How long have you worked at the FT and what do you cover?
14 years. I cover media, which can mean anything from writing about the future of the music business to how tablets are changing dry scientific journals.
What made you want to be a journalist?
I like asking impertinent questions of important people and finding out how things work, but the first time I remember wanting to be a journalist was at age 11, watching Brian Hanrahan cover the Falklands War for the BBC. (I’ve done nothing remotely dangerous since.)
Most bizarre part of your journalism career?
Before the FT, I was dispatched to ring the numbers on prostitutes’ calling cards in phone booths around Baker Street in search of “Sandra”, the escort of a disgraced fund manager called Peter Young.
Current top stories/trends from your area?
- Battles between content companies and digital giants
- Consumers’ embrace of rental models like Spotify and Netflix and the risks that poses for companies that sell things like CDs, downloads or DVDs.
- The rise of multicultural media consumers in the US and beyond
- Power shifting to sportsmen, actors, celebrities (and even newspaper columnists)
Vision for your team/department/the company?
To be distinctive, to think digitally and to give the most thoughtful audience on the planet something thought-provoking in everything we do.
Career highlight to date?
If I can name-drop for a moment, it’s a toss-up between sharing a bottle of pink Cristal with Mariah Carey and getting a card from John Waters thanking me for “my favourite capitalist article ever”.
Top three tips for success?
- Keep your contacts warm
- Write about the things you find interesting (and, dare I say it, entertaining)
- Just pick up the phone and keep asking questions
First CD/tape/vinyl that you bought?
Prince – 1999 (on vinyl in 1982)
Recommend a book?
The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman (you may recognise the surname) is a very enjoyable newspaper novel.
Most embarrassing moment?
I’ve blotted most of them out, but asking Sir Howard Stringer how Sony’s Kindle sales were going didn’t go over too well.
Never getting through my to-do list.
If you were Prime Minister/President for a day, what would you do?
Resign for the good of the country
Tell us a joke…
“Felix my ice cream, I’ll lick his.”