Freelance Journalist Interview with Gareth Johnson

Intergration and partnership are vital parts of journalism today, according to today's interview subject Gareth Johnson. Sharing information and staying connected is what it's all about, so if you're a PR, you better try and keep up with this fast-moving freelancer…

About your journalism

What do you write about?

Travel, sport, and lifestyle subjects.

Where are we likely to see your work?

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
Coverage of research into the 'gay gene'; caused lots of controversy.
An interview with the founder of Grindr; something that impressed my friends.
A great weekend in Barcelona; tanning and writing – my two favourite past-times.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
An interview with Lady Gaga – so far she is not returning my calls.

About you and PRs

Where do you source ideas for articles?
Generally it has to be something that catches my attention; if I'm interested in it then I'll be able to write about it in a way that is meaningful for other people. This could be from a conversation with friends, something I've seen or experienced, or a punchy media release.
How can PRs be useful to you?
It works best when it's a partnership. When you're able to build up a relationship and understand how we can work together to create something of value.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
For me, email is the most efficient channel.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
It's good to have a range of different sources of information – if you're too isolated you can lose touch with what's new or interesting out in the world. But a balance is important.
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
I'd like a bit more social media integration – the way that our readers are accessing and sharing information is evolving rapidly. Sometimes I feel that PRs aren't always keeping up with these developments.

About you

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
Professional water polo player.
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
A weekend in Paris.
Do you tweet? Why, why not?
Yes – I like the immediacy and irreverence. It's also an important channel to help connect with your target audience. I tweet @GTVlondon.
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
Books: Lonely Planet guide to Antwerp.
Magazines: Monocle.
Blogs: GTV.
Get yourself connected with Gareth via twitter @GTVLondon!

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