What initially drew me to journalism was my love of reading and writing good journalism. I’ve subscribed to magazines since and young age – Teen Vogue and National Geographic Kids being favourite of mine. After my work experience at an interiors and design magazine I saw that I enjoyed the research side of journalism, where you begin knowing very little about a topic and then through your research you are able to understand it and write a piece informing others on the topic. Therefore I have always seen myself in a print role in journalism, working and writing for a newspaper of magazine.
Publications and journalists I admire
Having subscribed to magazines such as Teen Vogue from a young age I would imagine myself in a role working for a similar fashion and lifestyle magazine. Magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair not only provide style advice and trend reports but contain longer features tackling real world issues and current topics. Vanity Fair interests me as they their features are always so well written and interesting to read. The layout and spread of a magazine such a Vogue also attracted me to a more editorial type role, as I am interested in how the magazine chooses to arrange the furniture of an article. After picking up a copy of Wonderland’s February/March 2014 magazine simply because I liked who was featured on the cover (Emma Watson) and the guest editors (including Sofia Coppola, Patti Smith and JK Rowling) I saw a different side of the fashion magazine industry. These more ‘iindie’ and ‘underground’ magazines had a less curated and scrutinised way of presenting their articles and features which I found very appealing. Minimal space for advertising meant the focus of the magazine was on the text and the editorials. I began looking for more magazines like this issue and stumbled upon Suitcase magazine – a travel a lifestyle magazine based in London – that by the time I picked it up was only on issue 16. Magazines like this read more like a novel with ‘investigative’ style articles that feature people who have travelled and delve into the culture of a country. This is the type of magazine I would love to write for.
I have always followed a publication rather than a particular journalist. It can be easy to forget that the author of the text isn’t just “Vogue”, (for example), but a set person. The first time I really thought about this was after reading Porter magazine issue 12. This issue contained a piece called “No Man’s Land” written by Anne McElvoy where she interviewed award-winning reporter Christiane Amanpour. The article was well written and tackled the key events in Amanpour’s life that the public maybe didn’t know so much about and spoke of her achievements. This article led me to delve deeper in to Amanpour’s career; A CNN war reporter, chief international correspondent for CNN with her own show and a person who Bill Clinton once called “the voice of humanity.” This feature on her life made me look further at how a piece is written – peppered throughout were facts about her life, “reputedly one of the world’s highest paid TV news figures,” which added colour to the actual interview. The observations McElvoy has made about Amanpour, “There’s also a flash of that trademark steel,” show the depth she has gone into to make this an interesting feature. This particular article not only made me question whether I should in fact go into a war correspondent role but also, for the first time, made me look at how an article was constructed and think about the journalist who wrote it.
What type of journalist do I want to be?
At this point it is difficult to pin point exactly what type of journalist I would like to be. I read a lot of public service journalism mixed with entertainment and lifestyle, but I hope I’ll be able to take my love of research and reporting into traditional public service journalism where I hold people accountable for their actions. I think the only way to properly know where I want to work and what type of journalist I would like to be is by exploring and writing for a range of publications. Therefore initially I would like to be freelance and get experience. Then this should lead me into a permanent role at a newspaper or magazine and possibly an editorial role. Through writing at different publications I hope to write about a lot of different topics and through this perhaps find a specialist topic that I can explore more. When looking at what Matt Thompson says about the “four types of journalism” I like what he wrote on Poynter about the “storyteller” journalist; “Storytellers render dull material vivid, making broccoli taste like s’mores.” I enjoy reading creative pieces, and I like to think I would be the kind of writer that could make any topic interesting and exciting to the reader. Equally his description of a “systems analyst” sounds resonates with me as my interest in research and finding trends and information helps me, “Understand the world and explain it clearly.”
My initial interest in fashion and lifestyle journalism arose from the fact that this is what I choose to read and enjoy reading. Therefore to ensure I acquire the skills needed to go into this field I will continue to read the big names in fashion and lifestyle journalism – for example – Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair. Mixed with this, I will continue to seek out lesser known publications such as Suitcase and Wonderland as mentioned before. It is important for me to stay aware with the current events and ensure I am well versed in the issues that are affecting people. This will include watching BBC news and staying up to date with their website. Also continue to read the newspapers I am interested in such as The Telegraph, The International New York Times and WWD. By keeping a constant stream of good journalism at hand I will hope to absorb and be influenced by the great writing/style of articles in these publications.
What do I need to do to become that kind of journalist?
Any form of journalism today involves a key look into online and social media forms of journalism. Through twitter I will be able to follow all areas of journalism; including sport, fashion, breaking news and blogs. Vogue, Teen Vogue and Net a Porter, along with a range of other magazines and newspapers have their own YouTube channels in which they keep you up to date with different things going on in the magazine and other specialist episodes. Whilst I still prefer to have a copy of a newspaper or magazine in my hands, I will also check frequently online on the newspapers and magazines websites. This will allow me to read any breaking news stories or read features only posted to online websites.
I have compiled a list of useful twitter accounts to follow – a range of fashion, newspapers, magazines, sport, news, international news and specific journalists and bloggers. This will give me a wide variety of journalism and will hopefully lead me to many different interesting articles that will aid my writing style.
20 People, Magazines, Newspapers and Blogs to follow on twitter:
Specific to the course I chose the module for year 1 that I believe would aid me most for the future. By choosing the lifestyle option, I hope to learn more about writing in this particular field and how the industry works. I think this will aid my future career as well because I will have evidence of work related to the area I am going into. In year 2 looking at the options I think the journalism option – Specialist Journalism – is what I would choose. Whilst I hope to write about a wide range of journalism by this time I think it will be helpful to learn more about one specific cluster of journalism. Then in this choosing fashion, literary or long form journalism or international journalism as my specific option I would be able to see which branch of journalism is most suited to me. I also think I’d be interested in Journalism, Politics and the Media – part theory, part practice. For year 3 the research based angle of doing a dissertation appeals to me and through this Contemporary Issues in Media Policy would help with writing in a more modern and relevant way.
I compiled the places I want to work/do an internship at because these are the magazines I love to read and therefore hope to write for.
- Suitcase Magazine: careers@SUITCASEmag.com requires a cover letter and a cv. Suitcase is a travel and lifestyle magazine. The editorial side of the magazine is beautiful as the images and furniture of the magazine are so well curated.
- Wonderland magazine: firstname.lastname@example.org “Please specify in your email header if you wish to apply to Fashion or Editorial.” I love that this magazine uses guest editors and writers which leads to such interesting content.
- The Daily Telegraph: email@example.com . The Daily Telegraph, like most newspapers, has an email where you can send article suggestions to. Since The Daily Telegraph is the newspaper I read I think I could try and send in articles ideas I had. http://www.tmgacademy.co.uk/index.html this website posts frequent job/internship opportunities for students hoping to get involved in the Telegraph newspaper/magazine/website. By checking this link frequently I can see when they post available internships.