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The August status update

It’s August, so that means two things: Summer in the UK is already over, as it only ever lasts two or three days, and people interested in politics have a lot of time on their hands. (That’s me.)

I’m catching up with things, and so I wanted to update this site to give interested parties (AKA my mother and an aggressive cadre of Russian spambots) an idea of what I’m up to right now.

I’ve just finished my masters’ degree in Journalism which is nice. Sheffield University is an interesting place to study, and I was stupidly lucky to get a scholarship to study there, so thanks to everyone who was a part of that. I picked up the NCTJ diploma along the way, too; while it’s less important to employers nowadays, I figured I’d at least pick it up in case a dream job came up that wanted it. Shorthand is awful, but it’s a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things and a super neat party trick.

My freelance output has been a little slow because of the aforementioned course (which, for better or for worse, did its absolute best to suck up all of my time), but I’ve just started an eSports blog, “Carried”. I’m still developing it right now, but I’ll post something up here once I’ve launched it and ran a few posts.

I’ll be using Medium, as opposed to WordPress or Ghost or any other blog software I’ve relied upon in the past. Why? Well, it’s beautiful – and they’ve finally launched publications, which I really recommend checking out.

If Carried grows into anything (and I’d really like it to) then WordPress is probably the future, simply because of the freedom it gives you in the design space. Then again, by that time, Medium might allow for more complexity in the design space … so who knows?

In the lull between my course and paid work, I’m wrapping up my dissertation and working as a digital content editor for the British Council in London. It’s a wonderful place, with some wonderful people, and their work does a great deal to connect people across the world with opportunities to learn English and visit the UK. I’m writing articles for their websites in South Asia, in particular Pakistan and India.

Finally, I’ll be starting at the Daily Mail next month. I’m on their editing graduate scheme, which is great news, and a lot of people I seriously respect are either on the scheme (or were on it recently), and have said great things about it. I’ll be on placement at the excellent London Evening Standard for a few months before I start on the Daily Mail proper. It’s sure to be an adventure, and after spending too long in the orbit of the UK’s various universities, that’s really important to me right now.

If you want to keep up to date with me, follow me on Twitter. It’s definitely the easiest place to reach me.

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RIP Gawker.com

Extremely sad to hear the news that Gawker is to close.

It was – it is – an excellent site. So many brilliant writers have passed through their doors – Adrian Chen, Caity Weaver, and so on – and it did a great deal to show that there is a way to run a healthy media company in a digital space. The circumstances surrounding the site’s closure should concern everyone in journalism, especially those in the US.

As a side note, some of the comments I’ve seen cheering the closure (and implcitly the job losses that will effect loads of talented people) have been seriously disheartening. In particular, those that think this is the end of Kotaku (because of their anti-gamergate reporting, they made a lot of enemies in that particular community) should take off the party hats – Kotaku is one of the sites that won’t be going anywhere.

Best of luck to those who’re sticking with Gawker Media, or at least whatever it ends up being as part of Univision, and better luck still to those headed elsewhere.

Thoughts on journalism education

I’m populating this site with content and I figured I’d put together something I’ve wanted to do for a while. A couple of people I know have asked me what I think of doing an MA or whatever after they graduate, or they’ve probed me more generally about how my studies fit in to what I want to do.

I’ve tackled all of that in the below post. Obviously it’s early days yet in terms of doing an MA (I only started in September), but people are already considering applying. Here’s some broad chat from me for you to add to the white noise: Continue reading

I’m back!

Welcome to my new website, and the nth iteration of mikeocd.com. I’ve migrated back to WordPress after using (the impeccable) Ghost for a year or so.

If you’re here, you probably came because of my email signature or Twitter bio. Either way, hey! Nice to meet you! If you don’t know much about me, you can get to know me. Just follow the links on the right of the page: there’s my CV, a short professional bio, and a page with some of my bylines.

Please feel free to get in touch if you’ve got any questions or work offers. I’m currently freelancing at university, and I’m actively seeking more writing opportunities.