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Freelance Focus: Linda McDonald-Brown

FeaturesExec catches up with freelance journalist Linda McDonald-Brown in this week’s focus interview:

About your journalism:

What do you write about?
Mostly rural issues. I am an expert on pigs so I tend to be commissioned for pig or smallholding articles! However, I am trying to move away from pigs and have recently written articles on cookery and travel. I have in the past also written on interior design for Devon Life.

Where are we likely to see your work?
My work is seen in smallholder and farming magazines and newspapers and also, more recently, national newspapers. I have also been seen in county magazines and local newspapers.

What’s the most memorable work you’ve done?
My first commissioned book was my most memorable, not an article but certainly for me the most memorable.

What interview or feature would you love the chance to do?
I love doing investigative journalism, so would like to do a piece on anything that requires “getting to the truth”. I recently did a feature on the truth behind the new fashion accessory “Micro Pigs”. The article was headlined The Great British Con and revealed what really goes on behind selling these supposedly small pigs, things the public (until my article) just weren’t aware of.

I am also an off-roading fanatic and have taken part in an off-roading trip here and abroad. I would love to be given the opportunity to go on more and write about them for a trade magazine or even better be asked by off-roading companies to take part for an article.

About you and PRs:

Where do you source ideas for articles?
At the moment mostly through my connections for investigative journalism articles and press releases from editors for the rest.

How can PRs be useful to you?
The press releases they send are useful. Even if I don’t use them, sometimes it gives me ideas for other things to write about.

How and when do you like them to get in touch?
By email or phone.

Do you find press conferences, trips, parties and other events useful or an interruption?
Very useful. I am a real social animal and love meeting new people. The contacts you make for the future are invaluable. Plus you also get ideas for future articles.

If you could make one change to the way PRs deal with you, what would it be?
Quite happy with them at the moment.

About you:

How would you pay the bills if you weren’t a journalist?
I used to sail, so would do that again maybe.

If we gave you £1000, how would you spend it?
A new second-hand car. Mine is on the way out. I would also buy myself a Blackberry, if there was any left.

What books are on your bedside table, magazines in your bag, or blogs on your screen?
Sausage making by Paul Peacock, and the recent Scottish Field.

[lnk||_blank|Freelancer Linda McDonald-Brown]
[img|jpg|Freelancer Linda McDonald-Brown]