I think I was about twelve when I decided I wanted to be a journalist and 21 when I decided I wasn’t competitive enough. By that time I had been published by school newspapers, district council magazine and had been a contributor to and then held editorial positions for my university magazine and the the wider read ULU press. I had completed internships at The Portsmouth News, a charity called CRED which let me write them copy when I was 15 (I have no idea where the copy went this was BI (before internet) and had internships at a newly imported women’s weekly magazine called Grazia and style bible Dazed and Confused.
What that experience and my entire university career taught me was that my favourite thing about deadlines is ‘the sound as they go whooshing by’ and under pressure my critical third eye convinces me I am the worlds worst writer and that everything i’ve produced ever is utter tripe. So for these reasons I attempted, in my third year, to turn to radio journalism.
Thanks to women like Jo Wiley and Zoe Ball it was a credible opportunity without the same haughty slickness of print.(These woman swore, drank beer and wore converse not Jimmy Choos) To prepare myself I threw myself further into the world of student radio where I hosted a post club night breakfast show called ‘Jess can’t keep her mouth shut’ which was broadcast online and across the university campus. I think I had 4 regular listeners and those were the Union staff working shifts on a Thursday am. I have the recordings of several shows; i would describe them as quirky to say the least. However the door was open and I even did a module on Music as part of my third year where I wrote 6000 words on the history of the DJ… I know, i don’t do things by halves, plus I already had a vinyl collection (still do, it’s not really grown since 2002) and vague knowledge of the industry due to my former love of german electro clash pop. At the end of my degree I managed to get a contract job at Heart London. I had written asking for an internship and they had come back with a paid job – where I wrote web copy for 3 months about venues I’d never been to. It was pretty awesome. The highlight was meeting Paris Hilton in the canteen.
To cut along story short, after that I ended up in fashion and education and now operations, ironically at a newspaper. And that initial desire to be a journalist has come rushing back. I’ve also learnt that news can be vague; it doesn’t neccessarily have to be of the minute stuff. It’s one of the reasons why I have now imported my blogs into this one blog; I need, i guess a ‘portfolio’.
And on that note: The point of this is that whilst clearing out ‘stuff’ I recently found a box of charred remains (after a a house fire a couple of years ago) as well as file on a laptop that contained my original copy. And i’ve decided to post them… scheduled over today!