2011: Year Of The Underrated Journalist

Hello! I am alive!


It’s about a journalist with an existential career crisis flirting with a waitress.

Bitterly self-deprecating but ultimately optimistic in an ambiguous-cute-corny-potentially-selfish way, it’s a personal story behind crime reporting, the inherent loneliness of writing and a bit of hopeful young love thrown in.

I knew you’d love it!

It’ll go to a production company in Auckland once it’s written. And I’ll develop a pitch for an amateur theatre near you, too.


Meanwhile, in London…

I have now officially hit the 6 month mark of in-house and freelance experience reporting, writing, sourcing stories and taking photos or illustrating my work in the world of arts journalism (music, film news, reviews and features), local news (West London, Enfield, Hillingdon, and, at the very beginning, Auckland in New Zealand), politics, and the odd bit of news-writing satire.

That’s without the 70 posts to this blog, student journalism at Nottingham way back in 2008 and a school mag in 2005.

I’ve had 1 face-to-face interview and timed written test (this week! my first!!). I’ve done 2 phone interviews, almost 70 job applications (cover letter, CV + samples/links), 2 speculative letters and, meanwhile, approached 5 office-work agencies. I’ve pitched 5 thingsto publications (even follow-ups were ignored; awkward). It might not sound like a lot, but that’s between temping full time at an office, then retail, and now a new one.

I went for a job interview for a hard-sales role the other week. It’s not quite journalism. I had to question – can I justify a wage if I don’t strive to *make* a business *more* money by selling?

Yes, I can. Because I make the thing of value.

I love the stories behind the facts; the people behind the interviews; the creative processes behind the ideas; the inspiration that shows on the page. I like being absolutely spot-on right. My opinions are logical, my arguments are sound and I am sympathetic and thoughtful. I know Photoshop. I do SEO, CMS and bits of sub-editing for print/online very efficiently. I can produce more articles or find more stories or talk to more contacts or have more ideas than anyone else (I love competition, ask anyone) or simply engage more readers (I know what they like, I am one too) and give things a dose of quirky personality. I come bearing intelligence, creativity and an academic 2:1 in English and Philosophy from New Zealand’s top University.

I want to write more poetry.


I contribute to Beatwolf and The West Londoner in my (not very much) spare time with loyalty from the start. They are growing online in readership, revenue and reputation and I’d say that has a lot to do with me.

But I haven’t been doing much of that recently.

I’ve been temping a lot in a nice, respectable job. A man (da) can not live on journalism alone.

What I’ve seen of journalism so far… has left a bad taste in my mouth. Like the U2 song. Exactly like that.

See, at 24 years old, between trying to convince adults that journalism is not a laughable career and my debt degree in English and Philosophy was worth it, I am not entirely convinced where this is going.

So, that’s me.

Now, tell me about yourself and your brushes with career existentialism.


5 thoughts on “2011: Year Of The Underrated Journalist

  1. Hey, hang on in there. It’s pretty darn competitive. I had to fight to get a £75 per week internship which I had to commit to for 3 months, and STILL didn’t get it! Something will come along and once the first thing comes along, others will follow and before you know it you’ll be snowed under and over worked!

  2. It’s often just at the point where you start to query where you are going that you find out how much you want to do your chosen career. You have done so well and come so far in such a short space of time. I’m sure your play will be excellent as well.

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