Working in journalism: Employee case study

Gaby Soutar describes her job as lifestyle writer for The Scotsman Magazine.

What is your role?

I cover the lifestyle content for The Scotsman Magazine, The Scotsman's Saturday supplement.

I write the restaurant reviews, fashion page and beauty and interiors blurbs. I normally write around 4,000 words per week.

In addition, I source and publish pictures, co-ordinate press trips for the travel pages, answer reader and PR (public relations) enquiries, and meet PR staff.

What do you like about your job?

I love the writing and the variety, as I'm covering various subjects. The good perks are another benefit. I get to visit restaurants and get invited to openings.

What’s not so great about it?

The pay is low, despite the workload increasing considerably over the last ten years.

How did you get to where you are?

I got this job through work experience. After graduating from arts school, I worked here full-time and unpaid for 18 months. I had previously worked unpaid at Caledonia Magazine and a colleague there helped me find the position at the Scotsman.

What do you want to do next?

Hold tight for as long as I can!

What kind of skills and qualities do you need to be good at your job?

You’ll need writing ability, flexibility and accuracy. Good writers need to be able to work to deadlines and to multi-task. Working in lifestyle, you’ll need to understand the differences between lifestyle editorial copy and advertising content.

What kinds of changes are going on in your industry?

There are plenty of changes going on in journalism as companies attempt to adapt to the challenges of the internet and digital technologies. This has led to job cuts and redundancies in some cases.

What advice would you give young people thinking of doing your job in the future?

As jobs in this field decrease, it is going to be much harder to find opportunities. It is important to find work experience and then to make yourself indispensable.

Gabby Soutar

Gaby Soutar, lifestyle writer at The Scotsman Magazine

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