Mediagazer Co-Editor Reflects on the Challenges of Self-Employment

In addition to helping operate the 24/7 media reporting controls at alongside colleagues Patricia Sauthoff, Andria Krewson and Lidija Davis, Lyra McKee is a very enterprising investigative journalist and would-be author. Occasionally, she also  finds time to share some personal observations on her personal website and her latest such blog post offers some excellent, holiday weekend food-for-thought.


McKee’s January 16 essay is something of a belated New Year’s life evaluation, and a very honest one at that. The Belfast-based writer begins by taking stock of how her current day-to-day compares to what she had once, perhaps foolishly, envisioned:

I had no idea I’d end up like this: self-employed and hustling for the funds to do each story. My plan was for a life of stability: graduate from university, get a newsroom job, mortgage and live happily ever after.

That’s not how it turned out. Twenty-five percent of my time each week is spent filling applications for funding and toying with crazy ideas. Sometimes, it’s fun. Coming up with crazy ideas always is.

Other times, however, it’s really hard. In fact, most of the time, it’s hard. It’s not what I imagined it would be. In some ways, it’s better; in others, worse. Such is life.

We encourage you to read the rest, especially if you are at the cusp rather than close of your own 1099 endeavors. McKee is absolutely right when she suggests that it would have been oh-so-useful for her younger self to receive a visit from her older self, for the “self” purposes of grasping just how essential self-employment skills were going to be.

And McKee ends her post with a great line: ‘Being a journalist right now is like being a passenger on the Titanic except you have to build your own lifeboat.’ She could probably go on with stories about her experiences with various Caledon ‘Cal’ Hockley‘s, but that will have to wait for another time.