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About Me

EXPERIENCE

I’m a freelance journalist with too many decades’ experience for my youthful good looks (thanks to all those years of free moisturisers as a beauty editor). My specialist areas have also included health, celebrity and features. 

Recently, however, I’ve focused on news and have become an expert in transgender issues, responsible for some of the most memorable stories of the trans debate from the women who identified as male to invade the men’s pond on Hampstead Heath to the businessman contacted by the thought police over a limerick and the first transphobia prosecution – of a transsexual.

I have built up possibly the broadest knowledge of the transgender debate: its laws, politics, personalities. 

I’ve edited contract magazines for high street giants, been a deputy editor and an assistant editor as well as newspaper department head.

My work has appeared in all national newspapers (apart, sadly, from the Guardian and Morning Star) and in glossies from Hello! to Cosmo.

Years ago I broke the story of Baby RB that went worldwide and sparked a media frenzy I managed on behalf of the child’s father. More recently a front page splash on the truth about single sex wards that took months of work prompted NHS England and the Department of Health to announce a review.

Somewhere in the middle was the Daily Star front page lead on Page Three stunna Samantha Fox’s rabies scare which remains a career highlight.

Others were trips to Senegal to report on maternal tetanus, a week spent in Malawi with actress Joely Richardson on a project to clean up drinking water I wrote up for three nationals and a visit to the United Nations to interview Salma Hayek for Hello!. (If any PRs are organising similar awareness builders my jabs are still in date.)

I was also the first journalist on the footplate of Flying Scotsman after its ten-year refit after a story I wrote about its return was so well received I was given a place on the inaugural journey between its old home in Kings Cross and the new one in York. Three-quarters of a million people came out to greet the engine as it steamed north.

I’m also a copywriter and consultant and have overseen large commercial projects for high-street names as well as written press releases for clients ranging from hairdressers to hotels and the copy for entire websites for beauty brands. And after editing two contract publications I’m used to dealing with clients. I’m available for ad boards, too. But, then, who isn’t…

S Mag

Acting Beauty Editor

I wrote a themed spread every week that necessitated testing every product mentioned which meant entire weekends spent taking baths to review cleansing foams and hours in the office trying to describe how 12 different fragrances really smell. Week nights were spent at events and press launches to represent the magazine to advertisers and PRs.

Sunday Express

Acting Features Editor

I came up with ideas for features and political comment as well as news and then either commissioned or wrote them myself. Subjects ranged from the anniversary of an historic battle to the return of Flying Scotsman. I oversaw the columnists and liaised with art and pictures on layouts as well as writing features and celeb profiles for the magazine.

Sunday Mirror magazine

Contributing Health & Beauty Editor

I interviewed Nicole Scherzinger on her, um, clavicles, Davina McCall on her bum and Mel B’s ex calling up to interrupt a chat about her fitness while pretending to be a woman called Marjorie. I also had to come up with ideas on the latest fads and claims and write them up.

Superdrug magazine

Editor

The original contract publication for the chain combined a mix of fashion, health and beauty, all conceived and commissioned by me, layouts approved, production schedules organised and budgets maintained. I had to liaise with buyers over lines and messaging that needed promoting and a cheeky ad team who sold way too many advertorials late in the schedule.

hellomagazine.com

Beauty Editor

I had to keep on top of showbiz news enough to write four celeb inspired stories a day for the website.

Essentials

Assistant Editor

In charge of features and beauty, I commissioned and organised photography for 35 pages a month with a staff of two and a budget that foresaw the coming of austerity.

Candis

Deputy Editor

I relocated to Liverpool to become deputy editor in charge of health, celebrity, travel, beauty and columnists on the weird little lifestyle mag with a charity focus as it even more weirdly became the best-selling women’s lifestyle mag in the ABCs. 

Consultancy/Copywriter 

One example of publicity and website material I’ve written as well as press releases… I’ve also overseen the production of booklets for a high-street retailer’s health campaign and acted as consultant on the formation and focus of campaign groups as well as their marketing and PR.

Portfolio

A SELECTION OF MY PUBLISHED WORK

Trans

Beauty

Health

Celebs

Features

‘Joani is a very experienced journalist who is full of ideas and has extensive contacts which provided excellent features during her time at the paper. Furthermore, she demonstrated a strong work ethic and willingness to work outside her remit when required for the benefit of the paper. Joani is an excellent journalist.’ 

Martin Townsend, former Editor, Sunday Express

The Gender Trap

A MIX OF PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED ARTICLES AND VIEWS ON THE TRANS DEBATE
CLIENTS

Let’s Work Together

IF YOU WANT TO FIND A WAY WITH WORDS…

Don’t hesitate to make contact about shifts, commissions, content, projects, consultancy or even if you’re looking for an expert on trans issues including training.