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"I'm starting as a financial reporter for Dow Jones, London on 4th August. 25k a year starting wage is a little more than expected, but who am I to complain? Thanks for the support."

Richie Benson, JW Graduate, Financial Reporter, Dow Jones, London

TUTORS

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Karen Dugdale

Teaches: Essential Public Affairs for Journalists

  • Ten years local government experience working for an inner city London borough
  • Freelance journalist since 2007
  • Contributor to The Guardian (G2), Observer, Times and lifestyle magazines and sections such as Femail
  • Co-author of Superbrands and Coolbrands since 2006
  • Teaching Public Affairs for journalists since 2008 (combining previous local government work with journalism)
  • A member of the NCTJ board for Public Affairs


Karen, what is your style of teaching/lecturing?

Adaptable and hands on, I’m on a one person mission to show that government is interesting and the more you know the more intriguing it becomes…

What freelance work do you currently do?

I like to focus on the areas I have a particular knowledge of, so a lot of social housing, development and women’s issues for a variety of different publications and websites. I also still do review work (theatre and dance) and technical writing and editing such as the annual Coolbrands and Superbrands publications.

What is your claim to fame?

I have a friend who produces the film Baftas and was regularly roped in to chaperone a star on the night. Not many people get that close to the likes of Richard Gere, Jake Gyllenhal and Keanu Reeves but all I can say aside from being just like us is that so many Hollywood stars are not very tall –celluloid certainly does make you look taller, and while I was tempted by Richard’s offer to join him at the after-show party sadly it’s against Bafta rules.

Do you have an industry story you can share?

When I was first trying to establish myself as a freelancer I sent an email pitch to a section editor at The Guardian. She politely informed me that a staffer had just been assigned a similar story so thanks but no thanks. I promptly emailed my husband griping that I bet they nicked my idea and were getting a staffer to write it up. I was mortified to receive an instant rebuke from the section editor tartly informing me that for my information The Guardian do not steal other people’s ideas… You got it, I had mistakenly sent the email intended for my husband to her. A hard lesson learned but thankfully she left as section editor a few months later so it didn’t scupper my Guardian contributions forever.