Junkee promotes Patrick Lenton to editor as Rae Johnston departs for NITV

Junkee has promoted Patrick Lenton to lead the site after just two weeks in the deputy editor role, with former editor Rae Johnston departing to join NITV as an on-air science and technology editor.

Johnston, an award-winning journalist and contributor to the STEM community, had been at the helm of the youth publisher since September last year, but said the new role is a “dream come true” after working with NITV for three years.

Johnston (left) moves into the new role more than a year after taking the Junkee role, while Lenton (right) steps up from deputy editor

“I can bring my passion for video games, gadgets, space and STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] to an audience that I know and love in new and exciting ways,” she said.

“The cross-platform nature of this role means stories can sit where they are best told, be it television, online or even a podcast, and I get to do it all alongside some of my favourite journalists.”

NITV’s channel manager, Tanya Orman, welcomed Johnston to the channel, which sits within SBS, adding: “Rae brings an authentic voice to news and current affairs and the issues that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to face in our current climate. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming her to our trusted team of Indigenous journalists.”

Of her time at Junkee, Johnston said she’s proud to have worked “with the communities I care about in a whole new way, for a whole new audience”.

“I’ve had the unique opportunity to platform new voices, in their own words — and I can’t thank them enough for trusting me with their stories,” she said.

“Looking at the evolution of Junkee’s gaming and tech content over the past year, I can’t help but feel incredibly proud. Establishing a celebratory, accessible and intelligent mainstream gaming vertical featuring some of the country’s best writers will forever be a career highlight. I’m looking forward to watching it continue to grow and thrive.”

Managing editor Rob Stott thanked Johnston for the “outstanding job” she did “expanding on our tech and gaming offering, and giving a platform to marginalised voices in the community”.

“I wish her all the best, and hope we’ll have a chance to continue working together in some capacity in her new role,” he said.

Stott said Lenton, who was entertainment editor before his promotion to deputy, was the right choice to fill the vacancy.

“As entertainment editor, he’s demonstrated a deep understanding of our audience and a keen eye for the unique, viral content that helps Junkee to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the youth media pack,” Stott said.

“I can’t wait to work with Patrick to take Junkee to the next level in 2020 and beyond.”

Lenton added he was “thrilled” to expand his remit heading into 2020, which is shaping up to be a “big, cursed year”.

“I’m thrilled to move into the editor role at Junkee, and work with our ridiculously talented team to create more entertaining, thoughtful, and necessary work,” he said.

“2020 looks like it’s going to be a big, cursed year, so I’m extremely excited to continue pushing Junkee’s important agenda, and writing about ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’.”


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