blathnaid headshot
Every week we ask a leading figure in digital news about their work, career and what it takes to be a journalism in the 21st century.

This week Blathnaid Healy, UK editor at Mashable, explains what it takes to be a launch editor, and how wide readers' interests can really be.

What is your job title and what does that mean?

I’m Mashable’s UK editor, I’m responsible for Mashable’s editorial operation in the UK.

How did you get started in journalism?

My very first interaction with the world of journalism happened when I was 15 and blagged my way into working in the press office at a motor racing event in Dublin.

After that, when I got to university, I started working for the two student newspapers and the radio station while I was doing a music degree.

What do you most look forward to at the start of your day?

The unexpected.

What does a normal day look like for you? In emoji.

mashable emoji 

What three tools or apps do you use the most for work?

Slack, Trello, and Tweetdeck.

To find out more about Trello and other productivity apps, have a look at our recommendations here.

What would you focus on if you were training as a journalist now?

I would still focus on reporting and storytelling. They will never go out of fashion and are always valuable.

What skills do you think are important to your role?

Flexibility, nimbleness, collaboration, listening and a love of Lego!

Mashable’s London office is a small but fast-growing operation that’s been up and running for less than a year and, as its first UK editor, I’ve been spending time building the team and experimenting with different types of storytelling.

Being a launch editor for a region means you need to work nimbly and collaborate to achieve your goals.

What has your current job taught you about the industry?

It has reaffirmed what I’ve always believed, that you should never underestimate your audience. People’s interests are wider than they’re frequently given credit for.

We consistently find that our audience’s interests are broad and deep. People will read and share stories about things like Game of Thrones or the VMAs, but they're also interested in subjects like the ongoing refugee crisis, climate change and gender equality.

What would you say to someone applying to work at your organisation?

Creativity always stands out.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

When you’re telling a story, tell it like you’re talking to your mother.

Obviously, your audience is not always your mother, but keep real people in your mind when you’re creating content, ask yourself 'will they understand it and will it engage them'.

Join us next week for a new look into the media industry – in the meantime, check out our other weekly interviews with digital media experts.

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