Friday, 16 October 2009

In the Editor's Chair - Denise Kodia

Most journalists aspire to be editor at some point in their lives. Some break in right away such as Mia Freedman who became editor of Aussie Cosmopolitan at the tender age of 24 and Kate Thornton who became the youngest editor of Smash Hits at 22. So what is it like when you get there? Is it really all three hour lunches, entry to lavish VIP events and rubbing shoulders with celebs. Well no and yes, for while being an editor of a magazine or newspaper gives you access to the nicer things in life and raises your profile, it is also damm hard work with very late evenings, meetings upon meetings, developing a positioning strategy for your publication, analysing sales reports as well as a small matter of getting a magazine/newspaper together.

Meet 22 year old Denise Kodia who is the editor of Nang! magazine which is a publication for young people by young people. The latest issue was released this week and contains an exclusive interview with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, comedian and actor Jason Lewis best known for his 'Too many weave' sketch, Rupert Everrett, the rising stars of Youtube (including Maleka best known for her funk house track 'Go').

Denise took some time out to tell me about Nang!, blogging and all other things. 

How did you get into journalism?
I've always been interested in journalism. From a very young age I have been interested in the news and media alike. It was my Dad who first showed me about it. He proposed that I become a News Anchor but as the years went on I decided against that. My first experience of journalism was when I was 16. I joined a youth magazine called Live. They taught me the basics of journalism and allowed me to get stuck in and get my ideas out there.

Describe the concept of Nang! magazine.
Nang! is a magazine for young people by young people. It doesn't have a specific audience, it tries to cater to all those under the age of 25. Whether this is in the area of music, books, health or politics. I'm sure there will be something in there for you.

Who is behind Nang!?
Nang! is a project run by Tower Hamlets Summer University. A youth charity that runs free courses for young people throughout the year. The young journalists that write for the mag are the ones who come up with the articles, interviews and reviews. 

How many members of staff work on the magazine?
There are so many it's a bit hard to give a number, as it it determined who is able (because of school, college, uni or otherwise) to submit something . . . however I would say there are at 15 - 25 members. 

Describe a day in the life of Denise Kodia.
Hahaha a day in my life? WOW! To be honest everyday isn't the same I usually wake up and have to answer a few e-mails. Once that's over, if I'm not on a shoot, interviewing someone somewhere, I'm at home working on articles for my blog or other magazines that I write for. Most of the time though, I have a meeting or two and have to attend those. As I'm a Youth Ambassador for THSU I get to go to some really cool meetings, for example I attended a Youth meeting about G8 and the Prime Minister was there (I didn't get to meet him though). 

Which blogs do you check out regularly?
There's loads! Half of the them I don't know the url lol they're all bookmarked on my laptop. I'm not a big fan of really popular blogs done by celebrities raving about their lives. I get enough of that on Twitter. However, I quite like Daniel (Diggy) Simmons blog. Another is a friend mine: In2mee her fashion style is really cool and it's interesting to read about all the different fashion trends (plus other stuff too). Another is there mix of music and life is really good. Finally is another she used to be able to find out the scoop on any track before all the major blogs did. 

What magazines do you read?
Look, Sophisticate's Black Hair, Rwd and sometimes Faboulous. 

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
You have to have a passion, drive and experience. Passion because unless you love what you do the unsociable hours can be a bad thing. But if you like it this won't affect you. Drive because you need to have enough focus to know where you want to get to. Finally experience because this is what will set you apart from other people. If you gain experience while young it will benefit you as you get older.

You can check out Denise’s blog here.
You can follow her on twitter here.

3 cool comments:

Shanti said...

Love it when I hear females striving and being successful in their field. Wishing Denise all the best!

Christian gal in the City said...

Fabulous interview!!
Thank you! xx

Janice aka Miss Mad News said...

Keep up the good work Denise!