Galway girl Amy Croffey lives in London where she works as a Senior Producer for CNN. She has a plethora of experience under her belt across multiple platforms and continents, previously working for RTE, Newstalk, Today FM, TheJournal.ie, The Daily Mail Australia and as a celebrity gossip columnist at The Sydney Morning Herald.
1. Describe your upbringing in Galway.
I was born and raised in Killure Castle in between Ahascragh and Ballinasloe in Co. Galway by Gerry and Maura Croffey. I’m the eldest of three girls, Sarah is a head chef locally and Kate is an NUIG business studies post-grad alum. I attended Killure NS for primary, before going to secondary in Ardscoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe.
2. Were you always interested in news and media at a young age?
I’ve always loved news in any format: TV, radio, newspapers or digital. I knew I wanted to pursue journalism in my teens when I landed work experience in transition year alongside Galway Bay FM’s Ollie Turner. During another work experience stint, this time while at the University of Limerick, I doubled down on that career choice after a couple of months in The Connacht Tribune newsroom under the watchful eye of the late, great editor John Cunningham. One of the best editors I have ever had the luck to work with, although I am not sure I will ever fully forgive him for making me interview Brian McFadden, formerly of Westlife fame. One of my least favourite interviewees to this day – and I’ve been around the block! He called Galway a “sh*thole”, so do you blame me?
The Connacht Tribune’s Bernie Ni Fhlatharta and Denise McNamara also took me under their wings during that time, showing me the ropes, editing my copy, and taking me to the Galway Courthouse, where there was never a dull moment under Judge Mary Fahy. An internship in RTE while studying for my Masters in Journalism at DCU sealed my fate as a hack. The likes of NUIG alumni Sean O’Rourke and Ailbhe Conneely guided me while in the newsroom at Donnybrook. Luckily, I got kept on as a freelancer at RTE, particularly on the Radio One and 2FM news desks, where I got to work alongside my all-time favourite news icon, Anne Doyle – one of my highlights.
3. You landed a big job with CNN but couldn’t take up the role in London due to the pandemic. How difficult was that?
After six years working the celebrity circuit in Sydney, I was looking forward to moving to London, but when lockdown was announced, I was glad to be at home with my family, walking the dogs in the countryside, and catching up with old school friends for socially distanced coffee and chats, usually around the grounds of Garbally or Clonbrock.
4. Describe your role at CNN and what you love about it.
I’m a senior producer in CNN’s London bureau focused on international news, in particular the EMEA area. The best thing about being a journalist is that no two days are alike, so you never get bored. I love the excitement of putting together live television, in what feels at times like breakneck speed, for an audience in every corner of the earth.
5. Is there any piece of work that you have done to date in your career that you’re particularly proud of?
Field producing for CNN at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral was one I won’t forget as it was the largest organised event, I will ever cover with world leaders in attendance from across the globe. I also loved my time in Sydney working as a celebrity reporter and gossip columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald, where I interviewed the likes of Tom Cruise, Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Drew Barrymore, and Kanye, to name but a few!
6. What advice would you give a new journalist starting off?
Get as much work experience as possible! Pitch stories and reports to local newspapers, magazines, and radio. You can never have too much experience!
7. What’s the best advice you have received in your career so far?
If someone is not annoyed by your journalism, you are working in public relations.
8. What do you like to do outside of work?
I love catching up with friends for dinner, playing tennis (well, learning to), and exploring London.
9. Do you get back to Galway often?
As much as possible! Looking forward to the annual day out on Shop Street for Christmas, and spending time with my adorable Oranmore-based nephew, Orin, 17 months! I have already started his NUIG college fund!
10. What are your plans for the future in the industry?
Enjoying where I am right now, it took a lot of hard work to get here.