Found just along from us on Calton Road, Holyrood is Scotland’s go to political and current affairs magazine. Published fortnightly, there is a team of 25 behind the magazine and the regular events and awards the publishing house run.
Find out what Mandy had to say about her career in journalism, her weirdest ever interview and what Holyrood Magazine is all about.
What do you read / where do you get your news (not your own)?
“I read everything, watch everything, listen to everything…”
Did you always know you wanted to be a journalist? And what have been your career highlights?
“Yes! Holyrood magazine winning Scottish magazine of the year in 2017 was definitely a career highlight.”
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
“Always feel that you have acted with integrity and in a way, that means you could always go back to someone you have interviewed or written about regardless of the outcome.”
What are the advantages of a good journalist / PR relationship?
What is the worst habit of a PR?
“Emailing me with ‘Dear Sir…’”
What challenges do journalists face today?
“A 24-hour news cycle in which everyone thinks they are journalists.”
How do you prefer PRs get in touch with you? And what stories / angles are you looking for?
“I’d like PRs to get in touch via email with issues that have a policy/political angle and that are relevant to our readers.”
You recently launched your 400th issue. How has publishing changed in recent years and what do you think the future of the industry holds?
“Obviously, the quest to make money from digital content has focussed minds and, in some ways,, this has meant the eye has been taken off the ball in terms of print. There remains something tangible about print that appeals to readers, clients and contributors and it is about recognising what works best in print and what works best in digital.”
You’ve interviewed a lot of inspirational people, tell us about a memorable example?
“The most ridiculous interview was with the former 1970s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Denis Healey, who had been in Harold Wilson’s government. He was, shall we say, a little un PC and it was certainly the only time I have been asked to do an interview naked! Interviewing him was like turning the pages of a political history book. Fascinating.”
How do you choose a ‘cover star’ for Holyrood?
“A lot of discussion with my designer who somehow manages to interpret my random thoughts and surreal imagery! We also have some fantastic photographers who do wonderful portraiture.”
Tell us more about your upcoming Political Garden Party & Awards?
“Really this is recognising what our core is and leveraging it. Holyrood communications produces a vast array of policy events, summits and roundtables and yet the most obvious event – embracing our politicians and celebrating good policy – was not something we had thought about. Now we have launched it, it’s difficult to know what took us so long!”