Freelance Journalist Focus: Georgina Turner

Prepare for bruises! Here comes freelancer Georgina Turner to tell you about her work in sports journalism…

About your journalism:

What do you write about?
Sport – mostly Premier League football, though I’ve written about tennis, athletics and most other sports. I also write a column about various women’s sports (I’m going to try roller derby soon… am prepared for bruises).

Where are we likely to see your work?
I’m Sports Illustrated’s Premier League columnist (, and I’m a match reporter for the Observer and the Guardian. I’ve had a couple of pieces in When Saturday Comes recently.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
Covering the women’s European Championships in 2005 was one of the most exhausting, but most rewarding, fortnights I’ve ever had. I was on the staff at, and charged with producing one of their first ever dedicated blogs. My internet connection was via an ancient Nokia phone and I was trying to work with audio, images and moderating user comments too. I didn’t get much sleep but I learned a lot and the blog went down really well. I even got to play alongside Marianne Spacey for the FA, against a UEFA XI, though my efforts at left back didn’t seem to impress England manager Hope Powell.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I’ve reported on two World Cups remotely, so I’d love the chance to get out to Brazil in 2014 – though I’d take a full fortnight at Wimbledon as a close second.

About you and PRs:

Where do you source ideas for articles?
I get emails via ResponseSource, and PRs tend to come to me.

How can PRs be useful to you?
I don’t tend to write product focused pieces, but I’m always interested in events – if I get enough notice, I like to be able to take part and try out new things because it makes for more interesting articles.

How and when do you like them to get in touch?
Via email is always best.

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
I generally find them very useful, and they usually put you in a room/on a bus with people you’ll stay in touch with to exchange ideas.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
I don’t think I’ve had enough dealings with PRs to be making such demands!

About you:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I’d love to say writing books, but I doubt many bills would get paid. I’d probably be working full time in academia; I have a PhD in discourse analysis. I’m assisting on a project looking at media coverage of the Gaza conflict at the moment.

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
I’d like to take a writing holiday, inter-railing across Europe, but I should probably put it into It’s a football history site that I’m working on with some friends, and it would be nice to have something in the bank while we look for a sponsor.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I’m about halfway through The Kingdom by the Sea, one of the few Paul Theroux books I’ve not already read. When Saturday Comes is always in my bag – it’s probably the only magazine I find time to read from cover to cover.

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