How did you get where you are today?
I took the PMA Training course in magazine journalism, which led to a job as reporter on a tiny, backward trade title for the arcade and casino industry, published by Centaur. On a magazine with an editorial team of four, you learn everything, and trying to get news from the murky world of gambling was a great grounding in how to find stories. I eventually became editor, and after four years on the magazine, I left and began freelancing for a year or two, which gave me a more rounded view of various consumer titles. Then I struck it lucky with this job.
What are main tasks you do every day?
Talking to contributors about feature ideas, and then working out with the team how we can present them in the most engaging way. Oh, and going to wine tastingsâ€¦
What do you like and dislike about your job?
The normal – meeting people who are passionate about the creativity of their job all over the world, drinking fantastic wines, and arguing with the ad team.
What are the most important things to know to do your job?
How to say no to people. And how to present the pleasures of wine in a way which retains its hedonistic quality. It’s not easy in print.
How important are contacts and how do you look after them?
There’s a fine balance between being able to go to people and get access to names, places, wines etc, and being in their debt. But our own contributors are the most important contacts. Knowing who to turn to for a particular piece well is priceless.
What’s the key to success in your specialism?
We haven’t attained it yet, but when we do, it’ll be by engaging a wider audience with a subject which pretty much everyone I know is interested in.