Hitchener, hundreds of local residents and students. Learning from each interview and growing his range of skills and knowledge.
At the beginning of 2019, AC News expanded into a multimedia website alongside video segments. This decision was made to extend content platforms and allow for more students to be involved in what became a valued, respected and trusted news source for the Ararat community.
As well as growing AC News, Jack wrote for a number of other organisations (RUOK, Project Rockit & Youth Journalism International). He was a member of Victoria's first Youth Congress in 2018.
At the end of 2018, Jack completed a week of work experience at Tennis Australia during the December Showdown and Junior Australian Championship with their media team. He conducted interviews, wrote articles and soaked in a wealth of knowledge. In September of 2019, he spent time with the team at Nine News Melbourne for a stint of experience. This was followed by another week at ABC Ballarat later that month.
More recently in 2020, Jack was named Student Journalist of the Year by Youth Journalism International. He hosted a news podcast, Ararat's Latest, throughout last year - delivering news to his community live on Facebook, then shared via podcasting apps following the broadcast.
Perhaps the most pivotal moment of Jack's career so far was when Ararat's newspaper, The Ararat Advertiser, suspended publication in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then 16-year-old Jack was Ararat's only source of news until a new publication (The Ararat Advocate) stepped in and hired Jack as their first Ararat reporter.
Jack plans to complete his secondary schooling in 2021 at Ararat College whilst continuing to work for the Ararat Advocate. Learning academically and practically.
This website is home to much of Jack's work mentioned above, a portfolio of his experience in broadcast and written journalism. If you are wanting to contact the young journalist, his details can be found HERE.
Communication Journalism Campaign Management Video Production
Social Media Writing Podcasting Creativity TV Presenting
April 2020 - Present
The Ararat Advocate
Jack is currently working for Ararat's local newspaper, The Ararat Advocate. He is one of two reporters covering news under the supervision of editor and publisher, Craig Wilson who owns West Vic News Pty Ltd.
January 2020 - December 2021
Jack hosted a fortnightly live news podcast covering the events and issues unfolding within the Ararat community. The show received international attention - being Ararat's only news source for a period of time at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He produced, hosted and edited the live production across 25 episodes.
9News Work Experience
Jack spent a week with the 9News Melbourne team, learning how to navigate a fast-paced news environment. He travelled with news crews to cover politics, protests, conferences and community stories whilst also gaining experience in the newsroom and studios.
August 2019 - Present
ABC Ballarat Segment
Jack joins ABC Ballarat's Steve Martin weekly on a Tuesday to discuss and present the latest Ararat news to his listeners. ABC Ballarat also welcomed him for a work experience stint in September 2019 - a great comparison to metropolitan journalism.
Jack's first work experience placement was with Tennis Australia in December 2018. He worked with their PR and media team during the Junior Australia Championships and December Showdown. They allowed him to work independently, covering and publishing Junior Championship content on their site.
Student Journalist of the Year
Youth Journalism International
Victorian Young Achiever Awards
Online Achievement Award Finalist
Ararat College Year Level Dux
Year 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 Dux
Victorian Youth Congress