2022 has been a busy year for the UK media, with jam-packed news cycles, under-pressure news and features teams and a public in need of information (and adequate entertainment when things got tough).
We spoke to four journalists working across the industry to find out the main challenges they were up against this year…
Fighting to include every audience out there – Isabella Silvers, freelance journalist and author of newsletter Mixed Messages
‘I think an issue across the board has been keeping up the diversity and inclusion momentum that was sparked in 2020. How are individuals and brands ensuring that this remains at the forefront of their mind, and that they don’t slip back into old ways?
‘The cost-of-living crisis has also been a challenge for consumer-facing publications like fashion magazines – you need to be sensitive to your audience and what they might be going through while still providing inspiration, escapism and service-led features.’
Major news events dominating the media cycle – The Daily Telegraph’s features writer Yolanthe Fawehinmi…
‘There have been so many major events that have dominated the news cycle this year. I think sometimes as journalists we fail to give each story a fair amount of time, to ensure that readers are well informed, educated and kept up to date. I think also, since the pandemic happened and the cost-of-living crisis has crept up, it’s also been hard to sometimes find the more positive angles or stories to report on.’
Controversial sporting events and exhausting work – Sports Media LGBT+ founder Jon Holmes
‘The World Cup in Qatar has thrown up so many tricky talking points for the sports media – getting it right on balance, tone and cultural nuance while trying of course to engage fans through the actual football has been a test.
‘I lead a network of LGBTQ+ people in the industry and the demand for our perspectives has understandably been greater than for previous mega sports events. While that means more opportunities, it can also be emotionally exhausting, and that’s something that’s been the case for our trans and non-binary members, in particular, for several years during intense news cycles on trans athletes.
‘Social media abuse, the inconsistent nature of freelancing, and the long hours of dedication needed all continue to make this a career that is not always as appealing as it might seem.
Finding opportunities all year round – Hannah Ajala, freelance journalist, broadcaster and founder of We Are Black Journos
‘The biggest challenge for journalists in my sector this year has been finding opportunities that are not seasonal. That’s a lot of what the focus is for us at We Are Black Journos – especially as Black journalists take up so little of British journalism – it can often seem quite isolating when work is only temporary and not long-term, especially for more creative journalists/freelancers that work across all areas of journalism.’
For more from the UK journalism industry, sign up to our twice-weekly Media Bulletin, featuring interviews, news and all-around useful stuff.
Isabella Silvers, Yolanthe Fawehinmi and Hannah Ajala shared more about their work in our Journalist Voices By Vuelio event – watch the recording here or read our round-up for advice on breaking through with your story during busy news cycles.
Find out more about Jon Holmes and Sports Media LGBT+ in our interview over on the ResponseSource blog.