Rebecca Brahde is a reporter for Media Isle of Man, responsible for writing news to appear in our local print titles, as well as on our websites plus all the accompanying social media channels.
Based in Douglas since she joined the company in October 2022, Rebecca talks about the appeal of providing trusted news to local readers in the community where she grew up.
Having become visually impaired at the age of 16, she also explains how she uses tech to deliver the latest news for the local community, in print and online.
What are the main responsibilities in your role?
I report on news for all the Media Isle of Man titles, including the Courier, Examiner and Independent print titles, as well as on our website Isle of Man Today. I am starting to write for our website Gef, and I also contribute to the Twitter and Facebook accounts.
We all have topics we are interested in so I have enjoyed doing stories from court, as well as on health and technology. I started as a junior reporter but was offered the chance to undertake the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) qualifications.
I pick up the learning at weekends as well as on the job. Going through the NCTJ has helped me understand and improve and the team around me are very helpful.
What was the appeal of joining the company?
I was not one of those people that always knew what I wanted to go into. It was when I finished my masters in political communication at LSE that I took up a keen interest in the media and journalism.
To gain relevant skills I did various roles in marketing, communications and copywriting. I eventually got an internship at The Guardian, which cemented that this was the industry I wanted to be in.
My parents saw a vacancy being advertised with Media Isle of Man whilst I was at the Guardian in London.
I knew moving back here was something that would work for me so I am glad I made the move as I have got to know the Isle of Man from a different perspective. I have learnt so much already.
How do you use technology in your role?
I became visually impaired when I was 16 and I know that I would not have been able to do this job 10 or 20 years ago. I use a screen reader which means I listen to everything that is written in front of me. I cannot read the newspaper but I am lucky in that the technology means I can listen to text being read out digitally.
Due to my sight I cannot drive. However, as most interviews are on the phone or walking distance this does not cause many issues. When necessary, transport is provided to me, however, this has only happened once. At court I am allowed to use my laptop. I do a lot of my work on the phone.
Being based centrally in Douglas makes it easier to meet people. Before entering the field, I got advice from a visually impaired journalist, who explained how he gets around various barriers. This was helpful as it provided me with ideas of how to find a way around certain difficulties, like not being able to do shorthand.
My screen reader is good for proofreading and writing as it reads everything out to me, which also helps me ensure it is spelled properly. I have an AI transcription service which saves me time in preparing my notes and copy.
What does a typical day in your role involve?
With local reporting you cover everything. In the profession it is recognised that as a local reporter, especially with Tindle, you will be reporting on all aspects of the community.
The way that Tindle works and operates now is forward-thinking as there is a push towards digital and presenting news in a different way to reach online audiences.
I have enjoyed getting to know more about life here in a positive environment.
How does your work fit into the wider business?
We work closely to ensure we deliver the news that people expect. We have meetings throughout the week to update colleagues on the progress we make. We have to call people or visit them to get news stories.
There are people emailing in or sending us links to news appearing on social media.
Facebook and Twitter are great sources of local news, from individuals to local authorities, as well as the police and fire services, so it is important to keep up-to-date with them.
We also cover the House of Keys and Tynwald, which is the Manx equivalent of Prime Minister’s Questions, so I get to work across all aspects of editorial.
What do you enjoy about working for Tindle?
I enjoy how dynamic things are. There is always something different to do so I learn a lot about a range of topics and get to meet interesting people. I love how diverse the work is and enjoy meeting new people.
It is a responsibility to keep the public engaged in our news by making sure the content is interesting so that people pick up the paper, click on our website and follow us on social media.
What are your interests outside of work?
I love playing the piano. I also play netball and enjoy sports. I have got into knitting as it is a nice, mindful thing to do. I try to be as active as possible and enjoy doing exercise.
What are your ambitions for working in journalism?
I initially became interested in becoming a journalist because visual impairment was not represented well. I have really enjoyed being able to cover such a range of stories. Because of my situation I take special care in reporting certain things and ensuring they are not misunderstood.
At some point of my career I would like to work at a national level but I am enjoying reporting on local news and understanding our community and people much more.