Roger Borrell is editor of Lancashire Life (incorporating Lake District Life) magazine and group editor of Archant Life’s northern titles, which include Yorkshire Life, Cheshire Life and North East Life. Lancashire Life is Britain's biggest selling county magazine and is a recent winner of the Newspaper Society's UK Regional Magazine of the Year award.
Roger was previously Midlands' editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror and editor of the Birmingham Evening Mail. Before that he edited the Lancashire Evening Post, moving there after being deputy editor of the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle upon Tyne. He has been a news editor, an industrial correspondent and he started his career 30 years ago in Cornwall on the Falmouth Packet, which is a newspaper not a boat.
Hints and tips
- The media is changing frequently. It’s a volatile and unpredictable industry. Magazines are often niche products at the 'softer' end of journalism and they appeal to different people with different interests.
- Many magazine journalists start off as editorial assistants. The attributes looked for – a hunger for the job, confidence without arrogance, the ability to hold a conversation, personality, competitiveness, be prepared to take the odd knock here and there. We want to see commitment to the industry through work experience yet we understand that sometimes this is a catch 22 situation – no work experience, no job but no job without work experience.
- Someone who is level headed and organised makes a good journalist.
- I would always look for graduate when recruiting although what degree they hold isn't hugely important – it simply demonstrates an ability to be motivated. Saying that, degrees in subjects such as politics, history, economics etc would show a strong aptitude for research and analysis, important skills for a journalist.
- Hints when applying for a job to work experience – know the publication you're applying to. Do your research – address the letter to a specific person rather than "dear sir/madam"; know a little about the staff, the circulation, the audience, the kind of copy included etc.
- Salary: outside London, editorial assistant anything up to £16k