Phone calls and diversity

journo tips, podcasts, supporting regional voices & local journalism

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From Katie B…

While England returned to some type of normality on Monday, it’s nice to see that the majority of people are being sensible and wearing masks etc - I feel like we’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s been really fulfilling this week to see the podcast listens increase and followers engaging with our Tiktoks and instagram posts. I’m glad we’ve taken a break to plan season three and adjust to our new jobs - it’s helped us to grow our socials and build a stronger relationship with our listeners.

It’s been nice to get out and about to the shops when it’s quiet after work and go for walks (when it’s not raining!). I feel like I’ve found my groove again with writing and reading - spending ten minutes after work to jot down my thoughts for pitches and to clear my mind has helped me to focus myself. I’ve realised over lockdown that I’m truly a creative person and there’s nothing wrong with that. Following my passion/career in journalism is something that I’ve always been supported with and it truly is a pleasure to create a podcast and run socials that benefit our listeners ❤️

From Katie W…

I love my job.

It’s been a good few years since I’ve been able to say that. But as I come to the end of my second week, I feel like I’ve learnt so much already but still have a lot more to go. I’ve always been a perfectionist and took criticism quite personally but I went into this job knowing it’s a traineeship so I went in like a new kid at school, taking every note and if I do something not quite right - I’m not beating myself over it, I tell myself: I’ll know for next time.

A non-work or journalism-related highlight this week was when my cat dropped a dead vole in the living room. Right before my conference call I went to get my coffee and on the window sill, I noticed this tiny little furry thing with a tail and legs. It was gross but I was almost proud of little Shelby. She has never caught anything, to my knowledge, and is quite clumsy so it was good to know she was acting like a real cat.

Until I went to clean it up, wrapped my hands in plastic bags, ready to dispose of the prey…

Reader, it was just a fur ball.

Those tail and legs…were bits of grass. Shelby lives as a pathetic Garfield-like cat for another day.

There is no message or reflection on this story, I wish I had something a bit more meaningful to share. But if anything I hope you found it a little funny. Sometimes we need some light.

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Journo tip of the week

Let’s chat about…how to talk on the phone

Katie W: I’ve been interviewing folk on the phone for 6 years now and I still get that horrid stomach-churning feeling when I hear the dial tone. But I have picked up some tips on the way to help you get through it.

Take a deep breath. Before the phone call, take some breaths. In and out.

Write down what you want to say. Like a script, have it in front of you. Sometimes nerves can get the better of you and, if you’re anything like me, that can mean your mind going blank or just wanting to fill any silence with any gibberish. A script keeps you on track.

Act like a journalist. You know the saying fake it till you make it? Well…you are already a journalist but if you are a little jittery on the phone, channel your favourite reporter, pretend you’re them for a moment and go for it! I also had Channel 4’s Jon Snow in my head during phone calls, he is brilliant for grilling the hotshots.

Who to follow

Alex Taylor - broadcast journalist for Global

Jem Collins - editor and director of Journo Resources (you can listen to our episode with Jem here)

A Little Insight - online publication full of interesting and important articles on topics such as current affairs, history, environment, culture & exclusive interviews

Sunita Dastidar - video trainee and community editor at the Tees Online

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NN reacts

Katie W: James Corden is involved in the Friends Reunion and why can’t TV make anything without him??

Katie B: The Diversity in Journalism report was published earlier this week, which showed that there’s more women than men working in journalism, however, 92% of journalists are white, 16% have a disability and 89% have a degree. Things are slowly changing but we recognise as a podcast, that the sector and the country needs to be more inclusive in the stories we publish and with recruitment.

We discuss it more and what we can do better, here:

Song of the week

Katie W:

Katie B:

Jobs and opportunities:

FREELANCE: Miranda Larbi is now editor of Stylist's Strong Women & Strong Women Training Club at Stylist Magazine and is looking for fitness and wellbeing freelancers to send pitches. Email for more.

FREELANCE: Are you a foodie? Dan Morrison is searching for writers for a new food mag. He even asks: “Please get in touch even if you're not a food writer! Tech, culture, environmental, agricultural, political and more all encouraged!” Fee is CD$0.15, email with samples and bio.

FREELANCE: InStyle are looking for pitches surrounding: What is the conversation around gender and fashion missing? Any thoughts on "genderless" fashion, Pride + personal style, and/or any designers/brands changing the conversation in a good way?

FREELANCE: Another Stylist call out from Katy as she covers maternity leave. Get in touch with her at Here’s a handy Pitch Guide for Stylist.

FREELANCE: Beth Ashley at Killing Kittens is looking for pitches around Pansexual Visibility Day (24th May). You can contact Beth at £100 for 800 words.

REMOTE: Reach PLC are looking are a Video Editor to join their new team at Niche, a social media site. So if you have experience in all aspects of video production and love working with graphics, motion infographics or kinetic typography - apply here.

ABERDEEN: DC Thomson are hiring a Live News Journalist for their regional publication Press and Journal.

GLASGOW: Sport fans! Newsquest are in search for a Digital Sports Journalist to write about Scottish Football (eg Rangers and Celtic) and be comfortable making some videos too. We nattered to Newsquest’s social media manager here - so give him a shout if you have any questions about the application process.

GLASGOW: Do you have a nose for a good story and an eye for making creative, engaging and informative television news?  BBC Scotland are hiring an experienced journalist to work on their main 6.30 show. Closing date is 25th May.

EDINBURGH: Canongate are looking for an editorial & rights intern to join their team. This is an internship/traineeship for 12 months (full time), £20k per annum. Start date is July, closing date for applications is 27th May.

BBC: There’s lots of opportunities, freelance and paid on the BBC Current Opportunities website; including a BBC Three Edit Assistant Producer in Birmingham and producer roles in Salford.

DARLINGTON: Last chance to apply for the Apprentice Journalist position at Darlington Live. £18,500 per annum, full time traineeship. Closing date is midnight on 25th May.

OUSEBURN: Factory 35 are looking for a creative content assistant. We love how this job role is split into percentages of how much time you’ll spend on each part of the job! £18k salary, 35 hour week 9-5pm with one hour lunch break. Closing date is 31st May.

NEWCASTLE: ChronicleLive (Reach Plc) are hiring a reporter to join their news website in the North East to focus on County Durham and Sunderland. Full NCTJ training programme included, but will consider applications from both trainee and senior journalists for this position.

SUNDERLAND: Tyne Tees Publishing are looking for a media and features executive. £30k a year, permanent contract; looking for 3 years+ experience in direct sales/objection handling/B2B telesales.

SUNDERLAND: JPI Media are recruiting a digital journalist, £22k - £26k. NCTJ qualifications/equivalent experience required, permanent contract.

Good luck if you are applying!

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