Connect with us


A day in the life of a political journalist

Patricia Cruz



Political journalist Adam Payne shared his experience of building contacts and developing his career as a lobby reporter during an exciting time in British politics.

Adam is a senior correspondent at Politics Home, soon to be their new political editor, covering everything from Brexit and Westminster politics to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Having studied with in Manchester, he previously worked for Business Insider for five years before joining Politics Home where he has covered the recent Tory party infighting, Boris Johnson’s leadership, and Partygate.

At our online guest talk, he described the highs and lows of political reporting and shared advice for those wanting to follow in his footsteps.

How did you launch your career as a political journalist?

I made Brexit my beat very early on. When the Brexit referendum result came in, it was the most amazing sense of shock. There were clear political ramifications, but no-one knew what that meant.

The level of public and political knowledge about the EU and the UK’s relationship with it was quite low, so I decided there was a gap in the market and had some success with it.

I was by no means an EU expert – I was learning as I went and learning the jargon.

Is fact-checking a big part of your role?

So much reporting on the EU was hyper-partisan and ideological. I tried to report in a way that was fact-based, seeking to correct myths and falsehoods.

The political climate in this country has been quite toxic and we entered an era when seeking out the truth became more difficult, linked to the Trump phenomenon in the US.

How do you provide balanced reporting?

The vast majority of people who want to go into political journalism are very opinionated.

At you get taught to write free of opinion of agenda, it’s a professional skill and there are checks and balances to ensure you’re not loading your copy with opinion.

Social media is a massive part of journalism and it’s harder to not be opinionated there – my Twitter profile is an extension of my presence on the Politics Home website.

How do you develop sources as a political journalist?

At the beginning I felt huge feelings of imposter syndrome, but you’ve got to start somewhere, emailing MP’s offices and sharing contact numbers with colleagues.

Go for a coffee and develop a relationship with one MP, and then over many months and years it’s an organic process of building up your contact book.

Managing relationships is a big part of political journalism. You’ve got to build that trust – if you have a conversation with them and it’s off-the-record, you should absolutely honour that.

Who are the biggest names you’ve spoken to?

Downing Street hosts drinks for journalists twice a year and I’ve met Boris Johnson several times. I’ve interviewed Keir Starmer, Michael Gove, Liz Truss, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and more.

As a political journalist you’re right at the heart of history, talking to people with incredible decision-making authority. You are very much at the centre for an incredibly important time for our country.

Which story you are most proud of writing?

Two years ago, I was leaked a letter from Liz Truss to Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove about how Brexit preparations were not ready.

That story went massive, all the newspapers picked it up, it was mentioned in Parliament, and I went on radio and TV to talk about it.

In your life you’ll have two or three big stories, and that was definitely one of them.

Do you get to travel as a political journalist?

While covering Brexit I was lucky enough to go out to Brussels and various European Councils, and I got to meet Angela Merkel.

I also spent a week in Northern Ireland doing a piece on communities who were incredibly worried about Brexit and its potential impact.

It felt real and like I’d given a voice to people. It was an amazing experience. If you get an opportunity to travel and go look for the story, I’d absolutely recommend it.

How do you balance work life and personal life?

As journalists you have unfiltered exposure to really bad news. There were points in the pandemic I had to take time off work because the relentlessness of the news was tough.

Most newsrooms now will understand and allow you to take a break if you need it. It’s important to establish your personal boundaries, otherwise you’ll be knackered – and really bad company!

What were your biggest takeaways from your course?

gave me a sense of how much of a skill journalism is, particularly in an era when journalists have quite a bad reputation. To be able to write a news story quickly and cleanly is quite hard.

Before doing the course, the thought of ringing an MP out of the blue would make me shake with anxiety – we were given practical experience that gave me the confidence to be a journalist dealing with people.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by (@newsassociates)

What are your top tips for aspiring journalists?

Establishing a beat and devoting most of my energies to it is probably why I am here today.

It’s very easy to feel like you don’t belong and that you’re not qualified and not worthy. It took me a while to muster the courage to grab a microphone at a press conference and ask a question.

If you’re ever at an event and you’re surrounded by high profile people, don’t feel like they have more rights than you – you have earnt your right to be there. Be confident, back yourself.

Any political journalists needs to learn how to be a good news reporter first. Come along to our free journalism workshops to try your hand at news reporting and write a breaking news story.

The post A day in the life of a political journalist appeared first on .

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start

Alice Trout



In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of everyday life. Between work, family, and other responsibilities, we often forget to take care of ourselves. This is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment, without judgment. In this article, we will explore the benefits of practicing mindfulness and how to start.

Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety

Mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. By focusing on the present moment, you can calm your mind and reduce racing thoughts.

  1. Improves mental clarity

Practicing mindfulness can improve mental clarity and focus. It can help to clear your mind of distractions and increase productivity.

