Mirror Man passes on benefit of his experience.

Mirror Man passes on benefit of his experience.

March 23rd 2016

We were hoping to get Andy Lines, Chief Reporter for the Daily Mirror, to talk to our students during National Careers Week about his career and journalism in general, but as Andy pointed out, no promises can be made because he could be called off at a seconds notice for the next big story!  And that is exactly what happened.  Luckily two of our sixth form students did manage to find some time in his diary to grab an interview with him before he went, as covered in the article below.


According to Nicholas Tomalin, the renowned journalist and writer, “The only qualities essential for real success in journalism are rat-like cunning, a plausible manner, and a little literary ability”  to that Mr Lines added:

Work Experience

Being in the office really allows you to make up your mind if journalism is really for you. Start writing now and develop your own portfolio. Having started his career at the local Herts & Essex Observer he was immediately hooked by the drama of the news room, and though the noise of the typewriter and the smoke from the pipes have long gone the drama remains. He also feels that with the huge variety of ways to publish available now it is possible to make it without a degree – just get out and write!   

Stay away from “churnalism”  

With today’s range of social media it would be easy to fall into this trap but for real success you still need to do the leg work and find your own stories. If you have to, go door to door and interview people, listen to what they have to say and tell their own story. Find and retrieve your own information to ensure that it is reliable and to give you a different angle from the rest of the pack.  

Stay updated

The newspaper industry is ever-changing with newspapers like the Independent now only available online. Print papers have seen a decrease in readership with people using alternative ways of receiving the news such as apps on phones that can notify you immediately and media like Twitter. Any prospective journalist needs to stay abreast of these developments.

Make the most of your “moment”

Named as one of the “great reporters in his generation” by colleagues, Mr Lines has covered many horrific stories including the aftermath of the 9/11, the Dunblane massacre and Lockerbie. Although these stories must have an impact on those covering them, journalists need to be able to recognise their moment to make an impact and carry on to reveal information to the world that the public needs and wants to read.


Mr Lines obviously still loves his job and is proud both of the organisation he works for and the profession (or, as we discussed, is it a trade?) he belongs to. He hopes that after negative stories surrounding journalism over recent years that it is being seen once again as a noble profession. He believes that despite all the celebrity gossip about today that most journalists still enter the profession because they have a crusading nature, want to do good, and expose wrongdoing – could you be one of them?

Kristie To, Johann Klopp Yr 12

Filed under: Trips and Exchanges Posted at 15:05 on 27th Feb 2019