Media Bulletin

Freelance Journalist Interview with Danielle Hine

By Staff

27th February 2013


…but before we get to that, let's hear how Danielle got there! Originally starting her career in wordsmithing at Elle, taking in some time at New Woman as entertainment editor, then moving to InStyle to become entertainment director, Danielle has experience at a whole cross-section of the women's glossy greats.

Freelancing at Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Fabulous followed, and most recently Danielle has been covering Special Projects at Hearst. What will she be up to next? 

About your journalism

You were covering the special projects editor role at Hearst for the last year – what did the job involve?
I was doing maternity cover in that role (which I’ve just finished) and I headed up Hearst’s Special Projects division – so I produced/edited stand-alone magazines including Red Living; Cosmopolitan Body (x three); Cosmosutra and Cosmo Beauty. My team also contributed to Elle Decoration Country.
What have you enjoyed most about the experience at Hearst?
It was brilliant to work on such amazing, glossy titles with such varied subject matter – the magazines I edited covered everything from chic country homes to lipsticks; hair features to health issues; sex positions to spa retreats, to name a handful.
This follows working in the women’s glossy magazine market for around ten years – where are we likely to have seen your work?
I started my career on Elle and wrote everything from travel to fashion, celebrity and relationship stories. Then I was entertainment editor on New Woman and wrote all the celeb features; after that I was InStyle’s entertainment director. As a freelancer, I’ve also written on various topics for Marie Claire, Stella, Stylist, Cosmopolitan, The Observer Magazine, Look and Fabulous, to name a few.
What’s been the most memorable feature or interview you’ve done?
As well as a brilliant feature I did for Stella on obsessive cat lovers (anecdotes about cats that wear sunscreen and nappies – what’s not to love?) I also used to do an irreverent, saucy, funny monthly interview in New Woman called 'In Bed With…' Needless to say, my interview with a certain Russell Brand was the most memorable. Sample quote: “I’ve got really nice genitals. Nicely trimmed pubes”.
Have you noticed any major changes in women’s interest media during your time in the industry (changes in focus, trends, ways of working, etc.)?
Obviously, social media has been a phenomenon, there’s been the rise of the blogger and apps seem to almost be taking over from websites. So journalists nowadays need to be able to adapt their skills to write across various platforms.
Is there an interview or feature you would still love the chance to do?
I’d love to interview Take That. Have tried to gain access for close to a decade!

About you and PRs

Where do you usually source ideas for articles? What has been the strangest/most unusual source of inspiration for you?
I usually source things online – websites, journals, etc. And I also rely on PRs to keep me informed via press releases. I’ve not found any ideas in particularly unusual places, unless you count the Daily Mail website…(which I’m addicted to).
It's not unusual… How can PRs be useful to you, and how and when do you like them to get in touch?
I like PRs to get in touch with me as far in advance as possible. I write for a lot of monthly magazines who work at least four to five months ahead of publication. So basically, receiving relevant information via email as far in advance as possible is crucial!
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
It depends on the topic, and the access and information I’d get. Film and TV screenings are essential to my job (not just for reviews, but they can also spur on features ideas) and obviously launches of anything else related to women’s interest/issues would be helpful if it’s far enough in advance and I had access to the right experts, etc. for potential features.
What kind of information would you like PRs to send you?
As well as advance info regarding film releases/screenings, music releases, books, DVDs, etc. I’m also after anything interesting to women that could make a brilliant feature to pitch (I write on a variety of topics so it doesn’t always have to be about celebs). I’m after interesting information that would make an impactful feature: interesting new self help/psyche trends/books/gurus; info about new lifestyle trends; relationship/dating trends; health/diet trends; and any other trends or issues effecting women, etc.

About you

How did you originally get into journalism – did you always want to be in the industry you’re working in now?
I got into journalism via being the editor’s PA on Elle. It was always my dream to be a writer, and after about two years of working hard and proving myself I was given a writing job on the Elle features desk. And that’s how my journalism career began.
If you had to do any other job, what would it be?
It would be working with animals in some capacity. So, Dogs Trust, do you have any vacancies for a dog lover with a penchant for sequins?
It's your move, Dogs Trust! Are you a passionate Tweeter? Does social media play a big part in your professional life? 
Although I do tweet and use Facebook regularly, I don’t feel the need to tell everyone how many times a day I’ve been to the loo or how many biscuits I’ve eaten. Social media is hugely useful professionally, but I’m quite careful with it. I aim for humour, but I don’t do oversharing. You can find me @DanielleAHine
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
Grazia is always in my bag every Tuesday – and I give myself arm ache buying (and carrying home) most of the monthly glossies. As for books, I read at least one a week to unwind so give me a Tasmina Perry style bonkbuster or a Patricia Cornwall-esque thriller and I’m as happy as a TOWIE cast member in a fake tan booth.
If you had to pick a favourite out of all the magazines you’ve worked on, could you do it?
Whilst this is akin to choosing your favourite child, I’d have to say it’s Elle. I’ve read it since I was a teenager, and as it provided me with my very first job in magazines, it will always hold a special place in my heart. And on my CV.
You can get in touch with Danielle for assignments (as well as biscuit and loo-visit updates) via Twitter @DanielleAHine.


Extra info

Danielle Hine

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