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Getting published by an Irish newspaper without experience or network 

The background story of my journey as a beginner in an Irish newspaper

When I first started pursuing a career in journalism, I had a secret passion for writing. Yet, English is not my first language, I thought I wouldn’t be able to overcome my limitations and work as a mobile journalist or producer instead. 

In February 2023, I wrote an assignment on the issue of illegal dumping in the Dublin North Inner City. It was a distressing situation, with lots of waste dumped illegally on the streets for far too long.

I wrote this investigative piece and with the suggestion of the course director Barry Finnegan, I sent my story to the Dublin Inquirer Newspaper

It took many  weeks before I heard from the editor, Lois Kapila. 

When she got back to me, she mentioned that my story on illegal dumping had already been covered multiple times and would not be able to be published in its current form.  She left a small window open for me in case I wanted to pursue the story further. That’s all I needed to know.

I understood that she was a busy person and I  didn’t want to come across as pushy, so I tried to show my willingness to work hard and be a part of the team without constantly bombarding her with my ideas. To be honest, I still have a lot of ideas that I want to share, but I have to restrain myself sometimes as I know how busy she is. 

I worked on the same Illegal dumping story for over three months. It was a challenging task to say the least, it required me to constantly reinvent myself and gather relevant pieces of information for the investigation. 

I made so many  mistakes along the way and had to work extra hard to overcome them. Throughout the process, Lois was always kind and fair. I learned a lot from the experience and my mistakes, which motivated me to keep going.

Finally I had my first story published on 15 November 2023.

What now? 

On 14 February I had my second story published by them, this time I wrote about Immigrants in Coolmine Industrial Estate. 

At the moment I’m working on my 3rd story for Dublin Inquirer, and I say this not to brag but to show that it is possible to get our work published and work as a reporter even without experience! 

Our main obstacle is not the industry nor the lack of opportunities but within ourselves and the limitations that we set in our minds.  

One of my favourite writers, Stephen Pressfield, says in his book The War of Art:

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

How about you. Did you beat your fears today? 

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