Tag Archives: Journalism

Where are the women?

Originally uploaded by MeLicA.

This morning Radio 4’s Today programme hosted a discussion between three successful career women about the existence of a glass ceiling preventing women from progressing in their careers. It was part of former Commons speaker Betty Boothroyd’s stint as guest editor of the show.

The discussion involved Lorraine Heggessey, the first female controller of BBC1, Lucy Neville Rolfe, executive director and a member of the board of Tesco  and Rachel Lomax, former deputy governor of the Bank of England. They agreed that often women need to speak up a bit more and overcome the barriers in their own mind, such as fear of failure.

Heggessey said men are often better at pointing out all the things they can do whereas women are often stuck on what they can’t do. If men do get that voice in their head “they squash it down,” she said. Continue reading

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One year of freelancing

Last Tuesday, I marked the first anniversary of going freelance full time. It was quite a satisfactory landmark because I would never have thought that I would ever be self employed at all, let alone for an entire year. Business studies was one of my weakest subjects at school and I am sure my teacher would be surprised to hear that I am a relatively successful sole trader.

Back on 23rd October 2010, I wrote about what I had learned about freelancing from my first two weeks. Looking back at what I wrote, it is surprising how little has changed. I am still doing shifts, many booked in the last minute, it is still a feast or famine and I still have slack days. Continue reading

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The death of the reporter’s notebook?



Originally uploaded by Brenderous.

Long before social media and smart phones, the humble notebook was the reporter’s best friend. And for most of us it still is.

But not just any old notebook for the majority of print journalists it has to be spiral bound at the top of the pages making it easier to flick over the page. Anything else just won’t cut it when writing at speed.

In fact, the “reporter’s notebook” or “shorthand notebook” almost sets journalists that work with words apart from their counterparts who work in the media of television and radio. Continue reading

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One scoop or two?

A London Coffee House

Modern British journalism was born in the Coffee Houses of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century

London’s Coffee Houses were once at the epicentre of British science, commerce and journalism.

In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century coffee houses were where the great and good met to exchange information and ideas. By the late Seventeenth Century there were thousands in England.

So successful were coffee houses as places for the disaffected to congregate that Charles II tried to suppress them.

The commercialisation and professionalisation of journalism took it away from its coffee house roots. But as the money is sucked out of journalism, the industry is showing signs of returning to its coffee house roots. Freelancers have long frequented cafes to tap out stories furiously on their laptops and sometimes to take advantage of free WiFi. Now big media organisations in the US are encouraging reporters to work in cafes in order to connect with readers.

There are signs that this trend is taking off in the UK, both at grassroots level and in big media organisations. In this month’s issue of The Journalist I wrote about news organisations that are making moves towards putting the newsroom back at the heart of their community. You can read the article by following this link and going to page 14.

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The glamour of the grey cardigan

Poster for subs

Subs is playing at The Cock Tavern until 29/02

The working lives of journalists have been dramatised many times, both on stage and screen. From Hollywood blockbusters like All the Presidents Men to small screen hits like The State of Play, most portray the profession as glamorous and heroic.

But as many journalists would testify, the profession isn’t always like that. For every Bob Woodward, you’ll have the poor sod who has to write about pork belly futures for a trade magazine in Topeka, Kansas. The State of Play is particularly guilty of idealising the profession. Continue reading

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The Twelfth Night – An epiphany for community journalists?



Originally uploaded by Pics by K.

So we reach the twelfth night, an evening normally associated with taking down Christmas decorations. But in Italy it’s the children’s Christmas when the good witch La Bafana visits families leaving gifts of fruit and sweets for children. And like La Bafana I am here to deliver a final Christmas gift – a blogpost rounding up my 12 Days of Christmas uploads.

Looking back over the previous days, I am finding a clear theme emerging in the content – community. As Adam Westbrook said back on Day 8, it’s becoming a big thing for journalists.

In an earlier post I highlighted the role of community manager as a key discipline for journalists in the future. Laura Oliver, who started her new job as a community manager at the Guardian earlier this week, told me that media organisations are taking this role more seriously. In the clip recorded back in June she said that community management is becoming a distinct role with its own set of skills. Continue reading

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Round up of eleven days of blogposts and audio treats

For the past eleven days I have been uploading outtakes and audio content generated while researching an article on new roles in journalism for the latest edition of The Journalist. It started on Boxing Day with a blogpost highlighting the potential of professional transfer and ended with a hat trick of clips from the BBC College of Journalism’s director Kevin Marsh.

Due to internet problems, there were some days where I could not get online to upload clips and write posts. So here’s some helpful links to all the content so that you can be sure that you haven’t missed anything. The clip for the 12th night is coming later on today. Continue reading

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