As a journalism and creative media student, I’ve so many question about what it’s like to work in the media industry. So, in an effort to learn more about the amazing world of news and media, I got in contact with Irish Blogger, Hannah Beth Healy, (HBH.ie), to talk about her experiences in journalism and her tips for hopeful journalists like me.
Q1 Why did you become a journalist?
Finishing up college, I grew to have a keen interest in blogging my experiences and tips that I had learned to shopping smart on a budget or some beauty hacks that it seemed not a lot of people knew about. After setting up the blog, I was approached by a local couple who owned a Magazine, they developed a strong interest in my work and seen potential in me. They asked me to come on board as a freelance journalist. My main focus while working for the magazine was mainly skincare and beauty.
Q2 Where did you study?
I studied Media and Public Relations at the Institute of technology Carlow.
Q3 Can you tell me about your first media job experience?
My first gig with the magazine was an interview with the lovely Sonia Deasy, the founder of Pestle & Mortar skincare. I remember how nervous I was, I wasn’t even too sure my questions made too much sense. I learned so much from being thrown in the deep end, as it was a lot more serious than any college assignment I had done. All of these things build your character and I now have no problem getting on the phone to someone I don’t know.
Q4 What is your typical day as a journalist?
For me, the majority of my time goes into the research and planning of an article. I could spent hours just looking for the right resources which are both accurate and trustworthy. Once I have a draft or rough plan done out, I could get the pretty decent article done in a matter of 20-30 minutes.
Q5 What are the downfalls to journalism in your experience? What are the up sides?
As I was working freelance, it is the risk of not knowing when your next job will be. Like most things in life it was either a feast or a famine.
Q6 What advice would you give to an aspiring journalist?
Be true to yourself and what you stand for. Keep in mind that once something goes to print, it has your name tied to it for life. Just be sure that this is something you are okay with. I found that I was lucky enough to promote and work with brands which I
truly believed in. You don’t have to necessarily bash a product or company that you don’t like or believe in. You can simply just choose not to write about it. Also, there is a reason why you want to be a journalist. Keep that in mind when you find yourself struggling or asking yourself if it is all worth it. Your opinion counts just as much as anyone else. Believe in yourself and always push yourself further and further to grow as an individual both inside and out side of your career.
Q7 As a freelance writer/blogger, what are the biggest struggles you face?
Mental block! I have sometimes felt extremely uninspired to write. At once point I think I might have even gone 1-2 months without posting a blog as I just felt like I had nothing worth sharing. I find that it is important to not focus it. taking this time out allowed me to get back to it, fresh minded and full of inspiration to get back in the game as I had taken some time out to do what I wanted, hang out with friends and plan some trips, all of which as fantastic opportunities for travel and lifestyle posts.
Q8 What’s the biggest difference between freelance work and regular working contract?
Consistent pay. Not relying completely on your own ideas to drive in revenue, this can be a huge weight on your shoulders at times of the month when it seems a lot of bills need to be paid all at once. Working for yourself however does have it’s perks. You are your own boss which means you can pick your own hours and work out your own daily schedule.
Q9 How much does social media effect your work?
Social media is essential for myself and anyone working as a blogger/influencer. Having the ability to post content organically on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram means I can out to my 9k followers in a fast and simple manner. Social media is also perfect for interacting and reaching out to people with similar interests allowing you to keep up to date and on the pulse with must-attend events and news stories.