Punching through the door of the media industry

I figured “freelance writer” sounded a little more professional than “university student”.

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This morning I achieved what could be considered my first big breakthrough in my quest for journalistic fame (but not fortune; I’m still yet to have found a paid gig). The friendly people at The Punch – not to be confused with The Punch, Nigeria’s most-read daily newspaper – published my article on James Pattinson, the sports media and the growing list of “next big things”.

The Punch is considered one of Australia’s leading opinion websites. It is owned by News Limited, the same company that owns the Herald Sun, the Daily Telegraph and most of Australia’s other popular tabloids. It is also the source of many of those slim op-eds published in mX each afternoon.

My article – entitled “All hail the next big thing. Wait, an even bigger thing” – was originally written as a pitch for Farrago, as part of my attempts to become next year’s sports writer for the magazine. The main subject of the article was New South Wales paceman Patrick Cummins and his South African heroics.

By the time I had finished the article, the story had lost its news value. But lo and behold, another “next big thing” sprung up a week later, enabling me to recycle the same material but simply change the article’s lead player. Cummins became Pattinson, and my otherwise unpublished work became my first notable online scalp.

Hopefully it won’t be my last…