Freelance Journalist Interview with Tony Lobl
About your journalism
What do you write about?
My focus is on the relationship between consciousness and wellbeing, particularly spirituality and health. Because my own spiritual practice (Christian Science) has helped me so much over the past three decades I am curious to see how the elements involved are being recognised and implemented in society. For instance, science is increasingly exploring the impact consciousness has on medical outcomes and the NHS is recognising, and acting on, the positive impact of spirituality. I am watching, wanting to see how the dots connect between these different strands and endeavouring to share what I am noticing.
Where are we likely to see your work?
What’s the most memorable work you’ve done
My first blog in The Independent got over 700 Facebook likes and provoked well over 200 comments.
It was fun to include a clip of Stephen Fry and Jimmy Carr in a recent Huffington Post blog.
What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I think the media often misses a fascinating story by failing to ask people – celebrities or the rest of us! – about their spiritual lives. The easy fallback position tends to be to focus on religion and ethics, but these often miss the deeper point. What inner, spiritual sense of things makes people tick? What experiences have they had that convinced them there is more to life than just the materially measurable? Have people experienced recovery from sickness or accidents which have defied medical predictions and, if so, how would they explain that?
I think there is an audience for these conversations out there, but I am not seeing it regularly covered.
About you and PRs
Where do you source ideas for articles?
I scan published media widely, primarily using social media tools.
How can PRs be useful to you?
I am always interested to hear of scientific research on the relationship between spirituality and health or consciousness and wellbeing, particularly if it is conducted in Britain or Europe. And I like to hear about conferences and publications on the same themes.
How and when do you like them to get in touch?
I prefer initial contact by email.
Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
Yes, if the content is genuinely in my field, which would probably apply to conferences more than parties!
If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
I would say, “Ask yourself, how can I be a genuinely helpful resource here?” and that will help build a long-term relationship.
How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
If I wasn’t earning my money by engaging with journalism as both a writer and a media representative for Christian Science, I would focus fully on developing my healing practice of Christian Science.
If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
Only with my wife Jenny’s full knowledge and approval!
Do you tweet? Why, why not?
Yes, I love Twitter for its connectivity to others, particularly journalists. It’s also a great source of interesting information I might otherwise not have found. And it can also be a source of humour to lighten the work day.
What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
I never go too far without either paperback or digital versions of the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures' which are the basis for my spiritual practice.
A lot of my other reading is now online so it is not as linear as it used to be. I can find myself flitting from a Guardian article to a Christian Science Monitor feature to a New Scientist report and then reading the sports news in the London Evening Standard. Far from narrowing my interests I feel this has expanded and enhanced them. I tend to consume fiction via films rather than the written word. The latest non-fiction book I have read is Rupert Sheldrake’s 'The Science Delusion'.