Chad Watson – Director

Chad Watson started a journalism cadetship with the Newcastle Herald in the late 1980s – about the same time the World Wide Web was invented. He spent his formative years covering police rounds and reportng on football, surfing and rock’n’roll. He also wrote feature stories and ran the newspapers-in-education program – albeit not all at the same time. He progressed to newsroom leadership roles with The Sun-Herald and Sydney Morning Herald before returning “home” to the Newcastle Herald, becoming editor in 2012. The masthead won a record five consecutive Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Awards as newspaper and news website of the year.

Chad was also part of a Herald team that received a Walkley Award for coverage of community and regional affairs. Fairfax Media later appointed him managing editor of the Newcastle and Hunter group, including the Herald. The regional and rural section of Fairfax Media became Australian Community Media (ACM) and Chad moved from managing 40 mastheads across NSW to being the national head of daily titles – a position he now holds. A proud University of Newcastle graduate, he has served on the university’s alumni advisory committee, chaired the Communication degree’s external advisory board and now assists in advising the School of Humanities, Creative Industries & Social Sciences. He has also lectured at the University, Hunter TAFE and the Workers Education Association (WEA). He was a foundation committee member for the Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame, an ambassador for anti-domestic violence charity White Ribbon, media director for international event Surfest and part of Mindframe’s national group advising on the media portrayal of suicide and mental illness. Along with being a director of Got Your Back Sista, he sits on the boards of the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, Joy Cummings Centre Reserve Trust and Newcastle Football.