  1. Enhances self-awareness

Mindfulness can increase self-awareness and help you to understand your thoughts and emotions better. By being present in the moment, you can learn to recognize your patterns of thinking and behavior.

  1. Improves relationships

Mindfulness can help to improve relationships by increasing empathy and compassion. By being present with others, you can develop a deeper understanding of their needs and feelings.

How to Start Practicing Mindfulness

  1. Set aside time

Set aside a specific time every day to practice mindfulness. It can be as little as 5-10 minutes per day to start.

  1. Find a quiet space

Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. It could be a quiet corner of your home or a quiet park.

  1. Focus on your breath

Focus on your breath and the physical sensations of breathing. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and the sensation of air moving in and out of your body.

  1. Be present

Allow yourself to be present in the moment without judgment. Let your thoughts and emotions come and go without dwelling on them.

  1. Practice regularly

Make mindfulness a regular practice. It takes time to develop the habit, but the benefits are worth it.

In conclusion, practicing mindfulness can have numerous benefits for our mental and physical well-being. It’s a simple yet powerful practice that can be incorporated into our daily lives. By setting aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness, we can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mental clarity, and enhance our relationships. So why not give it a try? Your mind and body will thank you for it.

Continue Reading


How to create a perfect morning routine for a productive day

Alice Trout



Do you ever feel like your day has gotten away from you before it even starts? One way to combat this feeling is to create a perfect morning routine. Establishing a routine can help you start your day off on the right foot, and set the tone for a productive and successful day. Here are some tips on how to create a morning routine that works for you.

Determine Your Priorities

Before you start creating a morning routine, it’s important to determine what your priorities are. What are the things that you want to accomplish in the morning? Do you want to exercise, meditate, or have a healthy breakfast? Once you have a list of your priorities, you can start creating a routine that includes them.

Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day

Waking up at the same time every day can help regulate your body’s natural sleep cycle and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Try to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help establish a consistent routine and make it easier to stick to.

Take Time for Yourself

Many people feel rushed and stressed in the morning, but taking some time for yourself can help alleviate this feeling. Whether it’s meditating, reading a book, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee, taking time for yourself can help you start your day feeling calm and centered.


Exercise is a great way to start your day, as it can help increase your energy levels and improve your mood. Whether it’s a quick jog, yoga practice, or weightlifting session, try to include some form of exercise in your morning routine.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. Eating a healthy breakfast can help fuel your body and provide the energy you need to start your day. Try to include protein, whole grains, and fruit or vegetables in your breakfast.

Plan Your Day

Taking a few minutes to plan your day can help you stay focused and productive. Make a to-do list or set priorities for the day, and review your calendar to make sure you’re prepared for any meetings or appointments.

Stick to Your Routine

Once you’ve created a morning routine that works for you, try to stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is key, and sticking to your routine can help establish healthy habits and improve your overall productivity.

In conclusion, creating a perfect morning routine can help set the tone for a productive and successful day. By determining your priorities, waking up at the same time every day, taking time for yourself, exercising, eating a healthy breakfast, planning your day, and sticking to your routine, you can create a morning routine that works for you. Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Continue Reading


10 simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in your daily life

Alice Trout



Stress is an inevitable part of our lives, but it can have a negative impact on our mental and physical health if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective ways to reduce stress in our daily lives. In this article, we will explore 10 such methods that you can easily incorporate into your routine.

Exercise regularly

Physical activity is an excellent way to relieve stress. It helps to release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. You don’t have to engage in high-intensity workouts to reap the benefits. Even a brisk walk or light yoga can help reduce stress levels.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep can cause irritability, mood swings, and increase stress levels. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to feel well-rested and refreshed.

Practice deep breathing

Deep breathing techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing can help to calm your mind and body. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for a few minutes to feel relaxed.

Spend time in nature

Spending time in nature can have a calming effect on your mind and body. Take a walk in the park or go for a hike in the woods to feel rejuvenated.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Set aside a few minutes every day to practice mindfulness meditation.

Listen to music

Music has a soothing effect on our minds. Listening to calming music can help to reduce stress levels. Create a playlist of your favorite relaxing tunes and listen to it when you feel stressed.

Practice yoga or tai chi

Yoga and tai chi are ancient practices that combine physical postures and breathing techniques. They can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Connect with loved ones

Talking to friends and family members can help to reduce stress levels. It can provide a sense of comfort and support during challenging times.

Practice gratitude

Focusing on the positive aspects of life can help to reduce stress levels. Make a habit of practicing gratitude by writing down things you are thankful for every day.

Take breaks

Taking short breaks throughout the day can help to reduce stress levels. Go for a short walk, practice deep breathing or simply take a few moments to close your eyes and relax.

In conclusion, stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over. By incorporating these simple yet effective methods into your daily routine, you can reduce stress levels and improve your overall well-being. Remember, taking care of yourself should always be a top priority.

Continue Reading