Jess

When I was a kid, I used to get in trouble in school because I had no pages left in my copy books. Why? Because I used to tear the middle pages out to make newspapers for my parents every Sunday. I was the editor, my siblings were the journalists and front page stories would include the cat’s latest adventures, or the unveiling of the cookie thief (who – shock horror – always turned out to be my sister).

I lost sight of that for a number of years as I pursued my dream of becoming a teacher, but when it came down to it, the career I went with was journalism.

I’m a strong believer in making my own way up the career ladder. My motto is “Build the steps to your own stairs”, and that’s what I’ve been doing since the day I accepted a place on the MA Journalism in NUI Galway.

Since I abandoned my dream of being a teacher, I have learned the ins and outs of journalism, blogging, radio and television. I spent my MA year learning about online journalism, becoming the web editor of Sin Newspaper, the editor of Studenty Galway, and a presenter and producer on Flirt FM – while also getting a 2.1 in my MA.

After college I had the skills to start my own website, The Daily Shift – an important step to the next rung of the career ladder which led me to become Editor in Chief of Sin Newspaper.

But while working with Sin, I kept building my skills, learning more about radio, working for the Connacht Tribune Group, building up a profile for myself in Galway.

I’m now a freelance journalist, getting my byline into various publications on a regular basis, interviewing the most interesting people, and constantly improving my skills and building my portfolio.

I even went back to my original dream of teaching and do some part-time lecturing in NUI Galway, passing my knowledge of journalism and multimedia on to aspiring journalists.

Who knows where I’ll be next!

To contact me, email jessicathompson152@gmail.com

Thanks for reading,

Jess

 

Education and Qualifications:

Sept 2011 – Aug 2012: NUI Galway – MA Journalism (Qualification: 2.1)

Sept 2008 – May 2011: University College Dublin – BA in Music and English (Qualification: 2.1)

JJ 

Employment History:

May 2014 – Present: Freelance Journalist

  • Contribute regularly to local newspapers and magazines, including The Connacht Tribune, The Galway City Tribune, The Galway Independent and GALWAYnow.
  • Researched and conducted interviews for various big features for The Connacht Tribune
  • Wrote numerous editorials, advertorials and lifestyle features for GALWAYnow.
  • Interviewed personalities such as Kathryn Thomas, actress Linda Bhreathnach, musician Declan O’Rourke and androgynous model Ivan Fahy for GALWAYnow.
  • Conducted business interviews with several local businesses for The Galway Independent.
  • Wrote several music features for The Galway Independent, interviewing musicians such as Thin Lizzy’s Eric Bell, Mary Coughlan and others.
  • Wrote a number of theatre articles for The Galway Independent, which included interviews with the likes of popular Irish actor Des Keogh and Love/Hate’s Peter Gowan.
  • I am also a journalist and presenter for local video project Galway Video News.

 

June 2013 – Present: Lifestyle Blogger at beautifulhealth.ie

  • Blog about health, fitness and lifestyle.
  • Give tips on natural beauty.
  • Review various natural beauty products and services.
  • Attend various blogger events and network with numerous other bloggers around Ireland.
  • A member of Into The West Blogger Network (#itwbn) since its establishment in 2014.

 

Sept 2014 – May 2015: Lecturer of Journalism, NUI Galway

  • Took over four journalism classes over the course of the year (BA Journalism and MA Journalism guest lecture series, and two second year Media Studies classes).
  • Taught students the basics of journalism with classes on news-writing, feature-writing, conducting interviews and structuring reviews.
  • Held special classes in music journalism, entertainment and broadcast journalism.
  • Used my extensive contacts list to bring in working journalists for guest lectures.
  • Gave advice on entering a journalism career.
  • Helped students prepare for interviews, job applications and internships.
  • Graded assignments and gave feedback on journalistic skills.

 

Sept 2012 – April 2015: Editor of Sin Newspaper, NUI Galway’s only student newspaper.

  • Organised, planned and produced a 32-page newspaper once a fortnight.
  • Led an editorial team of ten students and educated them on the best practice for editing.
  • Systemised production process using applications such as Dropbox, Evernote and Gmail add-ons.
  • Proofread the full paper each issue and maintained a very high standard of editing.
  • Launched new website, sin.ie, and utilised my WordPress and online skills to design Sin’s web 2.0 presence.
  • Increased the traffic to both the website and the Facebook page for the paper, using social media skills.
  • Wrote engaging, witty and topical editorials for each issue.
  • Was nominated for ‘Publication of the Year’ at the USI Student Achievement Awards.
  • Recruited a team of almost 200 volunteers (a record for Sin Newspaper).
  • Produced Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day pullouts
  • Produced a 16-page election special supplement for the Students’ Union elections.
  • Attended USI Congress and reported on the politics of Students’ Unions.
  • Received the JCI Top Outstanding Young Person Award for leadership and journalistic achievements.
  • Spoke on campus radio station Flirt FM once a fortnight about each upcoming issue of Sin.
  • Collaborated with university authorities, local venues and the Students’ Union for each issue.

 

June 2013 – March 2014: Editorial Projects Co-ordinator and Journalist at The Connacht Tribune Group.

  • Contributed to the group’s three newspapers every week.
  • Conducted interviews and searched for news stories.
  • Took over the music column for a month and interviewed various musicians with upcoming Galway gigs.
  • Co-ordinated a supplement for the ‘Get Involved’ community projects competition. Met Michael D. Higgins at the awards ceremony and received an honorary award for the project.
  • Edited and wrote a 24-page Health supplement for the

 

July 2012 – May 2015: Founder of The Daily Shift (www.thedailyshift.com).

  • Founded, built and designed a website that received over 500,000 views within 6 months.
  • Recruited and trained over 150 regular contributors and journalists.
  • Led a team of 8 editors with a very high standard of editing.
  • Negotiated with advertisers about potential long-term revenue streams.
  • Have a strategic and successful social media plan for generating free traffic.
  • Structured the website in a way that encourages comments and interaction.
  • Systemised the website so that it runs without my direct supervision.

 

Oct 2011 – April 2013: Presenter and Producer on Flirt FM, NUI Galway.

  • Presented, edited and produced audio for radio.
  • Engaged with audience via a fun, easy-listening radio presence on music show Sh-Boom, while also covering current affairs and serious matters on a current affairs show called Affairs Laid Bare.
  • Wrote scripts for radio, researched topics to ensure a well-prepared show, and interviewed professionals.

 

April 2012 – May 2012: Intern at 3e’s fyi.

  • Wrote short scripts to match on-screen images.
  • Produced an in-depth package on bullying.
  • Investigated news, technology and show biz stories.
  • Conducted interviews and vox pops with the public on camera.
  • Researched the funniest videos to end the show on a light note.

 

Dec 2011 – July 2012: Editor of Studenty.me

  • Edited five of the nine branches of this student news site.
  • Increased traffic by 400%
  • Led a team of four sub-editors and 30 contributors.

 

Sept 2011 – May 2012: Journalist and Web-editor for Sin Newspaper

  • Increased traffic to sin.ie by 200%.
  • Collaborated with campus.ie, studentnews.ie and studenty.me to increase traffic.
  • Researched stories for various articles.
  • Contributed to the current affairs, features and entertainment section of the paper.
  • Had stories featured on the front page of the paper on numerous occasions.