Guest Post – Emma Farley: a journo’s life outside the city


It’s the second guest post in a Wannabe Hacks double-whammy and – from the Freelancer’s neck of the woods – Emma Farley tells us whether living outside the big cities is really that troublesome. Make up your own mind whether her journey so far has been or will be enough…

Emma blogs here, reviews films for the Digital Fix and also writes here

Emma Farley

When I was 15 I decided that I wanted to be a film journalist.

I had it all figured out.

I genuinely believed that by the time I was 25 I would be making a living writing about film. As my 23rd birthday approaches, I’m still optimistic enough to believe that my dreams could come true by the time I reach that 25th milestone. However, compared to most other journalism graduates and film geeks, I’m at a major disadvantage… I’m Cornish.

I knew it would be difficult being based in the South West but I tried to make a hopeful and enthusiastic start…

At 16 I started writing for my local film magazine, Movie Magic, as well as the website Talking Pictures. I also did a week’s worth of work experience at my local paper. After completing my A Levels in Film, Media and English, I went to Cornwall College to study Newspaper and Magazine Journalism and topped-up my foundation degree at Marjon University where I achieved a first-class degree in Writing for the Media.

Work experience was vital and I was determined to prove to myself and others that I could write about film in Cornwall. I wrote for university magazines and newspapers, did some PR for the Cornwall Film Festival and joined DVD Times as a contributor (later known as The Digital Fix). By the time my final semester had ended I was also writing for service-based Suite101.

My first post-Uni “job” was work experience with BBC Blast in Penzance. Not long after I became co-presenter of their new program, The A-List Movie Show and eventually ended up in a paid internship for filmdirecting4women.

My internship finished last week and I have nothing else lined up at the moment. I’m not worried about rushing into something just for the sake of giving up my job in retail and moving out. I’d rather wait for the perfect job to come up and use my spare time to write more.

The Big Smoke

Image courtesy of Dimitry B

Sure, only a handful of people currently make a living writing about film and, yes, there are very few opportunities for people working in the media outside of London. Apparently, approximately 70 media graduates are applying for each position and more and more young people are having to work for free in order to get their name published.

It’s not the best time to be a journalism graduate but I strongly believe that passion is underrated and eventually the perfect opportunity will arise for me based in Cornwall, even if I have to create it for myself. I’ve already thought about launching my own magazine and/or website and I don’t think it’s all that naïve to think that being passionate, determined and hard-working will get me a long way

It’s the second guest post in a Wannabe Hacks double-whammy and – from the Freelancer’s neck of the woods – Emma Farley tells us whether living outside the big cities is really that troublesome. Make up your own mind whether her journey so far has been or will be enough…

Emma blogs here, reviews films for the Digital Fix and also writes here…

 

When I was 15 I decided that I wanted to be a film journalist.

 

I had it all figured out.

 

I genuinely believed that by the time I was 25 I would be making a living writing about film. As my 23rd birthday approaches, I’m still optimistic enough to believe that my dreams could come true by the time I reach that 25th milestone. However, compared to most other journalism graduates and film geeks, I’m at a major disadvantage… I’m Cornish.

 

I knew it would be difficult being based in the South West but I tried to make a hopeful and enthusiastic start.

 

At 16 I started writing for my local film magazine, Movie Magic, as well as the website Talking Pictures. I also did a week’s worth of work experience at my local paper. After completing my A Levels in Film, Media and English, I went to Cornwall College to study Newspaper and Magazine Journalism and topped-up my foundation degree at Marjon University where I achieved a first-class degree in Writing for the Media.

 

Work experience was vital and I was determined to prove to myself and others that I could write about film in Cornwall. I wrote for university magazines and newspapers, did some PR for the Cornwall Film Festival and joined DVD Times as a contributor (later known as The Digital Fix). By the time my final semester had ended I was also writing for service-based Suite101.

 

My first post-Uni “job” was work experience with BBC Blast in Penzance. Not long after I became co-presenter of their new program, The A-List Movie Show and eventually ended up in a paid internship for filmdirecting4women.

 

My internship finished last week and I have nothing else lined up at the moment. I’m not worried about rushing into something just for the sake of giving up my job in retail and moving out. I’d rather wait for the perfect job to come up and use my spare time to write more.

 

Sure, only a handful of people currently make a living writing about film and, yes, there are very few opportunities for people working in the media outside of London. Apparently, approximately 70 media graduates are applying for each position and more and more young people are having to work for free in order to get their name published.

 

It’s not the best time to be a journalism graduate but I strongly believe that passion is underrated and eventually the perfect opportunity will arise for me based in Cornwall, even if I have to create it for myself. I’ve already thought about launching my own magazine and/or website and I don’t think it’s all that naïve to think that being passionate, determined and hard-working will get me a long way.

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About Matthew Caines
Community & content for the Guardian Culture & Media professional networks | founder of @wannabehacks @withinreachmag | find him on Twitter @mattcaines

2 Responses to Guest Post – Emma Farley: a journo’s life outside the city

  1. Great post, as a journalist based in the South West myself I found this very interesting. I actually found that moving to Bristol from Manchester increased the opportunities available to me. In a sense that isn’t surprising as Bristol has a lot of people working in media and creative industries. I’m making a living from freelance jobs now. Creating a magazine or website sounds like a good plan, and I bet that in Cornwall there’s a few decent niches you could find that aren’t covered currently.

  2. Emma Farley says:

    I’ve thought about moving to Bristol myself or perhaps Bath as it’s city life without being in London. I much prefer the idea of creating something new in Cornwall though and think you’re right about finding a niche.

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