During my first semester at university, I’ve been able to explore different roles in which I can be a journalist. From features, to news stories, to press releases, I’ve learnt a lot of in-depth knowledge about what it takes to become a journalist. So the next question for me is to figure out where and who I would like to be working for once my days at university are over.
One magazine that has always inspired me is Oh Comely, this magazine is a lifestyle women’s magazine with a twist, I guess the magazine is quite ‘alternative’ it doesn’t focus on makeup, hair or men like more popular female magazines do. But instead offers a range of feel good, inspiring and creative features. The magazine also features illustrations heavily, and takes pride in its creative flare when it comes to choosing journalists and photographers. There isn’t another magazine on the market quite like it, it really does offer a type of journalism that is hard to find. Not only that but I’m fond of the way that they do not use social media as their way of promoting themselves. It’s a magazine you find because you see someone else read it or recommend it, it almost makes the magazine seem like a secret club.
One writer who features in Oh Comely is Polly Dickson, a Cambridge graduate with a PhD in European Literature who now lives in New York. Dickson writes incredible colour pieces, full of descriptive analogies and imagination. It’s almost like reading a short novel or poem as she is very playful with her use of words, and the form is almost always in an essay style, long features that take time to read. Because she is so descriptive in her way of writing, you really do leave reality behind and become completely absorbed in the reading, and for me that is exactly what a feature should do.
An article by Dickson that I really idolize is Unspectacled which is about her lack of vision, the article isn’t one of news but more of a colour piece. The article is written in an essay style format like a lot of hers are, and is one of my favourite formats for writing features. I like the way Dickson structures sentences, she uses punctuation to her advantage, and uses it to make you keep reading, the flow of her writing always makes you feel as if you are listening to her actually speaking, her articles are almost always wrote in first person. Reading her articles I think it is easy to see that Dickson definitely falls under the category of being a Storyteller. She has a tendency to make everyday objects or problems and turn them into something bigger. Something that readers like to read about and something that readers can relate to.
I think it’s interesting to think about how she creates her articles, because her articles are based on normal, day to day situations it’s hard to pin point where she comes up with her ideas. I assume it’s through conversation, and talking to other people. But I think her key skill is how she manages to write the story, and her use of imagination. She approaches her articles with a personal style which I love, and I think she is quite experimental with how she writes as it is not your typical news story.