I am the proprietor (owner) of The Caterham and District Independent local newspaper.
How much training does it take?
This is a tricky one! I did a one-year City & Guilds journalism course at East Surrey College about ten years ago but a lot of the other things I need to do to run the paper I have learned over the years in other jobs. For example, I used to be a Tupperware Lady (ask your mum what that is!) which taught me a lot about selling. This has been useful experience for having to sell advertisements. I also learned a lot about writing in the job I had before I started The Caterham Independent. The job involved me helping to write the articles for a magazine produced by Canon the camera people. I don't think there is a training course that teaches you everything I needed to know to run a newspaper. However anyone interested in being a journalist needs to go to university to get a degree in Journalism these days.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I look after the production of the newspaper - I write most of the stories and I sell advert space to local businesses who want to advertise in the paper. I also have to make sure the paper is properly distributed every month. My job is very interesting as every day is different and I meet lots of people.
Do you enjoy it?
Yes, I love it most of the time. It is sometimes stressful when I am close to my deadline and running your own business can be a bit of a worry. However, it is very satisfying to know that my job often helps to make people happy, if they see themselves or someone they know in the paper.
Do you get paid much?
Enough to pay the bills but not enough to buy a fancy sports car (yet!)
Is it hard?
Yes. It is very hard work because it is my own business and I sometimes work long hours. I like hard work though.
How long have you wanted this job?
I am not sure. I think I wanted it when I was a schoolgirl without realising. I remember creating a magazine out of paper and sticking pictures and articles into it. This was long before the days of computers and desk-top publishing. However, I did not think about actually starting my own newspaper for real until I was a lot older and my children were growing up. I became a secretary when I left school.
What was your last job?
Writing articles for the Canon magazine and before that I was a school secretary at St. John's Primary School in Caterham Valley.
If you could be anything else in the world, what would you be?
A professional dancer, but it is too late now.
Do you have any advice for young people aiming to be the next Julia Church?
Whatever you want to be, research what you need to do to get there and do what it takes to succeed. If you don't try hard you will let yourself down and it is sad to go through life with regrets. At least if you try your hardest and do not succeed, you know you did your best and did not fail because of lack of effort.