Three Minute Squiz With… Julia Naughton

Julia Naughton is the managing editor of Nine’s lifestyle sites, including Nine Honey. She’s a woman with her finger on the pulse of pop-culture, fashion and relationships, and always has a smart take on the serious side of those things. Taking up her time at the moment is writing and producing The Windsors, a new podcast about the ins-and-outs of the modern royals. Please welcome Julia to the Three Minute Squiz.

How and where do you Squiz?
It’s my go-to podcast first thing. If I’ve been to yoga, I’ll hit play straight after class on my way to work. Otherwise, it’s on loudspeaker while I get ready at home. Mornings are fairly busy in the newsroom, but the newsletter makes for good lunchtime reading.

What is it about the lifestyle round that you love?
I get to tell stories, interview interesting people, and bring projects to life inspired by conversations with women. The other night I watched Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai address a packed-out audience. This morning I got acquainted with 2019’s Married At First Sight singles. There’s never a dull moment.

You were described by The Australian as “Cosmopolitan’s feminist-in-chief”. What led to that?
I wrote an impassioned takedown of the then Foreign Minister Julie Bishop after she refused to identify as a feminist during a speech at the National Press Club.  At the time, she was the only female in Cabinet. A discussion broke out in our office — we felt let down. I wrote a GIF-based opinion piece (it was 2014 and youth digital publishing was largely listicles and internet slang). The next day The Australian’s Janet Albrechtsen used my piece for the basis of her column. Fast-forward four years, and while the F-word still isn’t part of Julie’s vocabulary, she’s playing a pretty major role in the movement [insert red high heel emoji here].

We’re big fans of The Windsors podcast. It’s presented by Three Minute Squizer Kerri Elstub, and it’s perfect for anyone’s Christmas road trip. You’re writing and producing it – big job! What’s surprised you about the royals?
I never thought I’d fan-girl over the Queen! The woman is incredible. She served in the war, ascended the throne at 25, and continues to lead with grace and dignity. In the current political climate, that says a lot. (Not having social media probably helps her cause, too). Also, I’m upset that Princess Margaret burnt hundreds of letters between various members of the royal family. As a history nerd, it hurts my heart.

If you could invite any four people – living or dead – to dinner, who would they be? And what is on the menu?
Nora Ephron, Princess Diana, Roald Dahl, and Chrissy Teigen. For the menu, Italian food and amaretto sours, and Tiramisu for dessert.

What would you say is the most overrated virtue?
Modesty (in media, at least). It just doesn’t work in our industry. You have to self-promote or your work goes unnoticed.

Your favourite book/writer?
Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron*.

What’s your worst and best habit?
I’d rather clean my desk than clear the 94,592 red bubble notifications on my phone. Sadly, my OCD doesn’t extend to my devices but it does mean I can easily switch off on holidays.

What skill or talent do you not have but wish you did?
I wish I could read while listening to a podcast.

What’s your ideal weekend?
Breakfast at Sydney’s Potts Point markets, two hours of reading, a swim at Tamarama, and a late lunch. Anywhere with good Chardonnay and an ocean view.

What would you say is the most currently overlooked news story we should know about?
Australia’s anti-encryption laws that recently passed are a complete step backwards. I’ve read George Orwell’s 1984 and it doesn’t end well.

*If you buy this book using this link, The Squiz will get a little commission.

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