Passion and practice: the path to music journalism

“If you really want to be a music journalist, write your own reviews, write your own feature articles … write it at home for no one to see, but just write, write, write!” Poppy Reid is the managing editor of Rolling Stone Australia and The Brag Media, Australia’s biggest independent music network. She answers Rebecca Martyn’s questions.
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“If you really want to be a music journalist, write your own reviews, write your own feature articles … write it at home for no one to see, but just write, write, write!” Poppy Reid is the managing editor of Rolling Stone Australia and The Brag Media, Australia’s biggest independent music network. She answers Rebecca Martyn’s questions.
Poppy Reid. Picture by Stewart Munro

What drove your interest in becoming a journalist?

I think I have always had quite an inquisitive nature … and it made sense to go into journalism because I loved music so much and I knew that if you love music and you can tie that into writing, a music journalist is the way to go.

What do you enjoy most about working as a journalist?

For me, it’s amplifying voices that don’t often get to be heard or don’t often get the space to be heard in the way that they should. It’s not just music as well, offering that kind of space for stories that need to be told but don’t often get to be … it’s just so exciting to me.

What are some highlights in your career thus far?

I’m a huge Fall Out Boy fan so getting to meet them, just massive. I love Marilyn Manson and I got to chat to him, and he was incredible.  There have been some amazing, amazing, amazing artists!  You feel very privileged when you meet an artist whose art you really respect.

Are you where you thought you would be five years ago?

I’m so much more. I had this idea, this goal since I was little, since I was 12 years old.  I really just wanted an article published in Rolling Stone, like that was the goal. Now I get to work with a team on Rolling Stone, so it’s just like everything seems to be far exceeding all expectations.

How would a young reporter break into the industry today?

I think you would honestly just hit up an editor, just back yourself. Give them a tiny bit of background on yourself and then just link them to your work or attach a few of your articles.  Often your work will speak for itself. Great writers are quite hard to find, so if you are really good at what you do and if you’re passionate then you’re always going to be, and the editors will find you. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring journalists?

You have to just write as much as possible about the things that you want to write about and be paid for.  So, if you really want to be a music journalist, write your own reviews, write your own feature articles all the time.  Write it at home for no one to see, but just write, write, write!