Daily Telegraph’s Jonathon Moran launches new J.Mo podcast Mental As Anyone

Jonathan Moran

‘I’ve been very vocal throughout my life about my mental health journey.’

After a career of 18 years at News Corp, journalist Jonathon Moran (aka J.Mo) sees the release of his Mental As Anyone podcast today.

Podcasts about mental health night not top the monthly Podcast Ranker charts. But if being worthy is worth a spot near the top, Mental As Anyone should qualify.

As entertainment editor across the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Moran has thrived in a space that sees some burnout after a few years. The entertainment beat might seem glamorous, but it can soon lose its lustre.

Moran’s had a few personal and professional challenges along the way. Personal include his bouts of depression and professional the legal stoush after the publication of allegations made by a co-star about a theatre colleague.

“I have the best job in the world. It isn’t a job – it is a lifestyle,” Moran told Mediaweek. His explanation helps explain how he has lasted so long in the role.

Jonathon Moran on life at News

“News Corp, and specifically the Telegraph is my life. I live and breathe my work and am very proud of what I’ve achieved over the years. It is also the people I’ve worked with, like Daily Telegraph editor Ben English, who has been at the centre of bringing Mental As Anyone to life. He helps make me be a better journalist day in and day out, his support has been incredible.”

He acknowledged it is tough when people in the sector are the victim of budget cuts. But Moran noted: “It is a fantastic time to be a journalist – despite the doom and gloom out there, it is an exciting time where we as journalists can and should try new ways of storytelling. Being a part of the News Corp, Google and the Melbourne Business School’s Digital News Academy has been pivotal in this for me.

“I will be forever grateful to the likes of Campbell Reid [former Telegraph editor now running corporate affairs] and Sonja Heydemann [director of Digital News Academy] for guiding me through this and giving me new skills to take on the new world of media.”

Mental As Anyone episode guide

For the first season of 10 episodes, Moran has assembled an impressive guest list: Guy Sebastian, Michael Clarke, Grant Denyer, Isaac Humphries, Colin Fassnidge, Ant Middleton, Ben Gillies, Robert Irwin, Toby Rudolf, and Hannah Conda.

The entertainment journalist grills everyone he meets, regardless of the situation. He encourages frank discussion and can be revealing about his own life. Was he worried about what this series might reveal publicly about his own journey?

“Nothing is off limits. I was only ever going to be doing this podcast if it was a free-flow discussion and I very much share my journey, which has not been easy at times. I was first diagnosed with severe depression at around 18 and have spent time in hospital for treatment.

“Mental health, or mental wellness, is something we have to talk about. It is vital. I feel genuinely that if I can muster the strength to talk about my challenges, it will hopefully in some small way help contribute to the conversation and help others to feel less alone. We are losing way too many people and the fact is, no matter how seemingly successful someone may or may not be, we are all battling our own demons. That may not be diagnosed depression, it may be through tackling tough times or helping friends when they’ve struggled. I think everyone can relate to this.

Jonathon Moran with Mental As Anyone guest Ben Gillies

“I’ve been very vocal throughout my life about my mental health journey. And I made a decision when I was still a teenager that I would never hide my sexuality, nor would I hide my mental health battles. I have the privilege of being a storyteller for my work and with this comes responsibility. Sure, some people might think I cover light-hearted topics but the truth is, the deeper discussions I’ve had and stories I’ve told have been the most important to me throughout my career.

“This project, along with News Corp’s interview exhibit at Qtopia Sydney, are two of the most important pieces of work I’ve been involved in over my life and I am very proud of both of them.

Gus Worland from Gotcha4Life has been a great inspiration for me, I’d like to continue to work with him and his organisation. I’ve also MCd various mental health forums, for example during the Invictus Games when they were held in Sydney.”

Press Gallery gig preceded Confidential

If you’ve managed to avoid Jonathon Moran’s byline over the past two decades you haven’t been paying attention. He started in the media working for Australian Associated Press.

He explained: “At AAP, I started in the Press Gallery at Parliament House in Canberra. First doing work experience and then scoring a job 20 hours a week while studying journalism/comms at the University of Canberra. At AAP, I moved to Sydney from Canberra to do my cadetship, did a year as the retail equities writer and then a few years as the national entertainment writer.

“I am now in my 18th year with News Corp Australia, having started on January 3, 2007. I came to The Sunday Telegraph first, hired as the music columnist, and when the Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph merged, went on to my current position.”

Jonathon Moran

How to listen to Mental As Anyone

The first season runs for 10 weeks with a new episode dropping early every Tuesday.
The series is produced by Moran with ProPodcast’s Darcy Milne.
Episodes run for close to 30 minutes. Video highlights will be available at The Daily Telegraph online and on social platforms.

See also: News Corp restructure: Sunday Telegraph editor departs – ‘Goodbye, it’s been a privilege’

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