In a collection of interviews to mark International Women’s Day 2022, we shine a light on some of the brilliant women at the heart of The Independent.
In the first of these conversations, we speak to Culture Reporter Annabel Nugent about her past, present and the future she’d like to see – as well as the importance of saying yes.
Describe your job
I write a range of news stories, reviews and features covering all sectors of culture, including music, film, TV and theatre. My role also involves interviewing figures in the arts and culture sector for profiles.
How did you get into your profession?
After studying English Literature at university, I knew I definitely wanted to write in the future. I interned at The Independent while studying for my journalism MA at City University. Although I focused initially on magazine journalism, I found the paper to be a great fit for the sorts of reviews, profiles and features that I wanted to write. I stayed in touch with the culture desk for the rest of my degree and started work after finishing my MA.
Who and what has helped you break the bias?
Although it’s only part of the solution, I do think the importance of representation can’t be understated. Especially when I was younger, seeing women of colour in senior editorial positions (though definitely still not as many as I’d like to see!) helped me recognise the potential to go further and further in my career. Also having candid and open communication with journalists both within The Independent and outside it about how far we still have to go is always helpful.
Which women do you admire?
I’m inspired by people like Chanel Miller. People who are brave when it comes to sharing their stories and perspectives. I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many talented and supportive journalists who I know I can turn to when I need to. On a more personal note, I am inspired by the women in my family: my mum, my sisters, my grandmother and my popo who are kind and compassionate, and often show their strength in vulnerability.
What are your hopes for the future in terms of breaking the bias?
In the future, I’d like to see a more diverse newsroom – in every respect. I want to see Black, Asian and working class perspectives across the industry all the time as opposed to being tokenised.
What one bit of career advice would you give to others?
I’m still in the early stages of my career but if I had any advice to give, it would be to say yes to every opportunity at the beginning – some avenues may not sound like they’d be a good fit but I’ve been surprised by where my career so far has taken me.