Media Interview with Carly Fields, managing editor of the Shipping Network
The Shipping Network is the official magazine of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. As editor, Carly Fields is solely responsible for the content and design and ensuring it stays fresh for its 5,000 international readers.
About the publication:
Who reads it and how many of them are there?
The Shipping Network is a specialist maritime publication specifically tailored to the worldwide membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS). In all, more than 5,000 members, fellows and students receive the magazine every quarter.
What subjects do you cover? What stories are you most interested in covering?
As an historic maritime institution, the ICS positions itself as the ‘Institute for Commercial Shipping’ and the articles in the Shipping Network mirror that statement. Every issue contains a wealth of maritime services-related features. These include legal case studies, interviews with top shipping professionals, regional surveys focussing on an area where the ICS has a branch, and professional learning articles.
What makes you different from the other outlets in your sector?
The Shipping Network is unique in its sector because of its allegiance to the ICS and as such it does not produce a features list; instead the editor is open to suggestions for articles on an issue-by-issue basis.
About you and freelance journalists:
Do you like freelance journalists to get in touch with you directly to pitch ideas? And if so, how?
The majority of articles in the Shipping Network are contributed by working professionals and/or ICS members and staff. As a self-published magazine there is a very limited budget for commissioning freelance writers.
Do you work closely with PRs or do you keep them at arm’s length?
We have, in the past, worked closely with PR departments or agencies if a pitched story is appropriate to our readers.
How should a PR approach you about their client?
Generally, we encourage PR representatives to contact the editor directly with the pitch, which should be a topical and rounded article – i.e. not solely focussed on their client.
When is the best time for PRs to contact you & what is your deadline for contributions?
As the magazine is published at the end of each quarter, generally the editor will need to have seen and approved the pitch by the start of January, April, July or October to make the next issue. Copy deadlines tend to be at the start of February, May, August or November. Normally, features are commissioned at 1,400 words.
Where have you worked previously, and how did you end up in your current position?
As a specialist maritime journalist, I was previously employed by Lloyd’s List, the daily maritime newspaper. Having served as deputy news editor and special reports editor, I left to begin a freelance career, where I am today.
Describe a typical day at work: What are you editorial duties/responsibilities at the outlet (e.g. commissioning, subbing, features, interviewing)?
As a freelance editor, I work on a number of publications and jobs at one time; consequently there is no one ‘typical’ day. With my editing hat on, I am responsible for commissioning, subbing, proofing, and writing features, among other jobs. The variety is what I enjoy most about my job. I can be writing a course one day, delivering that course around the world the next, or I could be editing the next issue of one of my magazines while working on a re-design of another.
Do you tweet? Why, why not?
I tweet when necessary and I have set up an auto feed of news content from one of my magazines to Twitter. But to be honest, it’s not an important tool of my trade.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
The best advice I have been given is read, read and read again. It’s amazing how things can slip through if you don’t make the time to thoroughly check copy. I have, in the past, despaired at the level of inaccuracies in copy submitted by freelance journalists. It’s just not professional, and can easily be avoided.
[img|jpg|Carly Fields, managing editor]