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Meet the Team – Sport Editor, Jakeb Waddell

10 February 2023

Tell us about your journey into the role of Sports Editor of The West Australian?

After completing my media degree at the University of Western Australia, I was lucky enough to score an internship at The West Australian.

From there, I landed my first journalism job at the Broome Advertiser and made the trek up north for the best few years of my life in paradise.

Broome was an incredible place to learn the tricks of the trade because, aside from being a hub for world-renowned events, fascinating human interest stories and some of the best regional sport, I was also able to sink my teeth into its unique social and political issues, get a front row seat to court cases of national interest and cover huge breaking stories.

In 2019, I took over as North West Editor, overseeing the Kimberley and Pilbara mastheads. This was an invaluable learning experience that eventually led me down to Bunbury in 2021, where I was South West Editor for nearly two years, overseeing eight mastheads across the region.

During my four years as a regional editor, I was able to use our newspapers, and especially the front pages, to create real impact in our communities. They were eye-catching, relevant and powerful tools for accountability and change.


What does a typical day in your role look like?

The great thing about our industry is no two days are ever the same, and that is why we love what we do.

In 2023 we are competing against so many different types of media and entertainment so my goal as Sports Editor is to ensure that picking up a newspaper and turning it around to the back remains a part of the average West Australian person’s daily routine.

Each day is a challenge to ensure our section is as engaging, relevant and impactful as possible. Even if people have watched their favourite sporting team or have been talking about the week’s biggest match with their friends all day, we need to give them a reason to still pick the paper up and find out what is being said about it.

A typical day for me is ensuring we have exclusive coverage, strong takes and reliable information that, together, forms a product that gets people talking and remains an important part of a West Australian’s day.


What is one of the biggest news stories The West Australian has covered in the past year that has captivated readers?

Ahead of the Perth Scorchers’ massive Big Bash League final, we took a strong take that really set the tone and completely changed the narrative of the match.

Our home side were taking on the Brisbane Heat, a side that had been severely depleted because of the loss of a number of Australian Test squad members. Using our back page and a special lift-out poster, we gave the Heat a label that really became the story of the final: the “nobodies.”

Social media was swept with fired-up Queenslanders who, understandably, took umbrage at their beloved team being called nobodies. The team themselves even weighed in on the issue, both online and in pre-game interviews.

It also set the narrative for the live television coverage.


Who or what inspires you most?

I draw inspiration for different facets of my life from a number of different places. I’m usually drawn to people with ambition, who constantly set the bar higher for themselves. I’m inspired by these people who are all around me, whether they be friends, family or colleagues.


If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be?

Never complain about hard work, it always pays off.