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Women in Media with The Times and Sunday Times: Katie Tarrant on Life as a News Reporter

Panellists for the Women in Media Event. L to R: Becky Barrow, Katie Tarrant, Gina Liggins

As part of its Women in Media Panel with The Times and Sunday Times in collaboration with KCL Women in Business (KCL WIB), Roar interviews News Reporter Katie Tarrant. We cover her introduction to journalism and her career at The Sunday Times.

On Thursday, 30 November, Roar and KCL WIB will host a panel featuring speakers from The Times and Sunday Times. These include Becky Barrow, News Editor; Gina Liggins, Brand Manager; and Katie Tarrant, News Reporter.

The event aims to highlight the opportunities on offer to students interested in working in the sector, in addition to gauging students’ news consumption. The panel will consist of a discussion and Q&A, after which members of the audience will have the opportunity to chat with the panel members.

Ahead of the event, Roar spoke to Katie Tarrant about her work as a News Reporter for The Sunday Times:

Roar: Were you involved with student media?

Tarrant: I was News Editor of Warwick’s student newspaper, The Boar, in my second year of university – when a shocking story about a group chat where male students were sharing ‘jokes’ about rape and offensive material landed on my desk. It became a scandal at the university and prompted a chain reaction of universities adapting their sexual misconduct policies, which was quite a considerable impact for a student newspaper. 

R: Why did you choose to write for News?

T: I’m most interested in telling stories that give a voice to those you don’t often hear in the media and exposing social evils (corruption, mistreatment of vulnerable people, sexual violence) in a fashion which has the most impact. News felt like the best place to do that – especially the News desk at The Sunday Times, which has a brilliant team of investigative journalists with a record of changing policy and holding individuals accountable where other institutions have failed. 

R: How do you find the stories you cover?

T: A wide range of sources: contacts I’ve built over the years; social media including TikTok, Instagram and Twitter; local newspapers; court databases. And one of the most valuable sources that’s often forgotten – word of mouth. 

R: What’s your favourite thing about working in the industry?

T: There’s a reason why so many film and literary protagonists are journalists – it’s the best job in the world. In no other job do you come into contact with such a huge range of fascinating people, nor are you permitted the access (and licence to be nosy) which we get as journalists. The industry is also rapidly evolving to the point where, as a news reporter, I need to be skilled across all media – producing TikTok videos, appearing on Times Radio, as well as writing – which is exciting. 

R: Who’s the most interesting person you have ever interviewed? 

T: I’m cheating the question slightly but they come as a pair. One of the most interesting conversations I’ve ever had was with two private detectives from Essex – mothers managing childcare by day, donning masks to conduct covert surveillance by night. More on that in tomorrow’s talk… 

To hear more about Katie’s career – and find out more about how journalism at The Sunday Times comes together – come to our Women in Media Panel event on Thursday, 30 November at 18:30 in Lecture Theatre 1, Bush House (S), King’s College London.

To sign up, access the link here.

The Times and Sunday Times are also offering a student discount: students can access quality journalism for £9.99 per year for three years. The offer is for verified students and new customers only. Visit thetimes.co.uk/student to subscribe and for full terms & conditions.

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