Running the news desk for a health publication during a pandemic presents plenty of challenges, but Sofia Lind made it look easy, picking up the PPA Award for Unsung Hero in the process. Here, Sofia reflects on the chaos of lockdown and looks ahead to what 2022 has in store for Pulse.
Chart your career from the start to now.
My career started in local news, when an internship at a large Swedish regional daily newspaper turned into a semi-regular thing whilst I was still in journalism school. This was an amazing learning opportunity – I still argue to anyone starting out in journalism that local news is the best training ground. When I moved to London after university I fell into trade magazine journalism – with quite a long stint in legal journalism before landing at Pulse nearly a decade ago. I have been a reporter, senior reporter, chief reporter, news editor and now (since last month) deputy editor at Pulse.
You’ve worked in the B2B side of journalism for most of your career, what excites you as a writer about engaging with special interest communities?
I remember when I first started at Pulse as a reporter and phoned my first few GPs. It was a lovely, warm welcome. Pulse has a tagline – that it has supported general practice since 1960 – and GPs very much feel this to be true. They often feel like a beleaguered profession, with sections of the media portraying them as overpaid and lazy. It is a privilege, as journalists, to be that safe haven.
What was it like to be news editor in a period that was inundated with health news?
I’m not going to lie, it was a hectic time! It didn’t help that I had just returned from maternity leave, that our team was one reporter down, or that nursery closed for three months during the first lockdown! But, despite all of this, it was probably the most exciting time of my career. I think if you don’t thrive on fast-paced, breaking news, health journalism is probably not for you right now.
How did it feel to win the PPA Award for Unsung Hero?
As news editor, as was my title at the time, you really are at a strange place. You decide what news should be covered, edit all articles and train and guide junior reporters, yet you don’t get any bylines anymore! As such, it was really very nice for all that hard work to be recognised. We also decided to come into the office, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, to watch the ceremony together as a team, and were able to go out to celebrate together afterwards.
What does 2022 hold for Pulse?
Remarkably, Pulse’s print edition is still going strong despite the pandemic and the supposed ‘death’ of print, so you can expect to see the monthly magazine continue landing at GP surgery doors. However, that being said, I think you will also see us expanding and building on our online offering and that user experience. Watch this space.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Personally I have always been the kind of journalist who thrives on breaking news – both the exclusive news stories that we produce at Pulse and being first to report the major events relevant to GPs. However, as a manager, working with talented young journalists, often in their first proper job of their journalist career, seeing them develop and flourish is also amazing. I’m very lucky to be working with an amazingly talented team.
What’s on your radar?
I’m really excited to be able to go out there and see people in real life again – whether that will be going to conferences, award ceremonies or just to the pub with my colleagues.
What magazine do you stockpile?
In print form – involuntarily - Microlight Flying as my partner is a hobby pilot. (My two-year-old is constantly asking me to read him this exciting ‘book’ with aeroplanes on it.) Personally, I have an online subscription to the New York Times magazine, and my favourite section is Modern Love.