International Business Times UK, entertainment and lifestyle editor, on maintaining editorial standards

Toyin Owoseje reveals the worst times to pitch and what makes a great story.

What are your feelings as you come into work?
Bring it on!

Why do you do this job?
Because all the best superheroes are journalists. 

As a child, I wanted to be...
Rich. By the time I found out it wouldn’t happen by being a journalist, I was too far gone. 

What is the worst time to pitch to you?
Minutes before the 10am news conference or after 4.30pm – unless it’s time-sensitive or an exclusive in the making. 

What is the best time to pitch to you?
There isn’t is a ‘best’ time but try your luck at 9am when my adrenaline is pumping and I’m raring to go. You never know, you might just make my day.

What constitutes a great story?
A well-researched, well-written one that captures a reader’s mind and leaves an imprint on their heart. An unexpected exclusive that goes viral and provokes debate is also great.

What is your view of PRs?
They provide a valuable service. I’d like to think most PRs I deal with are very even-handed.

Do you have a favourite PR person? Why/what do they do?
I shouldn’t name names. But there is one guy, from HJPR, who embodies a great deal of what is good about public relations. He always gives us superb access to clients without all the unnecessary back and forth. He knows what International Business Times UK is about, what we are trying to achieve as a news platform and just gets it.

What one thing gets in the way of doing your job?
Nuisance calls and emails for pitches that have nothing to do with what the entertainment desk covers.

Is there any subject you find so boring or offensive that you just won’t give it oxygen?
Adverts disguised as news stories and infographics about something nobody cares about. Many people assume that IBTimes UK has an ‘anything goes’ mantra, but that is simply not the case. We know what our readers want and we cater to them.

What gives you the greatest job satisfaction?
Nothing beats seeing stories that the team at IBTimes UK has written getting picked up around the world and knowing that they are impacting lives.

What provides the greatest pressure during your working day?
Having responsibility for breaking stories at IBTimes UK and continuously finding fresh angles in a highly saturated market while remaining up to date with every aspect of the lives of countless celebrities. But having managed it for almost four years, I am now confident that world domination would be a walk in the park.

What is your management style: shouter, weeper or supportive friend?
Team work makes the dream work.

Which outlet do you most admire for its news coverage and why?
I would say the omnipresent Daily Mirror. I think it’s an intellectual tabloid that has managed to strike a nice balance between its UK and US entertainment coverage. In recent years, it has definitely emerged as the dark horse of mainstream media.

What’s in your lunch box?
Why bring lunch when there are scores of eateries around Canary Wharf that are willing to feed you in exchange for the majority of your monthly salary?

What is your greatest career fear?
It used to be the fear that I would never be able to use that expensive degree of mine and  actually land a job in journalism. Now it is falling out of love with journalism. If that happens, I might as well call it quits.

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.