Lucy Foster – features director at Stylist

Course: Magazine, 2007


  1. What was your best moment at City?


I still remember a project that we were given to do, something like “a day in the life”. I wangled my way in with the Thames lifeboat crew. I feel a bit guilty about it now – they thought the article was going to go into Time Out. Anyway, it was brilliant. I did the interview with the crew and we rode up and down the Thames and pulled loads of wheelers, really showing off.


  1. What was your worst moment at City?


I don’t really remember anything too bad I just remember it being a really good laugh I think being told that I couldn’t write news was a pretty bad moment.


  1.  What advice would you give to current/future students?


The trouble is that it’s changed so much in 10 years. We were coming in at the tail end of print journalism. I know now that I’m a dinosaur and you really need to learn how to do digital work.

But my advice is always hold out for the job that you really want. I turned down a few jobs because I wanted to do lifestyle. I would also say be flexible if you’re going to survive in this industry now, you need to be a master of all trades. You need to know how to do video and podcast as well as writing and editing.

  1.  What’s the best thing about your job?


Stylist is an amazing magazine because it’s not restricted like the usual women’s magazines we can write about amazing stuff, anything from American politics to food trends. If we start to have a laugh about something in the features meeting, that can end up being a feature.


  1.   Has being a journalist ever put you in danger?


I once went up in a Red Bull stunt jet and there were only two of us in the cockpit. It was one of those tiny planes. It was for an air festival and I hate flying, but I did it anyway because I just started out and you do stupid stuff. I was only a staff writer. The guy started doing loop-the-loops and flying upside down. I thought, “Oh my God, I’m going to vomit. I’m actually going to vomit.” I had gone white as a sheet. I managed to stumble out of the plane. I was so sick.


  1.  What was your worst/most embarrassing work experience story?


There are so many. I honestly believe that work is a catalogue of embarrassment most of the time. I once walked around a press show pretending I knew about fashion, saying really stupid things like, “This is a lovely top” and “I really like the cut of this dress,” because a magazine had sent me there.


  1.  What’s the most memorable interview you’ve ever done?


I’ve interviewed Nick Clegg twice and I love him. I really agree with his views – he’s a decent politician. I was never really of either mind before I met him, but he’s very impressive. He can have a laugh and doesn’t take himself too seriously.


  1.  What is your worst journalistic habit?


I hate doing transcriptions. It takes so long, but I also hate the sound of my own voice. One of my verbal tics is saying “you know”.


  1.  What do you see in the future of journalism?


It’s online. I see a niche future for print journalism, but mass journalism is video, social media.


  1. What’s the best place you’ve ever got to go as a journalist?


I stayed at a holiday resort that was sort of like a village called Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. It just blew my mind. That year, Condé Nast rated it their number one holiday destination. The weather was beautiful, the sky was blue, the water was blue and there were alligators swimming around. It sounds scary, but it wasn’t. It was almost as if real life was shut away at the gates – everything was gentle and peaceful.


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