INMA Elevate Scholar: Emily Cust of News Corp Australia

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


In December 2022, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their third annual Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals from 31 countries. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

Emily Cust, audience intelligence manager for News Corp Australia, took an atypical path into the news media industry.

In 2020, she earned her PhD in sport science and sport data analytics — a feat which involved a multidisciplinary series of studies across inertial measurement units, machine learning, athlete performance analysis, and biomechanics.

During the pandemic, Emily Cust moved from her sport science career into the news media.
During the pandemic, Emily Cust moved from her sport science career into the news media.

“My PhD was in partnership with an Australian Football League Club, where I was the national women’s team sport scientist, as well as a research assistant working as part of the Victoria University research team in collaboration with the Football Technology Innovation department at FIFA and Barça Innovation Hub to validate the accuracy of Electronic Performance Tracking Systems (EPTS) in Barcelona, Spain,” Cust said.

Her research was awarded the Best Student Paper at The 7th International Congress on Sport Sciences Research and Technology Support in 2019 in Vienna, and Cust’s paper was the first to biomechanically quantify professional women’s Australian rules football kicks compared to men’s football kicks.

Although she was working in the sports field, the COVID-19 lockdowns in Australia hampered both sport and university sectors, so she pivoted to use her data and research skills with a strategic marketing firm.

“After 10 months in this role, I was keen to expand my horizons and diligently networked to gain my current position at News Corp Australia,” she explained. “I thoroughly enjoy my current role, team, the challenges we solve, and the potential for me to aim high in this role.”

Cust said shes finds it exciting to be in a diverse working environment where she has the opportunity to use the tools, manage projects, collaborate with technical and non-technical business partners, and innovatively solve problems.

“Through my sport science background, I am working toward being a leading voice in the growing active community of women’s sport and using my skills to help News Corp Australia be a leading media company for women’s sport,” she said.

Although she has a strong academic and applied research background, Cust acknowledged she is working hard to get up to speed with the media industry. Therefore, she sees the Elevate Scholarship as a fantastic opportunity to broaden her knowledge and network.

“The future of news and media business is rapidly advancing and changing for the better in terms of diversity and inclusion,” she said. “Seeking these opportunities to globally connect is a key aspect to my aim in becoming a leader for improving women’s sport media.”

About Paula Felps

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