Originally uploaded by Aztec West.
A few weeks ago I wrote a guest post for Wannabe Hacks about my work on New Start magazine and my background in the trade press.
Well, little did I know it at the time, but my stint at New Start (and possibly in the trade sector) was coming to an end. Over the weekend, I learned that the company that publishes New Start was winding up with the October issue the last one. As a result, along with a handful of other staff members, I am out of a job.
The reason for New Start’s demise as a print title and its future as an online service for Manchester-based think tank Cles is set out in this article. Essentially, it is linked to the spending cuts which have had an impact on some of the company’s more lucrative activities.
While I was shocked to be out of a job so suddenly, I am fortunate to be in a position where New Start was not 100% of my income. Since I returned to the magazine after a career break, I have been working part time. This has allowed me to build up a freelance career, which has included online shifts for Channel 4 News and broadcast research for the BBC.
My career as a full time freelancer started with a phone call at 8.09 yesterday morning asking whether I would be happy to do some emergency cover for a client. Later that day, I was offered more shifts. So things have not been as scary as I thought so far. The challenge now is to keep up the momentum.
Still, I am dreading the 25th of the month, the day my pay cheque normally comes. Chasing up payments has never been my idea of fun. I have no idea whether freelance will become a long term thing for me. For the moment, I’ll use it as a chance to try things I wouldn’t normally do and perhaps pick up some new skills.
I leave New Start with many fond memories. There were many highs, and very few low points. Even the last couple of weeks included highlights like my trip up the BT Tower and an enjoyable visit to Whitstable for a feature.
While working for an independent publisher is perhaps not as secure as working for one of the big boys, it is really rewarding. And I am proud to be part of a team that kept New Start going for more than a decade.
If you want to find out more about the magazine’s story, this post by New Start co-founder Julian Dobson is well worth a read.