Dow Jones Head of Media Sales Asia-Pacific Julia Clyne tells Contact how her love of ideas, language and literature helped plot an unusual career path.
The beauty and power of ideas has long captivated Julia Clyne, and now her journey of discovery has led her to a position where she is helping to reinstate the trust in major news organisations.
While pivoting effortlessly between thanking a waiter in Cantonese before demonstrating an app to help navigate the Hong Kong taxi system, Clyne (Bachelor of Arts ’06) explains how she came to work in media sales and advertising for giants like The New York Times and Dow Jones.
“I really enjoyed my studies at school, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” Clyne said.
“Originally, I decided I should study law, as that seemed to be what most academically inclined students did.
“But someone in my family told me that if I wasn’t sure what to do, I should study to develop my understanding of the world and study what I loved.”
Clyne took this advice to heart, choosing to pursue a Bachelor of Arts and majoring in French and religion studies.
She said her education gave her the skills to approach and address complex issues in any industry.
“The most powerful thing that I learnt at university was the ability to think critically.
“I carried this ability to analyse and dissect a situation from different angles with me from the classroom to different professional scenarios with relative ease.”
After working in different industries around the world, Clyne joined The New York Times in 2015 as the Executive Director, Advertising, Asia–Pacific in Hong Kong, where she helped drive sales for new advertising products for the media giant.
While news media has hit an unprecedented challenge with a shift to online consumption, The New York Times focused on its digital subscription model, which saw subscriptions grow to about
2.8 million in 2018.
“The world of journalism went through significant flux with the advent of digital technology,” Clyne said.
“But the world still wants quality journalism. As a result of our current political climate, we have seen a return to the most trusted pillars of news. Readers are becoming more informed and more selective about what sources they will engage with.
“It is important that we adjust our models of revenue as reader consumption patterns change with the introduction of new technology.
"The world still wants quality journalism. As a result of our current political climate, we have seen a return to the most trusted pillars of news."
“This is something The New York Times has done quite well.
“While it has taken on new approaches to paid advertising, we worked first and foremost to maintain the credibility and trust in the organisation. The editorial team is kept completely separate from our paid content teams, because maintaining autonomy and credibility is critical.”
Clyne has recently moved to Dow Jones to head their Media Sales for the Asia–Pacific region.
Before joining the world of international news advertising and sales, Clyne’s career spanned a number of fields and countries.
She spent several years working in London’s finance industry, before returning to her roots and passion for literature in Australia.
This shift saw her take on a role with publisher Penguin Random House in Melbourne, before working for Fairfax Media, where she forged a name for herself in news advertising.
Now based permanently in Hong Kong, Clyne said her exposure to wider world views and history through her studies at UQ helped her navigate the social and cultural complexities of the countries in which she has worked.
“The study of people, religion and language helped me understand more about who people are and what motivates, inspires and moves them,” Clyne said.
“We cannot approach the world from one perspective – the more you learn, the greater your ability to empathise and generate solutions that bridge many divides.”
To learn how UQ can help you go further in every possible future, visit future-students.uq.edu.au.