In the latest in the series of ‘10 minutes with’, the Metro technology editor tells us about how she views news brands in the digital age, exciting new tech for the Tokyo Olympics and meeting the real life ‘Iron Man’…
How did you get into journalism?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, for as long as I can remember. I was that kid who was constantly writing short stories and always had my head buried in a book. After university, I applied to work for an online magazine called EMMA (Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy) where I worked for £5 a day and learnt a lot of the digital skills I still use today.
During my time there I also started working part-time with an amazing journalist called Peter Jenkinson, who helped me get my foot in the door at the Daily Star, as well as pieces for his own project toyology.co.uk. With more experience under my belt, I applied for my first proper job as an editorial assistant on a technology site called Shiny Shiny and thus began the start of my technology journalism career.
Why does journalism matter?
The wonderful thing about journalism is that today it’s available across so many different platforms, which means there is no longer a one size fits all mentality. Individuals can choose to consume news in a way that suits them. With the rise of social media, I can promote my stories, answer questions and share additional bits of information.
As a technology journalist, I appreciate that tech is one of those subjects that could very easily confuse or bore someone due to a lack of understanding. So I love taking a complex and potentially confusing story and breaking it down into fun, digestible chunks of information.
Best scoop (yours or someone else’s)?
I was hosting the IoTX conference in Dubai and one of the guests on the main stage was Richard Browning – the real-life Iron Man who invented the world’s first jet suit. At this stage, no one had interviewed him about his accomplishments as he had only just finished building and fine-tuning it. So after the show, I grabbed my dictaphone, had a quick chat with him and got a brilliant story out of it.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve been reviewing the latest foldable phones and true wireless headphones, so I’ll be telling readers all about those very soon. I’m also researching exciting and important technology that’s going to be involved in the Tokyo Olympics. The dominance of Japan in technology and innovation is fascinating.
Career highlight so far?
I used to work for Stuff magazine as multimedia editor and when I got made redundant, at the time, it felt like the worst thing that could ever happen to me career-wise. That is, until I got the technology editor role at Metro.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Be nice to people on your way up because you could meet them on the way down. After being made redundant from Stuff Magazine, I got a lot of work from the people I’d worked with or helped out in previous years.
Who or what inspires you most?
My friends. I’m lucky enough to have a group of friends all with equal doses of serious ambition and drive. Being around them has been such a positive reinforcement for me over the years and they’re partly why I’ve strived for more in my career.
Who would be your fantasy dinner party guests and why?
Dave Chappelle because I think he is hilarious and would keep the jokes rolling all night. I’d invite Prince and David Bowie to provide the entertainment and to pick their creative minds on all things music, plus Elon Musk to discuss the future of the tech industry and Richard Branson to talk about suborbital space travel.
How do you switch off from work?
I love spending time with my friends, going for dinner and drinks. I also love to travel and get out of the UK as much as possible.
Gym or gin?
Gym followed by gin.
If I wasn’t a journalist, I would be…
I’d love to own my own pizza restaurant. I am obsessed with those delicious cheese and tomato discs, so it would give me great pleasure to own an establishment designed to give people as much pleasure as pizza gives me.
Either that, or I’d have gone to law. That was what I was studying and thinking about going into before heading down the journalism path.