Nine News Regional Victoria Presenter Jo Hall is arguably one of Melbourne’s most distinguished and experienced female television reporters and presenters. She has forged an incredible career in front of and behind the camera, spanning more than three decades. Hall began her journalism path with a cadet ship on a Melbourne suburban newspaper before joining Nine News as a junior reporter in 1979, and will be celebrating 40 years on television this June.
A highlight of her career came in 1990 as the first woman to win a prestigious Thorn Award for journalism for her report on the siege at Hawthorn Kindergarten in May 1989. The joy of the award however, never overshadowed the gravity of the story for which she won it. Being a mother of two young children at the time, it was an experience that hit close to home. “That was a shocking story, absolutely awful,” Hall said. “The parents would arrive not knowing if their child was one of those being held hostage. You can’t imagine their anguish, and as a parent I never lost sight of that.”
Another story almost cost Hall her life. Covering the Ash Wednesday bushfires at Anglesea, she and her camera crew were confronted by a wall of fire. “I jumped behind the wheel of the car and the crew hopped in the back,” Hall said. “Had the engine not started I believe we wouldn’t be here now.”
Hall admits that stories about children affect her most and she can still be moved to tears by her work. This is an enduring quality that makes her one of Melbourne’s most popular presenters. “If you don’t appreciate or understand the severity of what you’re reporting, then you lose credibility and the viewers see that” she said. ‘It’s an honour and privilege to read the news and be invited into people’s homes to tell them what has gone on that day, and I don’t take it for granted.”
Her off-air interests branch deeper into the community, and she regularly undertakes duties for breast cancer charities. She is also patron of Bonnie Babes, an organisation that researches miscarriages, premature births and provides support to grieving parents.
Jo Hall is an integral member of the Nine News team, mentoring and assisting young journalists coming through the network. She lives in inner suburban Melbourne and is an avid Collingwood supporter and has four children whom she cherishes.
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