My Job: Sarah Backhurst

How did you get where you are today?

After a diverse range of casual jobs on leaving school, I got a job with a TV listings agency and my experience there enabled me to go on to secure a job at the local paper. I spent five years at the Goole Times, from junior reporter to sub-editor, and ended up as acting editor. I went to the Press Association, subbing news pages for the Teletext news service for two years, and then it was back to print journalism with my current job as editor of the monthly H&E Naturist.

What are the main tasks you do every day?

It varies, depending on where we are in the monthly production cycle. Most days I will spend some time replying to emails, letters and phone calls; sub-editing articles for the next issue; collating and sending photos to our designer; liaising with the advertising department on possible tie-ins between articles and adverts; speaking to freelances about future submissions – it really does vary from day to day though.

What are the most important things to know to do your job?

You need a good knowledge of a range of journalistic practices, such as sub-editing and libel law, for example. You also need to work well with other people.

What’s the key to success in your specialism?

Be aware that there is no such thing as a ‘typical’naturist. It’s true that we are catering for a niche market, but there is a huge number of naturists out there and they all want different things from ‘their’magazine.

What do you like and dislike?

I love the freedom of working from home. I end up working a lot of evenings and weekends, but it’s worth it to have the flexibility to organise my time around home life. The only thing I dislike is having to deal with the odd complaint from readers – even after three years in the job, they still leave a bad taste.

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