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Adventures of a journalist in the North West: The lessons learnt so far

by Sophia Taha

Warning this adventure has tales of traffic, getting lost and fashion faux pas!

So the North West - it’s a huge place! I live in Manchester which you think would position me perfectly to cover such an awesome region but it turns out the North West includes the beautiful areas of Cumbria (a mere 2 or 3 hours drive away) as well as my lovely back yard.

I go to lots of meetings and interviews and get excited by meeting new people, so when I agreed to go and check out a new whiskey distillery (without checking a map) I soon found out that it was quite a long drive from Manchester to Cockermouth. I also found out that when you are visiting a site that is essentially a brand new place on the map the sat nav doesn’t know where to take you and so ended up driving around in circles for quite a while before just scraping in on time for my tour and interview.

I have learned that Lancaster University is further away than I thought - but it has a lovely campus and when you’re stuck for somewhere to park the security team will let you park in a motorcycle bay if you ask nicely!

I have learned that driving to Liverpool is a stupid idea. The traffic is insane, time better spent on a train next time I visit (which I hope will be soon). I did however complete some fantastic parking into the smallest space I have ever seen.

When it comes to fashion I have learned that covering a business news desk doesn’t always mean you have to wear business attire. I turned up to a bus depot in a nice dress and suit jacket to find every other person wrapped up against the cold and wearing jeans. I also realised that never again should I go straight from work to a restaurant opening, as business attire is seriously under-dressed when everyone else is dressed to the nines. I have learned that Primark is great for a rescue pair of shoes, when your shoes break just before you have to interview someone in Manchester town centre. Most of all what I have learnt over the Winter is that a good pair of boots is worth its weight in gold. When you’re walking from your first interview of the day on one side of the city to the next on the other side a good pair of waterproof boots makes everything ok against the wind and rain.

Finally I have learnt that despite all these new lessons being a business journalist at Bdaily is pretty awesome. I get to meet new people, interview some fantastic interesting companies and write about it all!