By Dinushka Gunasekara
Jan Fran believes people should be armed; armed with knowledge, that is. The journalist and presenter, best known for hosting The Feed on SBSVICELAND, wants to arm people with as much knowledge as possible so they can make better decisions.
“I want you to know what’s going on,” she said.
“I want you to know when someone’s trying to pull the wool over your eye.”
This is what she calls her ‘why’, and she advises others to know their ‘why’ before they begin their journey.
“I think a lot of people know their why, they just don’t articulate it very well,” she said. “Why you’re doing what you do. Why you want to be where you want to be. Why you are where you are.”
Fran’s why has taken her all around the world, both physically and online.
She’s eaten avocadoes with Barnaby Joyce and listened to him talk about how housing prices are not out of reach for millennials.
She’s walked into a Lisbon police station to ask whether she would be arrested if she had a gram of cocaine in her pocket and found out she wouldn’t.
She’s also carved out a space on social media through her online opinion segment, The Frant, which has been viewed more than 20 million times since beginning in 2018.
“Social media has given us this incredible world of information and connection and community,” she said.
“And by the same token, it’s also given us trolls.”
The delicate balance between the beauty and the terror of the internet will always be there, but Fran says it’s all about who you are, how you use it and what your intentions are.
“Social media is not so much about creating content as it is about cultivating communities,” she said.
From addressing the gender wage gap to climate change, The Frant has engaged people who normally are disinterested in political affairs due to its platform, brevity and topical humour.
“I really wouldn’t discount humour as one of the best mediums to get information across to people,” Fran said.
“I find humour the perfect way to talk about really difficult topics in a way that’s not judgemental and very easily understood.”
Since leaving The Feed, Fran has a few things in the works but is loathe to comment on them.
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this industry, it’s it ain’t happening unless your name is in ink on that dotted line.”
Fran was looking forward to the Women In Media conference, particularly meeting other women in media.
“I think there’s a real kind of solidarity among women I feel now that I don’t think was there in the last five years,” she said.
“I think it’s just really important to check in with the people around you.”
Jan Fran spoke at the 2019 Women in Media conference at Bond University – our foundation partner – on September 13 and 14, 2019.
This post originally appeared on the Bond University blog.