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 email@example.com.
Thanks for reading,
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)
Feb 2017 – Present: Journalist and Entertainment Editor at the Longford Leader
- Contribute a large amount of content to both the Longford Leader in print and online.
- Put together a weekly web schedule ensuring constant updating of the website.
- Source, research and write articles for the weekly paper.
- I run the entertainment pages of the paper myself.
- Interview important politicians, artists, and people of interest in county Longford.
- I improved the paper immensely by suggesting we add a weekly ‘Longford Lives’ feature, profiling people of interest from around the county.
- Design and layout pages for my own stories.
- Attend local events and provide videos, audio or photography where necessary.
- Cover breaking news stories and update the web from my smartphone when I’m on the go.
May 2014 – Feb 2017: Freelance Journalist/Editor
- Currently working as Editor in Chief of travel and tourism magazine, Go Wild: The Food Experience (two magazines per annum)
- Contributed 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 was also a journalist and presenter for local video project Galway Video News from April 2014 until April 2015.
June 2013 – Present: Lifestyle Blogger at beautifulhealth.ie
- Run a journalism blog: jessica.ie
- Researched topics related to my blog.
- Attended 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.
- Finalist for the Current Affairs/Politics category of the 2016 Blog Awards.
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.