Freelance Journalist

May 1, 2023 (Updated )

As a law reporter for PA Media, Jess Glass is used to busy schedules and covering high-profile court cases. Yes, even the Wagatha Christie one.

From shorthand hacks to having no regrets, Glass chats about what it’s been like being a reporter in the High Court so far.

My Day Starts At…

My day usually starts at about 8am. I will have checked the court lists the night before, but they always like to sneak something in later, so I will double check what’s going on in the morning. I aim to get to the office at about 9-ish so our law editor can divvy up what we are all doing.

So, I’m travelling from 8 to 9-ish, looking at the lists, checking emails, seeing if any calls need to be made, if any links need to be requested, and if I need to get in touch with any PRs.

Journo Resources
Journo Resources

I Always Thought I’d Be…

I thought I was going to be a geneticist or a forensic scientist. Later, I thought maybe an English teacher, but really, journalism was never something I considered. I was involved with my student paper, The Boar, in the arts section. I loved writing, but I didn’t ever think I would be able to make it as a journalist.

I did sociology as my undergrad and then I did a master’s in gender studies, and I thought I might go into academic sociology, social research, or any job I could get with my degree. And I kind of slipped into journalism!

The Thing Which Surprises Me Most About My Job Is…

I think the atmosphere; how even on the big stories, it’s not a press pack working against each other — it’s court reporters working together.

We all have different angles but at the end of the day we all help each other out.

Journo Resources
“Even on the big stories, it’s not a press pack working against each other — it’s court reporters working together.”
Jess Glass, law reporter

When I Look At What I’ve Achieved…

I’ve had bumps and difficult times, but I’m still here and I still love it. I’m proud of a lot of the stuff I’ve written about [as well as] the more personal stuff [like] a lot of the human stories.

I’m proud of doing stories on inquests, and reporting high-profile stuff the quickest and most accurately, and getting there first.

If I Was Starting Again…

I probably wouldn’t have dyed my hair bright green at uni. It was lime, it was patchy, it was bad. But to be honest, I don’t think I’d change anything.

There have been choices I’ve made that have been stressful, but I don’t regret any of them. The high cou vrt job is the hardest job I’ve done but I’ve got great experience out of it and I’ve got great friends and colleagues out of it as well.

I’d Be Wary Of…

I would say journalism is a very small field and everyone is only a couple of degrees of separation from each other, so be nice. Everyone is useful in some way, just be nice. It’s a small industry, be careful of your reputation. Check reporting restrictions!

Journo Resources
“Journalism is a very small field and everyone is only a couple of degrees of separation from each other. Be careful of your reputation.”
Jess Glass, law reporter

If People Wanted To Follow In My Footsteps, I’d Say…

Practice your shorthand! Just keep trying. Listen to whatever music and transcribe your music. I have half the Hamilton soundtrack in various notepads.

But yes, enthusiasm; that’s probably the big thing. I think that’s been the main thing that’s got me where I am. Don’t be ashamed of being enthusiastic.

The Thing I’d Most Like To Change About The Industry Is…

I think increasing diversity is the big thing, really. I got my NCTJ funded through the Journalism Diversity Fund, so I’m very grateful to them for that because I wouldn’t have been able to train as a journalist without it. We need to make sure more people from diverse backgrounds come in!

After Work…

I find the best way to unwind after a long day is spending time with friends. There are many lovely parks in London, so a nice walk always helps. Or spending time with my cat, she helps me unwind.

Ami Clement
Ami Clement

Ami Clement (she/her) is an English Literature and Creative Writing student at Lancaster University. She has recently become involved with Lancaster Uni’s student publication SCAN: Student Comment & News as the head of publicity. She has also been elected as the editor-in-chief for the next academic year.