Under the Radar with Rebecca Knight
This week I spoke to the Junior Features Writer for TI Media's Real Life Hub about empathy, the struggles of real life reporting and feminist Christmas decorations...
Ellie Austin scored a job at Immediate Media as a Features Writer for Radio Times after graduating from the Magazine Journalism MA course at City University. Here she talks about working in the fast-paced world of a major weekly magazine and the power of a good coffee.
What made you want to work in the magazine industry?
I was obsessed reading Vogue when I was 14, but quickly realised I didn’t have the artistic skill to make it as a designer, so I decided to give writing ago, and even after my interest in fashion faded, I stayed fascinated by how magazines worked.
Can you chart your journey from when you started out to your current position?
I started out working on a small university online magazine as the “What’s on” Editor. I was studying History at St. Andrews and clueless about how to make the move to a professional magazine, so I applied to City, University of London and got in.
I got really into finding and writing up interesting case studies at City, so when one of the alumni got in touch about a job as a Junior Feature Writer at TI-Media in the Real Life hub, I jumped at the chance.
Do you have a go-to work outfit?
My office is pretty chill so as long as you’re not in your PJ's your fine, but I tend to stick to a skirt and cosy jumper.
What do you turn to when you’re on deadline – tea/coffee/snacks?
Chocolate buttons! You know it’s bad when you get to end of the bag and still have 200 words to go.
What’s the most unusual situation you’ve found yourself in because of your job?
Umm...probably trying to sympathise with someone who was attacked by a cow.
What would people be surprised to know about your job?
That all the stories we write are actually true.
Walk me through your typical day.
It’s a lot of setting up phone interviews, we deal with a lot of sensitive material, so I’ll spend a little while prepping interviews, and we have to churn out at least 1200 words a day. So I’m Kept very busy.
If you didn’t have to sleep, how would you use the remaining hours in the day?
I’d catch up on ALL pop culture (and read a book a day).
What is the last photo you took on your phone (at time of interview)? Why?
A photo of my Christmas tree, I was really proud of my Frida Kahlo angel.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Lifestyle and DIY blogs, though I can barely use a hammer.
Whose phone number do you wish you had?
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Anything my best friend Arielle says after a gin and tonic.
What/where is your happy place?
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I used to go to belly dancing classes.
What would be in your Room 101?
Spiders and disappointing food.
Introvert or extrovert?
Optimist or pessimist?
Depends on the day.
Film or television? What are you binge-watching at the moment?
Television, Sex Education.
Sweet or savoury?
A bit of both?
Morning person or night owl?
I thrive in the middle of the day, neither are my friend.
Tea or coffee?
Emojis – cool or cringey? Which emoji do you use the most?
Urgh, unless it’s the fairy or wizard!