People often ask me what I’m up to work-wise and sometimes it’s hard to give an answer. The reason for this is that being a freelancer in the media industry isn’t a normal job! The hours obviously aren’t 9 to 5 and it can often sound like all you do is meet people for chats in coffee shops.
The truth is, I do meet a lot of people in coffee shops for chats, and I also spend a lot of time reading articles and trawling the internet for information, which can also sound like skiving but I promise it’s all a vital part of contact building and story finding. In fact, one of the biggest scoops I had as Health Correspondent at ITV Wales (which incidentally saw me win an award from the Medical Journalists’ Association) came from a conversation I had with a hairdresser as she was doing my highlights! Unconventional maybe, but often the biggest scoops come from the smallest conversations, when people are relaxed and happy to chat.
Even parts of the job that sound more like ‘a real job’ can be passed off as frivolous, for example I’ve just been made Media Consultant for South Wales Ironmen Rugby League. The title sounds rather impressive, but in reality I spend most of the time on social media. An important part of work in the 21st century, but not something to brag about with your mates who are engineers, accountants and lawyers.
And while writing and presenting are undoubtedly skills, my brother still can’t get over the fact I get paid to chat on TV and Radio!
At the moment I’m applying for funding for a one off documentary I hope to make next year, as well as developing ideas for a National Television series. I’m also drawing up ideas for a BBC Radio commissioning round.
I suppose the truth is that being a Freelance Broadcast Journalist and Presenter is a lifestyle not a job and I’m lucky to be able to have career which I love. Plus I’ve just written a blog post which you’re now reading, so next time I’m asked what I’ve been up to I’ll have article writing at the top of my list!