I didn't get verified on Twitter — but that doesn't mean I'm a bad journalist
I won’t lie to you, I’ve had an absolute mare of a week both personally and professionally, so it’s been pretty easy to feel sorry for myself. I took to Twitter earlier this week to share the fact that my request to be verified on Twitter had been rejected. Ever since I launched this newsletter I’ve prided myself on sharing my freelancing fails as well as my wins — which is why I thought it necessary to share that I didn’t get that coveted blue tick of approval. I’ve had the necessary bylines in the last six months, and so I’m not really sure on what grounds my application was rejected as Twitter doesn’t give you feedback when you submit a verification request.
But as many people pointed out in the replies to my tweet, the process seems pretty arbitrary. Journalists far more experienced than me, that work for organisations such as the BBC or ITV, have also had their requests denied. If you equate ‘blue tick’ with ‘legitimate journalist’ then there are hundreds, if not thousands of experienced media professionals who don’t make the cut. As one astute tweeter pointed out — who gave Twitter the authority to decide who is and isn’t a journalist? As far as I’m concerned, the moment you’ve written one article you are a bona fide journalist and should refer to yourself as such (take that ‘aspiring’ out of your bios, people!).
As another Twitter user pointed out, most people don’t actually care about whether the journalists they read and admire are verified on social media or not. They care about the quality of the writing — their ability to relay accurate information about important topics and issues, or to make them feel something about the world we live in — and so they should.
But if readers don’t care about blue ticks, why has journo Twitter found itself divided down the middle over a small bit of code on some peoples’ profiles? Well, journalism is a very insular industry. Many people from underrepresented groups — including BAME writers, women, and individuals based outside of London — struggle with imposter syndrome and comparison culture every day. In such a cutthroat industry it’s easy to feel despondent if you don’t get a blue tick and everyone else on your timeline seems to be being approved because it makes you feel like you’re not as good as they are.
But really, that blue tick doesn’t mean anything at all, other than a technology corporation has made a decision on the basis of some information and documents you submitted to them. Have you ever tried cashing a cheque, only to find it being spat out by the machine, even though you’ve filled in all the details on the paying-in slip correctly? I’m sure you have, and it’s always the machine’s problem — in which case, if your verification request also got rejected, just attribute it to a technology error. That’s what I’m doing, and I feel so much better for it.
… in editing
There have been some more excellent interviews on The Indiependent this week, including this piece by my boyfriend Harry Taylor, who spoke to The Anchoress about her album The Art of Losing, and forthcoming tour with Manic Street Preachers; then Liv Gacka produced two great interviews — one with Newton Faulkner, where she chatted science and creating an album around his son’s Zoom school, and the other with the actor/singer Asher Monroe, where she found out about the record her wrote on a boat in Croatia.
… in writing
I’m fairly confident that I’ll get these pieces commissioned, it’s just a case of when and where.
Articles written: 0
Articles published: 0
… in listening/watching
I’ve been binge-watching Mae Martin’s Feel Good which is possibly one of the best bits of television I’ve ever seen.
I’ve also spent a lot of time on TikTok of late, and one of my musical discoveries is the song ‘flowers & sex’.
I’m also elated by the news that Taylor Swift is releasing her re-recording of Red on 19 November, two days before my 25th birthday — what a great present!
… in reading
I’m still reading Anna Codrea-Rado’s You’re The Business: How To Build A Successful Career When You Strike Out Alone
This piece by Barrett Swanson for Harper’s on ‘The anxiety of influencers’ is pure brilliance
I found Eva Wiseman’s Guardian piece on how ‘Debt for women has been rebranded as a naughty little treat’ really thought-provoking, particularly as someone who often struggles with impulse control!
I liked Sirin Kale’s Guardian piece on ‘Eddie Munster and me: the secret lives of spooky, sinister screen children’
A big fat YES to this Cosmopolitan piece by Beth Ashley: ‘No, Billie Eilish isn’t ‘queerbaiting’ in her Lost Cause video’
I liked Ruby Tandoh’s elemental feature on ‘How to follow your gut: the rise (and rupture) of intuitive eating’
I found Karen Hao’s MIT Technology Review feature really interesting: ‘Inside the fight to reclaim AI from Big Tech’s control’
On 22 June The Guardian Live is hosting a lunchtime event on ‘The importance of newsroom diversity’. Starts at 1.00pm, and is in partnership with The University of Manchester.
On 12 July at 8.00pm, former The Guardian foreign correspondent Hella Pick will be talking to Emma Graham-Harrison about her extraordinary life and career — get tickets here.
Anywhere (remote): Reach PLC has a niche writer role available with TeamDogs and 2Chill
Anywhere (remote): Reach PLC has a niche newsletter lead available too with TeamDogs and 2Chill
Enderby: Next PLC is hiring a copywriter
Manchester: Mustard Jobs has a copywriter role available
Newcastle-under-Lyme: Logic Resourcing is hiring a SEO content writer
Perthshire (Reading/Cardiff/Perth): SSE PLC is looking for a lead content editor
Welwyn Garden City: HR Grapevine has a business news and features editor role going