Too proud to write for “The Daily Fail”?

When you’re looking for something, you’d be amazed how quickly your standards lower. We’re talking about jobs here as opposed to that desperate 4am scanning of the dance floor…

On Sunday Giles Coren wrote a column much like those he publishes in varying parts of The Times of a weekend: witty, touching, cleverly structured and a delight to read. Except it appeared in Femail: The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday’s girl-friendly colour supplement. The flocks of @gilescoren fans (myself included) sycophantically tweeted their appreciation hours after ‘Oh my God, I’m turning into my father’ appeared on Mail Online.

Daily Mail

A 'typical' Daily Mail front page

However, it was clear that many of these compliments were more than a little backwards. @henweb tweeted: “Nice. @GilesCoren’s article in the Daily #FAIL is literally the first good article I’ve read in the DM for… well, ever! http://goo.gl/hWJCh”. I was alerted to the piece by @samparkercouk, advising that “If you only ever visit the Daily Hate once in your life, make it for this article by @gilescoren.” Even if he wasn’t such a candid tweeter, it’s obvious why Coren took the controversial commission: it’s his job.

Daft as it sounds, it’s all too easy as a young and/or wannabe hack to imagine ourselves taking the Guardian offices by storm, rather than realising that writing for a living is as much about paying rent as it is ‘changing the world’. When I was job-hunting a fellow intern scoffed, “Gas and Power Magazine? Seriously?” It’s easily done, until you see what journo job listing sites really look like and your specifications broaden considerably.

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Guest Post – Rosie Niven: trade magazines

Rosie Niven II

This week, Rosie Niven tells us a little about trade magazines: one of choices that graduates sadly – and perhaps foolishly – overlook.

Rosie Niven started her career at Haymarket Publishing on the weekly Planning. In 2004 she moved to indie publisher New Start Publishing to work on a magazine for urban regeneration professionals. She is now assistant editor of New Start and freelances for clients in broadcasting and online media.

You know the section at the end of Have I Got News for You when they feature a publication so niche and obscure that you can’t believe anyone would ever read it? Well, when you say that you work on a trade or specialist magazine, that’s the kind of title many people have in mind.

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Freelancing for Free: banking your first buck

Freelancing has an incredible attraction: one day you can be meeting Michael Bastian for a chat on his latest line for GANT (more to come on that!) and then the next you are doing coffee discussing the pitch for a new project.

The next day you get up a little later than usual and sip a tea over a new article, watching the rat race fly by outside in the relentless rain; later on you’ll pour out a vat of vin and copy edit everything you’ve achieved before send off.

I do all of these things; but it’s not because I can afford to.

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