Tuesday, 24 November 2020

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Listings Q&A Interview: Sunday Times columnist Ian Cowie

Every year, XCity embarks on the epic task of listings. Apart from finding and compiling the jobs of every journalism alumni from every journalism course, we also asked them some questions about the weird world of journalism.

Check out the magazine for the full listings, but for now here’s a sneak peak of what we asked Sunday Times columnist Ian Cowie (Diploma 1982).

What is the most ridiculous/funny thing you’ve heard on the features/news desk?

When The Daily Telegraph editor began morning conference many years ago with a sombre announcement that the crossword compiler had died the previous day, there was a moment’s silence before someone said: “One down.”

Do you have any interesting or unusual hobbies?

Sailing close to the wind.

05/08/2013. Byline picture for Sunday Times columnist Ian Cowie. Photo credit: Ben CawthraPhoto credit: Ben Cawthra

What has been your biggest scoop?

Revealing that the British State pension is a Ponzi scheme about 30 years ago and repeating that fact until it has become more widely understood.

If you could go back in a time machine to when you were at City, what one thing would you do differently?

Pitch ideas to national newspapers; you don’t need to start at the bottom.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve had to do in an internship?

Not applicable. Nobody worked for nothing in the 1980s.

What advice would you have given to yourself straight after you had finished City?

Specialise.

What’s the most important journalistic skill?

Asking the right questions and detecting the wrong answers.

Who is your journalism role model and why?

Don’t do role models; it’s more fun to make it up as you go along.