A weekly Q&A with interesting people in the Australian Media Industry
Alan Attwood
  • Name Alan Attwood
  • Company The Big Issue
  • Position Editor
  • Interviewed by Social Diary on 6/5/2015
  • Q
    Describe your career path to date.
    A
    After realising I was never going to be a High Court Judge, abandoned a Law course at University. Meanwhile, had started writing for the uni paper and realised that some people actually got PAID to do this. So became a journalist. Then, after 25 years in mainstream media, gravitated to 'fringe' media. Have been Editor of TBI since November 2006. Also written two published novels.
  • Q
    What do you love about your job?
    A
    The idea that a media product is actually doing something positive - assisting people who are doing it tough.
  • Q
    And what's not so great?
    A
    Relentless production schedule; a new magazine to be published every fortnight. And we have a tiny team. It's the loaves-and-fishes trick every two weeks.
  • Q
    Describe your typical day?
    A
    There is no 'typical' day: every day brings its unique challenges, frustrations and small triumphs.
  • Q
    What is the best experience you've had in your career?
    A
    To last long enough to reflect (only occasionally) on what those 'best experiences' may be.
  • Q
    What do great PR people do?
    A
    Suggest the right ideas to the right people, and then get out of the way.
  • Q
    What do bad PRs do...
    A
    Suggest inappropriate ideas to the wrong people, and refuse to take 'No' as an answer.
  • Q
    How do you like to be contacted and when?
    A
    I love old-fashioned letters. And wish twice-a-day deliveries still existed.
  • Q
    How has social media altered your job since the days when you started out?
    A
    Another thing that makes me think: "Must come to grips with this. Some day."
  • Q
    The media landscape is going through a period of dramatic change - where do you see it in 5 years?
    A
    Still here. Still going through a period of dramatic change. Possible different dramatic changes.
  • Q
    Do you enjoy attending industry events?
    A
    I am better known for mysteriously vanishing from events. All events.
  • Q
    If you weren't a journalist, what would you be?
    A
    A beachcomber.