The writer: ‘Rejection sets you on the path’
What does it take to work in the media? Lollie King is a writer and TV presenter. Whether she’s hosting a radio show or interviewing celebrities on the red carpet, every day is different.
When asked about the highlight of her career, Lollie King doesn’t hesitate.
“I would say doing the ITV Palooza! pink carpet,” she says. At the event, she interviewed TV stars including the cast of Love Island. “I hadn’t done many red carpets before. I got to ask cool questions. That was a major presenting moment.”
Aside from her burgeoning career as a presenter, Lollie hosts radio shows and publishes article on topics she cares about, such as race and feminism.
“That’s the beauty of being freelance, you’re never just working with one group of people. I like to be stimulated by different things.”
But freelancing comes with its challenges too. Lollie says it can be nerve-wracking starting out without a guaranteed income.
“You’re initially super-excited, but there are days when you might have barely anything going on. You just have to stay consistent and make sure you’re constantly reaching out.”
And it’s important to be open-minded about the jobs you take on, she believes.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a presenting job or a running job, or a modelling job, just make sure you’re constantly busy.”
Lollie recommends sending out CVs or showreels to media and production companies, and looking for vacancies online. Internships and part-time work is all good experience.
One day, she dreams of hosting her own prime-time chat show. Right now, she wants to work on making the media more accessible to everyone.
“It can seem exclusive,” she observes. “So many young people have so much to say. We need to start giving those people a platform, rather than just casting the same models.”
In the age of influencers, many people in the industry use social media, but Lollie thinks it’s not the be all and end all.
“When I first started at Hoxton radio, my boss told me it was the most important thing, but I found that really difficult,” she recalls. “I get loads of anxiety when I’m posting a picture.”
“It can be a great tool to market your work. You could to start making Instagram videos interviewing people, or going to different events. But just because you don’t have loads of followers, doesn’t mean you can’t get to where you want to be.”
What is Lollie’s advice for a career in the media?
Forge a path
“Rejection is only pointing you in the right direction,” says Lollie. “It’s part and parcel of the industry. When you get that first rejection, it does hurt — but you have to use it to propel you into the next thing. And always ask for feedback.“
“Apply for absolutely everything. Take up running jobs, or any jobs in the media. In doing all those little bits, you’re compiling a contact list, people you could work with in future. Having more strings to your bow is a great advantage.”
- Would you like to work in the media?
- Is social media a blessing or a curse?
- Write down three skills that you think are important for working in the media.
- Record your own showreel. For one minute, talk on video about yourself and your career interests .
Some People Say...
“Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.”Amy Jo Martin, American author and speaker
What do you think?
Q & A
- What do we know?
- In the UK, in 2017, there were an estimated 261,000 jobs in the TV, film, radio and photography sector. Most jobs were in London, the South East, the North West and Scotland. Between 2011 and 2017, there was a 24.1% rise in the number of UK jobs in the media.
- What do we not know?
- What the future of the media industry will look like. According to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), in 2017, UK consumers spent more money on digital media (music, video and games) than traditional media (books, magazines and newspapers) for the first time. Many traditional publishers have adapted by moving more of their work online and adopting social media.
- Beginning to grow quickly.
- When someone is self-employed, and they are hired by different companies, on a range of projects. More and more young people are choosing to build their own careers, rather than get a traditional job with one employer.
- The money you make from your job.
- Runners act as assistants in TV and other media settings. Responsibilities range from keeping sets clean and helping to organise people, to office work and admin tasks.
- A short video with examples of an actor or a presenter’s work.
- People with a large social media following, who can persuade their followers to buy certain products.