Interviews and Webinars

Qwoted is committed to exploring the current state of the media by speaking to industry leaders and educating future generations of media professionals. What has social media and technological innovation brought to the table? What can we expect for the future of journalism?

Qwestion & Answer with Paul Golden
Freelance Journalist Paul Golden smiling at the camera.

A UK native, Paul Golden’s first entry into journalism was with a summer job at a local newspaper in the northwest of Ireland. During his time in college, Golden completed a work placement with a national newspaper in Dublin before he began freelancing. Golden has covered a number of sectors, and often writes about business and financial and professional services. “No matter how long you’ve been doing this job, receiving positive feedback from an editor is always rewarding. But so many commissioners are more interested in SEO optimization than quality copy, and convincing publishers to pay a fair rate for copy can be a challenge,” Golden commented.

What are some of the best practices from journalism’s past that you feel need to be utilized now?

PG: Devoting resources to investigative and long-read journalism. Journalists who have been given the time to conduct extensive research and interviews have uncovered so many interesting stories and revealed instances of abuse at all levels of society that would otherwise have remained hidden.

The profession of journalism feels more attacked today than in a long time, but also highly necessary. Do you feel that’s true, and if so, why?

PG: I could not agree more. Some of the most powerful people in the world routinely spread misinformation that causes enormous damage and suffering and will then deny having done so, claiming they were ‘misquoted’. The media at its best highlights these abuses of the truth and stops dangerous untruths from becoming accepted as fact.

What learnings have made a tremendous difference in your career?

PG: Learning to be willing to adapt to new practices and technologies. Journalists can be resistant to change, but our profession must evolve if we are to remain relevant.

Social media has upended the traditional media landscape. One of the great challenges it creates is authenticity and malevolent actors. How do think journalists and reporters should deal with the rising tide of misinformation?

PG: Challenge it at every opportunity. Many people believe everything they read (regardless of how ridiculous it might be) and at its worst misinformation can be deadly. We should also demand the highest standards from the news sources we trust – complacency creates opportunities for individuals and groups to peddle misleading material as fact.

What do you see as some of journalism’s biggest potential pitfalls? And what gives you hope for the future of journalism?

PG: I worry about the concentration of media in the hands of owners who use it to push dangerous agendas. But I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and determination of journalists all over the world to challenge authority and ask difficult questions, especially in places where dissent can be heavily punished.

What advice would you give to aspiring young writers and reporters?

PG: Remember why you wanted to be a journalist when times are hard – and hold your hands up when you make a mistake, no one is perfect!

What are you hearing from young reporters about their ambitions and hopes for the profession?

PG: Getting a first job can be tough. Many publishers demand degree level applicants for entry level jobs, which disadvantages people from poorer backgrounds and minimizes diversity in the profession.