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journo tips, podcasts, supporting regional voices & local journalism

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From Katie B…

After listening to Zane Lowe’s interview with Selena Gomez, this week has helped me think about where we are going with the podcast and how we reflect our brand values on social media. I have a personal project lined up for October in which I’m planning a script (more details to come soon👀), it’s made me think about authenticity and the power of using your voice for good.

In other news, it feels so good to get the ball rolling with recording dates for S3. We’re finalising dates next week but July is going to be a busy month full of recording and editing - woohoo! Series 3 is going to be filled with little ‘snacks of natter’, full episodes and investigative content. I can’t wait until you hear it all!

From Katie W…

This week has been a bit of weird one. My editors have been pushing me to do more reporting (I’m a trends writer so reporting is a step up) but every person I reached out to - they either never replied or the story was scrapped.

It has been deflating, it just felt like I was going nowhere and it can be time-consuming doing research, contacting companies for the right of replies - all for nothing.

So on Friday when I pitched my articles (yep you still need to pitch in a staff job) I stripped everything back to basics and looked for the content that usually does well and left the reporting to the side for the day. I was still hitting my target of quantity and even view count.

I think if you’re hitting walls, it’s important to go back to basics and really put the effort into what you know you’re good at!

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Journo tip of the week

Let’s chat… following leads

Katie W: So I mentioned above that my stories fell through. Nothing worse as a journalist when your job is to speak to people and people don’t speak to you.

But what I’m learning on this job is just how wide you need to spread out because for every 5 people you contact, maybe 1 will reply.

So if you see something you think might work, ask yourself, has someone posted an interesting Facebook post or started a go-fund-me page, if so, reach out to them. Ask them for a chat, ask for more info and see if there’s a story there.

It’s like that Oprah meme - you get a DM, you get a DM, you all get a DM.

The worst that can happen is someone doesn’t reply, but then at least you have asked multiple other folk - so here’s hoping!

I saw a tweet that said being a journalist is just walking up to people and saying: what’s going on here then?

And I can’t think of anything more true.


Who to follow

Ruchira Sharma - staff writer at theipaper

Kaite Welsh - an author and journalist from Edinburgh - she has been writing brilliant stories about unheard history of Scotland.

April Roach - Breaking news reporter at Bloomberg

Adam England - a freelance journalist and has this handy piece on how to prepare for life after uni

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NN reacts

Katie W: I really enjoyed this blog from David Higgerson praising Trend writers and discussing how people often slag the content off.

Katie B: Yes, R.L Stine - preach it! 👏🏼🙌🏻


Song of the week

Katie W:

Katie B:


Jobs and opportunities

FREELANCE: The Tribune is looking for writers in Sheffield and South Yorkshire for long form ideas, interviews, cultural features and historical pieces. Email your pitch to Dan Hayes at editor@sheffieldtribune.co.uk

FREELANCE: Bustle are looking for pitches for their health & wellness and tech sections. Is there a weird TikTok trend you’ve been wanting to try or a post-pandemic phenomenon living rent-free in your head? Email melanie.mignucci@bustle.com with your pitch.

FREELANCE: Laura Paddison is editing a new series on climate and business at Guardian US and is looking for pitches. Email laura.paddison@theguardian.com, rates can be found here.

FREELANCE: Catapult are looking for pitches. Tajja is seeking narrative non-fiction that uses personal stories to explore a clear, specific subject or theme and she has got strong examples in her Twitter thread.

FREELANCE: Qin Xie is looking for writers with a specific ask and wants someone who writes about sustainability, in particular water (desalination/making water/resource management etc) and green innovation.

SCOTLAND: Passionate about working in broadcasting and available two days a week from August? Apply to Boost for their 6 month production skills course based at BBC Scotland. You have to be based in Scotland and unemployed to apply. Contact info@boostemployability.org.uk for an application. Closing date is July 9th.

EDINBURGH: Press Association are hiring a full time, permanent multimedia journalist. You will write copy on breaking news stories in Scotland; as well as generating and developing original content. You will also be trained to produce high-quality video and need extensive experience of covering court stories plus willingness to travel throughout Scotland to cover stories when required. They’re also looking for someone who has a strong understanding of media law and minimum 100wpm shorthand, an NCTJ and a full driving licence with own car.

