Media Voices 100th episode live in London

As Media Voices prepares to celebrate its 100th episode we spoke to presenter Chris Sutcliffe about the challenges for freelancers and journalism more widely.

The Media Voices podcast is one of our favourite ways to keep up with what’s happening in the media world. The Podcast was started as part of The Media Briefing brand produced by Briefing Media back in 2016 – itself an invaluable source for those wanting to keep abreast of changes in publishing. The podcast – and its associated email newsletter – had an unusually wide coverage, reaching smaller publishers and, most importantly, covering B2B media as well as B2C.


In 2017, The Media Briefing sadly and unexpectedly (at least from the perspective of a loyal listener) closed. Briefing Media felt it needed to move away from the media focus with which it was started and prioritise its more profitable agri-information business. It has since rebranded as AgriBriefing, and enjoyed enormous success. Its media events, the British Media Awards and Digital Media Strategies, were taken on by Haymarket. But the Podcast’s presenters Chris Sutcliffe and Esther Kezia Thorpe, joined by The Media Briefing’s former Editor-at-large Peter Houston fought to keep the brand alive under the new Media Voices brand.


99 episodes – and interviews with The Economist, Facebook, CNN, The Times, Refinery29, and the Financial Times – later, it’s safe to say that decision has been vindicated. Helped along in no small part but the encyclopaedic knowledge, manifest passion and sardonic wit of its presenters – not to mention the trio’s on-air chemistry – the show has developed a loyal following, carving out a niche as the publisher’s publishing podcast, and attracted sponsors.


The challenges of freelance journalism

Ahead of Thursday’s celebrations, The Freelance Fellowship spoke with Chris about his experiences running the podcast and working as a freelancer.


“Media Voices has featured a lot of amazing guests over the years, from the editors of national magazine brands to proponents for new and often untried forms of journalism. Over the 99 episodes to date, two lessons have stood out more than most.


“The first is that investment in great journalism is the foundation on which all plans to save independent media are based, while the second is that it is ever-more difficult for individual journalists to actually do that vital work. Hearing from the founders of schemes like PressPad and the late lamented The Pool have made it apparent how difficult it can be for freelance journalists to carve out a career in 2019.


“When we founded Media Voices, I was starting out on my first full year as a freelance journalist. Over the first 12 months, I struggled with issues of self-confidence and anxiety as the realities of chasing payments and pitching to unresponsive publications began to bite. Hearing from those guests, and from my friends who have been in similar positions, helped me to carry on.


“It’s still a harsh and competitive environment in which to make a living, but the reality is that most editors and founders of publications have been in that position, and are happy to help wherever possible. Over the next 100 episodes of Media Voices, I’m looking forward to hearing from other journalists who have made it as freelancers, and from more founders of schemes to support them.”


Media Voices, Episode 100

The 100th episode live recording will take place at 30 Dukes Place in London on May 2nd (this Thursday) in partnership with content recommendation developer Bibblio and featuring Bibblio founder Mads Holmen, Empire Editor-in-Chief Terri White, The Week Chief Executive Kerin O’Connor and Head of Platforms at PinkNews, Ellen Stewart.


The panel will be tackling a fundamental existential question facing the industry: ‘How do publishers maintain their brand value in a world of distributed content?’ Fourth Estate Creative Managing Director Paul Thomas Evans will be in attendance at the live recording and if you want to join places are still available (at the time of publishing). Visit the event page on the Media Voices site here.


Find out more

You can find the Media Voices podcast on iTunes, Acast, Spotify , SoundCloud and many more platforms or listen to it on the Media Voices site here.

You can Sign up to the newsletter here.

Or follow Media Voices on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn



Just like us Media Voices is a supporter of the International Magazine Centre.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *