Media careers website Mediargh to continue publishing as friends of founder take reins after his death at 31 - Press Gazette

Media careers website Mediargh to continue publishing as friends of founder take reins after his death at 31

Popular media careers advice website Mediargh has been relaunched after the death of its founder Billy Dowling-Reid.

The 31-year-old passed away last month, two years after developing acute myleoid leukaemia. Two of his friends are now continuing the website in his memory.

Dowling-Reid founded Mediargh in 2013 to offer advice, resources and support to people interested in a career in the media.

The website also hosts an active media jobs board on which Dowling-Reid refused to list unpaid internships.

The site amassed a huge following, with 88,000 followers on Twitter.

Its last update was on 4 May when Dowling-Reid posted a message mistakenly announcing his death, instead of his “impending” death.

It said: “Mediargh is no longer being updated due to the long-term illness and death of its founder. Mediargh will be under new management and continue in some form at a later date.”

Dowling-Reid passed away just over a week later on 12 May, surrounded by family and close friends.

Now Agata Korecka, a friend and employee of Dowling-Reid who has already spent years working with him, has taken the reins, according to an update on the website.

She will be helped by close friend of the site Jem Collins, who runs her own website aimed at helping young people break into journalism called Journo Resources.

The team is now accepting job posts again and working on new content, they announced last night.

A memorial page has also been set up for Dowling-Reid, which says he made the site a success by combining his “approachable, soft-spoken personality with dedicated hard work and industry experience”.

Before starting Mediargh, Dowling-Reid previously worked at Channel 4, media company Endemol, and as an online content producer for the Scottish Government, as well as various start-ups.

A tribute to the site’s founder said: “Mediargh is perhaps the most tangible memory of his caring nature, a sense of ethics, humour – and his achievements. For this reason, it continues in his memory.”

Explaining the popularity of the website, it added: “Mediargh is, in essence, his life’s work. It is based on simple principles: fair opportunities and accessible, practical advice for all.

“As a result, it is credited by thousands of people for landing them the creative jobs they aspired to – as evidenced by the regular ‘thank you’ e-mails and tweets Billy took pleasure in (smugly) reading.”

It also described how Dowling-Reid had the unusual opportunity to read an “outpouring of sympathy and praise for the impact of his work” after his final post on Mediargh, a mistake “propelled by morphine”.

“There are few people who see their obituaries while still alive – and Billy found great joy scrolling through his feed, with a heavy dose of down to earth humour,” the statement said.

It added: “Billy died in comfort, supported by family and numerous close friends, all of whom managed to adhere to the crying ban he imposed.

“He had nothing but praise for the staff of Ward 8 [of Western General Hospital in Edinburgh] whose attentiveness to his needs was second to none.

“For someone who was a committed hermit, his bedside was never vacant. For someone who was happiest uninterrupted in his private space, his absence has been acutely felt by those who never met him.”


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