GLASGOW: Have you always wanted to get into investigative journalism? BBC Scotland’s Investigations unit is recruiting for two researchers with a positive attitude to join their team in Glasgow.

GLASGOW: JPI Media are hiring a football journalist to join their Glasgow team. You will be tasked with producing strong digital content, digging out exclusives, conducting big interviews and writing features plus analysis and commentary around some of the country’s biggest football teams. They are looking for someone with at least 12 months experience in delivering great digital content and increasing audiences, a strong football journalism CV and an increasing profile within the industry. Experience of video, in front and behind the camera, is an advantage.

GLASGOW: STV are hiring a production journalist for a 9-month fixed term contract. You’ll be responsible for covering news events throughout the country and providing content to the highest editorial and production standards and for producing news bulletins across all STV platforms. This role has specific responsibility for Good Morning Britain and will include shift working from 5am – 2pm, 5 days per week. You will also be assigned to the digital desk for agreed shifts across each rota period. Closing date is 4th July.

HOME-BASED: Marie Curie are looking for a Change Communications Manager to join their team. Fixed term 12 month contract, salary of £41,500. Closing date is midnight on July 7th.

MANCHESTER: Growth Leeds are hiring sports journalists to write up match reports, conduct interviews and produce content for their website betting.co.uk. You will be required to attend games (normally non-league or lower-league) in the Greater Manchester area, as part of a grassroots initiative, to report on games and conduct player interviews. Contract on a monthly rolling basis. £12.50 - £13.50 per hour, at around 16 hours per week. This role would be ideal for someone looking for extra writing work over the weekend!

NEWCASTLE: BDaily are hiring a business development manager (digital marketing). £25,000 plus on-target earnings, full time/permanent role. You will have experience in outbound sales, be eager to sell a digital proposition including email marketing, web advertising, social media services and content marketing options to clients. This role will centre on winning new business and managing new and existing key clients, with monthly revenue targets. 

NEWCASTLE: NRG are hiring a PR & Media Coordinator (maternity cover). £28k - £34k per annum, permanent, full-time for 13 months. They are looking for someone to join their client’s corporate communications and reputation management team to help build and develop client’s reputation, both externally and internally, through integrated PR campaigns and activity.

NEWCASTLE: High Life North are hiring a digital executive. You’ll be responsible for managing digital marketing and website updates. They’re looking for a strong all-rounder to ensure that content always looks fantastic, is fully optimised and promoted effectively. You will be an integral part of the team, working with sales, editorial and marketing – helping them to achieve their goals and bringing new ideas to the table. Email editor@highlifenorth.com to apply.

NEWCASTLE: New Writing North are hiring a digital production manager. £22,250 per annum, full-time, 12-month fixed term contract. You will manage digital transformation within New Writing North and support the team in digital content production, sharing knowledge, increasing capacity and confidence and will bring digital production expertise. Download and return their application form by email to fiona@newwritingnorth.com by 9am on 20th July.

MENTORSHIP: NARC are launching a Youth Music funded initiative as part of a six-month programme for 18-25 year olds who are interested in learning about music and culture writing, podcasting, broadcast and online programme making. They will take four young people based in the North East who will be mentored by an expert team and take part in workshops on writing for magazines and websites, learn interview techniques, review writing and critical thinking skills. This is a paid opportunity for young people aged 18-25. Apply here, deadline for applications is Monday 19th July.

SUNDERLAND: The University of Sunderland are still receiving applications for their digital content coordinator role. £25,910 to £31,784 per annum pro rata, 18.5 hrs per week. The role has been created to drive and improve Sunderland Futures’ web-based and digital delivery through the creation and management of online content and the optimisation of existing online tools and resources. Closing date is 18th July.

GATESHEAD: Allies Group are hiring a sales executive (publishing). Their business is focused around three key areas: creative content, digital marketing and digital training. They are looking for a tenacious executive to join their expanding sales team. Email ian@allies-group.com or call 0191 500 7900 for a confidential chat and to learn more about the role.

DURHAM: University Technical College South Durham are hiring a Marketing, PR and Student Recruitment officer. You will ideally have experience of student recruitment, marketing and PR, be fully aware of the education sector and have a good understanding of where the UTC model fits into the educational landscape. Salary of £23,836-£25,801. Closing date is 13th July at noon.

Good luck if you are applying!

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