Based in Farnham since she joined the company in June 2023, Georgia talks about the appeal of producing trusted news about the community where she grew up.
What are the main responsibilities in your role?
I am responsible for sourcing stories from Haslemere and the surrounding villages. To get the news I interview people and look on social media for updates from groups in our villages and towns.
I also have contacts among people involved in the town and parish councils, plus we get news sent in by local people.
I report on general news which might be a spate of vehicle thefts through to interviewing somebody well known in the local community. I like not being too specialised as it gives me a broad range of stories to cover.
My favourite part of the job is interviewing different people while visiting lots of different places. I also enjoy writing, which is a large part of my role.
What was the appeal of joining the company?
This is my local paper for the community where I have lived my whole life. I really wanted to work in journalism having done my degree, which included a year in Japan, and a Master’s degree, so I enrolled for the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) diploma at Twickenham College, which I completed in February 2023. I was fortunate that I sent in my CV to the Herald when they were looking for a junior reporter.
I knew it was important to start on a local newspaper, so it was great to work for the newspaper in the area where I grew up.
Because I am in a small team I am able to report on different kinds of stories for the area while learning from editorial colleagues. The team is very friendly and the office environment is a nice place in which to work.
What does a typical day in your role involve?
I sift through press releases and information sent in by the public to find stories to prepare. I go through Facebook pages to find news angles and begin to develop different stories.
I work closely with the editorial team to make sure there is no duplication and senior colleagues are aware of what is being produced.
How do you use digital in your role?
We do a lot of work online. The aim is to get several videos in our web articles each week. I am looking to increase my skills in this area.
We make sure our print articles appear online over the course of the week and look at the engagement by the audience through our digital analytics.
We ensure our stories have images and include links to relevant websites as well as email addresses.
What jobs did you have before you joined the company?
I have had jobs since I was 16, including working as a barista and waitress, as well as a tutor.
I had a job in recruitment which meant I was calling 60-plus people a day to go through job applications, which was good experience of speaking to lots of different people at pace.
I had a freelance copywriting role producing content for websites and blog posts.
What are your interests outside of work?
I do a lot of creative writing and have recently started doing pottery with a local group, which I really enjoy.