FORGET university, internships and work experience - if you want to know what it’s like to be a woman journalist, just turn to your local DVD shop.

Films such as The Devil Wears Prada, Sex and the City and Confessions of a Shopaholic are SO true to life, I initially thought they were documentaries. I only twigged when I saw Meryl Streep, and even then I thought ‘‘Ooh, when did Meryl Streep become a magazine editor?’’

So here’s a handy guide to being a female journalist, based on what I’ve learned from Hollywood:

1. Look the part. As an aspiring female journalist, you should be thin, pretty and always dress in designer couture. If you don’t, other journalists won’t respect you. Make sure it is tight, short and sexy and always wear stilettos – otherwise you will never be taken seriously. What do you mean you can’t afford designer clothing? YOU’RE A REPORTER. Everyone knows they earn STACKS.

2. Magazine offices are really giant wardrobes. If you’re too busy working on your big scoop to go shopping, don’t worry – all magazines have a giant wardrobe full of designer clothes which the fashion director will be more than happy to let you take home and wear. If you’re one of the minority of female
journos NOT working for a fashion magazine, never fear. There will always be one across the hallway with an editor-in-chief who will happily take you out shopping and act as your personal stylist to get you sorted out.

3. Don’t exert yourself. You only need to write one story every few months in order to impress your editor. Don’t worry – there are heaps of other reporters around the office who will be happy to pick up the slack. If you’re a freelance columnist, you can do even less work, as each article you write will pay
$20,000 – enough to keep you and your Manolo Blahniks in a Manhattan penthouse without any troubles. Bang out a few words on your new Macbook while sipping on a cocktail, and spend the rest of your time lunching with friends, shopping and falling in love.

4. Reporting is like, easy! If you get assigned to write a story on a topic you know nothing about, don’t stress! Just hit the library with your best girlfriend, borrow a few Idiot’s Guide books and stay up all night studying. And don’t forget to Google! You’ll soon become an expert, and will be ready to grill any politician/
celebrity/big wig like a pro. You’ll also end up writing an award-winning story, which boosts your ailing publication’s circulation.

5. Male editors are both helpful and sexy. If you can’t come up with any story ideas, don’t worry – your young, good-looking, male editor will give you one. And if you don’t know how to write, he’ll help with that too. Even though he’s just hired you on the basis of your hotshot CV (which you impishly concocted minutes
before the job interview), he won’t be angry. He’ll find your naivety charming, and will eventually fall in love with you.

6. Female editors are nasty bitches. All female editors are arrogant, rude, standoffish and eccentric – unless you turn up one day wearing Chanel and perform an impossible task for them, like balancing a cup of Starbucks on your nose while singing the national anthem and organising Tom Cruise to read the latest instalment of Harry Potter to their children. Then they will treat you marginally better.

7. Blog your way to success. If you haven’t yet scored a job as a journalist, start writing a blog. You will become instantly successful and be offered movie deals and career opportunities within 12 months.

First published in the Sunday Mail, December 13, 2009.