Interviewer: Today I’m talking to two young journalists -Angus Brown, a news reporter on a national daily, and Yolanda Zouche, a features writer on a London evening paper. You’re both not only successful in your careers, but enthusiastic about them too. What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your work. Yolanda?
Yolanda: I’m tempted to say nothing really- I like it all, some things more, some less. Our features are a mix of things that have been thought of and researched and written in advance, and more urgent, topical pieces with a quick turnaround. I’m sometimes sent out on a story that’s needed for the next day. It’s pretty scary when you know you’ve got just a few hours  – and it can involve finding people whose addresses you don’t know. That’s the same with any story, of course. You’ll have to think up ideas for pictures to go with it and, write your piece to a fixed word count – but you soon find yourself doing this automatically.
Interviewer: And what do you both enjoy about your work?
Yolanda: Well, I suppose I’m quite a nosy kind of person, so I love digging out stories that haven’t been reported – I’ll go from interviewing a singer about a forthcoming tour to investigating some crime, all in one day perhaps.  I’d be bored otherwise, I think, and then it’s all got to be presented in a way that will make people want to read it.
Interviewer: And you, Angus?
Angus: There’s no way I could describe ‘my typical working day’ – that’s the sort of question people often ask. And that’s really why I enjoy it so much I suppose – so many fascinating people to talk to, and so much to learn. 
Interviewer: Like several other papers nowadays, Angus, yours has an online version. What do you think is the greatest significance of the change to digital?
Angus: It’s completely altered the way we think about the news. Things move so very quickly, and we really do need to stay receptive to all the opportunities the medium has opened up. I think maybe more people are better informed these days. We’ve certainly become a rolling news operation – I can now file a story as soon as it breaks, early and then update digitally as I find out more.  And if I get anything wrong, people are all too quick to point this out on social media.
Interviewer: Finding a job is not easy for anyone – what was it like for you Angus?
Angus: It certainly wasn’t easy. People continually told me that print journalism was dead, and there was no money in it, but in fact I had to beat 1,800 applicants to get on the graduate scheme.  Before that I’d been on a couple of temporary work experience placements with a local paper – you can do these to get a taster of the work, but there’s no salary… I managed financially because I was doing some part-time teaching at the same time. You really need some sort of support network of people with influence too – luckily the work experience provided that.
Interviewer: Tell us what qualities you think a would-be journalist needs, Yolanda.
Yolanda: There’s no straightforward answer to that – I’ve got an English degree and Angus is a historian, I believe… that’s his academic background. There are plenty of good courses around, and eventually you’ll have to get to grips with some of the technical stuff – like media law, and so on. But remember no one is ever going to employ a shy retiring type with no ideas . Being able to write clearly and quickly, and think through a tangle of information is obviously helpful – but these are things you can develop with practice.
Interviewer: And what would you say, Angus, is a good preparation for an aspiring journalist?
Angus: I’m wary of long periods of unpaid work experience – you can easily end up doing someone else’s job for free, but some is pretty well essential. Listen to people’s conversations. It’s a great way to get ideas for stories – everything you see and hear is copy for articles.  Being a good writer is obviously an advantage as I’ve said, but it’s more important to have something to write about. You don’t need to be, and probably won’t ever become, an expert in anything, but you’ll have the chance to engage with a huge variety of different issues and topics.
Interviewer: Thank you both for sharing your ideas and experience.
Having a part in a long-running play might seem glamorous but there are drawbacks. My fellow actors and I share pretty cramped accommodation, for one thing – tolerance can be stretched to the limit. But I was determined to create my own hideaway, somewhere I could escape to and read quietly , so I squirreled myself away in a hidden corner under the stage only to find two other fresh-faced cast members already there, thoroughly at home, drinking tea.  We looked at each other in stunned silence – then giggled uncontrollably. What else could we do? Now we gather there before every performance for a bit of quiet, so there’s a strict no talking rule!
A hospital doctor’s life isn’t the easiest, but I love my job. A couple of months ago though, I made a drastic decision – I changed hospital, so now my commute is just a 12-minute walk from home. I hadn’t foreseen how much more involved in the local community I’d become thanks to swapping my daily drive for a brisk walk – knowing local shopkeepers by name and so on . I can’t get enough of it. And it means I can play with my three-year-old son at both ends of the day, which let’s face it is what drove me to act in the first place . It compensates enormously for the stress and long hours.
I’ve been the manager at several football clubs, and it doesn’t get any easier. The work itself is varied and complicated, but it’s the garbage the media comes up with that really gets on my nerves. Half of it’s invented, and on occasion it impacts on my kids and friends too, which makes my blood boil. So two seasons ago, I implemented a self-imposed ban – I won’t go on social media or message boards, or read newspaper articles.  That’s why I hadn’t a clue why the players were applauding me into the dressing room one morning  – turned out they’d seen a press photograph of me doing my charity work at a local school the weekend before.
Working as a TV presenter, live on air, brings its own set of challenges. To be honest I never quite know what’s going to happen, even now. The system I drew up after the first couple of hectic shows – having a number of back-up plans – was aimed at helping the situation  but I confess I stil l regularly tear my hair out at producers forgetting to tell me of last minute changes to the guest list.  It throws my elaborate system into complete disarray. I try to bear in mind however, that there’s another show tomorrow, and the day after – there’s no point getting too worked up.
As school principal, I’m very conscious of how many people are in my carenot only students and teachers but also ancillary staff and, indirectly, parents. I need to have my act together, which means getting to work early, and am often the last to leave. So last year I hit on the idea of going running – fifteen kilometres, three nights a week. I’d give anything to swap my slow and clumsy running style with the streamlined joggers gliding effortlessly past me , but as hoped, I’m finding that if there’s something I need to deal with in school, I can usually find a solution while running , and arrive home relaxed – much to my wife’s relief.