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Today sees the second of our ‘inside track’ industry interviews: we chat with Susan Grossman, lecturer in journalism; writing mentor; and career and workplace coach.
She provides an insight into the challenges in the media and communication sector from a journalist’s point of view as part of Lexis®PSL Commercial’s industry and sector series.
By accident, I went for a job on Which? magazines in my early twenties and loved the idea of championing causes and helping consumers make decisions based on independent advice.
After that I went freelance but was determined to find out what it was like to work in radio and TV. The consumer tag has stuck. There’s always stuff to tell readers about, especially on my three favourite subjects: health, travel and food.
The media is a powerful medium. A good journalist investigates on behalf of their audience—which can inform every area of their lives. I hate people wasting money, whether it’s a washing machine, garage servicing or a holiday. Investigating comes naturally to me, so to do it on behalf of several hundred thousand readers seems worthwhile.
OK, I know the press has got a lot wrong over the years, but most journalists have a core integrity, something the public appears to ignore.
I’ve had a lot of fun as a freelancer, in charge of my own workload and destiny. But there have been contracted jobs along the way—a four-day week editing a magazine for a publisher, producing radio programmes for the BBC. Years ago, you never undertook any freelance work without a formal contract. Negotiating terms was always a bit of a minefield, especially rights. These days most people want ‘All Rights’ but I tell all my journalism students that editors don’t buy ideas...just words. So
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