I am a journalist, book author and academic, employed since 2007 as a Professor of Journalism at Roehampton University. For most of my working life prior to that, I supported myself mainly through writing of one kind or another. This has included books like ‘Female Desire; Women’s Sexuality Today’ (1984), ‘The Whole Truth: The Myth of Alternative Health’ (1992) and ‘Diana , The Authorised Portrait’ (2003); academic articles (not very lucrative!); and mostly journalism.
My journalism encompasses comment and features for many national newspapers and magazines including the London Evening Standard, The Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan and the New Statesman. But the majority of my work has been for The Observer and the Guardian. I wrote a column for the Observer in the early nineties and then a regular column for The Guardian’s Comment pages between 1995 and 2004. From 2005-2008 I wrote the “Living With Mother” column for the Saturday Guardian’s Family section, about the problems faced by those caring for people with dementia.
I cover many social, political and cultural topics but there are some subjects which I feel especially strongly about and have spent more time on. One is the Environment, which I write about regularly. I had a regular column on the Ecologist in the late nineties and continue that association now with newly merged Ecologist and Resurgence magazine. For a couple of years I worked for the Campaign to Protect Rural England and for eight years, between 2004- 2012, I was on the board of directors of Greenpeace.
As someone who was very involved in feminism in the eighties, I have always covered the subject of women’s position in society and the family and also have a strong interest in family relationships as well as gender relations and childhood. I have always drawn my own experiences and have written a lot about elder care having cared for my mother when she developed dementia.
I’ve set up this website for several reasons. One is because journalism can be so ephemeral and this gives me a chance of collecting up together pieces which are otherwise scattered about the web. It also gives me a chance of ordering these articles more thematically. I’ve been aware, over the years, of connections and consistent themes in my writing and it’s nice to have the opportunity of grouping articles together. The site also allows for the possibility of more speculative pieces. Now, with an academic job, it’s difficult to always be available to fit in with the rhythms of daily journalism. At the same time it’s hard to give up on the old habit of wanting to have a voice. Occasional blogging on this site might be a compromise. We shall see.
Perhaps all these seem rather introspective and self regarding reasons for creating this site but, as I explore in my recent book, Speaking Personally, the web is nothing if not personalised. Hopefully though, also in keeping with the nature of the web, this site will also allow for more interaction.