Getting involved with The Yorker was “one of the best things I’ve done” says Chloé Farand, free-lance journalist and History alumnus at the University of York.
Having never visit York and with little understanding of British university life, Chloé arrived from France in 2011, a Fresher and keen to get involved in campus life. After considering other campus media (Nouse) Chloé started to write for The Yorker in the later part of her first year at university after being encouraged to join by Columns Editor and friend Lucy Whitehouse. Expanding upon her contributions to the Columns section, Chloé began to write for News and Comments in her second year before the 2013 Spring elections when she was elected as Editor.
Chloé had a successful year-long career as Editor at The Yorker, during which time she organised the release of the company’s first print magazine. Some highlights of her career with The Yorker included the live-reporting of campus events such as the yearly Roses competition and her interviews with high-profile journalists such as Steve Richards and Mark Lawson; a dream for any aspiring journalist.
Chloé had an “amazing time” as a student at the University of York. Along with her contributions to The Yorker, Chloé was an active member of the University’s dance society, where she performed in competitive showcases representing the University. She enjoyed campus life and felt that the university had a good sense of community, reinforced by her close group of friends with whom she always relied on for pastoral support.
Chloé learnt valuable skills from her history degree which she transferred into her journalistic content such as citing sources and exercising her analytical skills. Writing in English for a media outlet was not always something Chloé felt comfortable doing. However, after spending time at The Yorker, Chloé quickly began to feel confident reporting in English and as a result encouraged other non-natives to write with The Yorker and thus feel supported as they progressed their aptitude for English. Chloé’s appetite for more cultural inclusivity amongst journalist on campus is echoed by her call for there to be more diversity in national media.
The printing of the magazine proved to be an important milestone for The Yorker and for Chloé, which she says was mostly the project of the Magazine Editor at the time, Katharine Wootton, who has herself has pursued a career in journalism. During the assembly of the first magazine, Chloé quickly had to learn about the necessary business skills required in order to put a magazine into print, such as sourcing funds and print companies and honing her event management skills for the launch of the magazine. Familiarity with people and financial management, as well as experience of leading a team, equipped Chloé with key skills that she expanded upon after her graduation in 2014.
After undertaking an MA in Newspaper Journalism at Cardiff University, a decision that she says was paramount to the development of her career, Chloé began her career as a freelance journalist, working for the Ilford Recorder and the Romford Recorder, sister newspapers covering two boroughs in east London, simultaneously. Chloé eventually become Senior Reporter at the Romford Recorder, leaving behind her post at the Ilford Recorder. During her time at the Romford Recorder, Chloé ran a year-long mental health campaign with the local branch of the charity Mind. After leaving the Romford newspaper, Chloé took up a freelance position with Independent, with whom she was afforded the experience to report on the French and German national elections, as well as providing correspondence for I.
The past year has seen Chloé broaden her journalistic focus. Whilst continuing freelance writing on international correspondence with Independent, Chloé began to become more involved with reports on climate change and environmental welfare. In February 2018 she travelled to French Guiana for the Guardian about plans for an open-pit gold mine in the Amazon Forest, which has the support of Emmanuel Macron. During this time, Chloé also featured on the BBC Radio 4 ‘From our own correspondent’ programme after attending the first meeting of indigenous people from Brazil, Suriname and French Guiana in a village at the heart of the Amazon in northern Brazil.
Her interest in climate change and environmental welfare inspired her involvement with DeSmog, a media outlet dedicated to providing ‘accurate, fact-based information regarding misinformation campaigns on climate science in the UK.’ It is Chloé’s hope that climate and environmental change be taken more seriously as a threat to our planet and civilisation and reported as such in international media.
Journalism was a childhood ambition for Chloé, encouraged and honed by her time at The Yorker.
This interview was taken from our monthly Alumni Newsletter. If you are an alumnus of The Yorker and would like to be added to the mailing list please contact Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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