30 November 2018 — Media Lens
‘Advice I Wish I’d Had’
Last February, I responded on Twitter to a tweet from The Times urging young journalists to apply for the Anthony Howard Award. Lucky winners could spend a year writing about politics for The Times and Observer newspapers, and also for New Statesman magazine. My comment:
‘Forget it. Don’t write for the “mainstream”. Don’t write for money. Don’t write for prestige. Just “follow your bliss” by writing what you absolutely love to write to inspire and enlighten other people. Write what seems interesting, important and true, and give it away for free.’
These few words generated an imperfect storm of anger and abuse, mostly from corporate journalists and other media workers. In a piece titled, ‘Write for love not money? Journalists appalled,’ former Guardian journalist Jonathan Cook commented: ‘the outpouring of indignation from these journalists at a little bit of advice from Media Lens must be unprecedented’.