Our next guest is Norwegian Sports Journalist, Jonas Giæver.
Tell us about yourself, what you currently do and how did you end up where you are right now?
I’m currently working as a journalist for Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet after having been at Nettavisen for five years. I had a bit of a break after my time in Nettavisen where I combined applying for jobs with taking a bit of a break from everything to take care of my mental health. I’ve recently just returned and getting back into the swing of things. I also do a podcast on Spanish football here in Norway, called LaLigaLoca in which we have well over 200 episodes.
As a Sports Journalist, what does a normal week look like for you?
It’s never the same, which is both the beauty and the irritation about it. You decide yourself how your days pan out, but if you’re not prepared then there is a void feeling which I have interpreted at times as worthlessness. However, the counterpart to that is a feeling of success when you land a cool story or an interview, or you are able to deliver breaking news. So, a normal week is very hectic and busy, but it is very determined by your preparation for it.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
To be thorough and accountable in the way I report things, and how I do interviews and stories. One of my tutors at Huddersfield University, Mercy Ette, once said that “journalism is seeking for the truth”, and I find that to be something I apply to my work. But being truthful is also in the way you treat sources, information from sources and you report on difficult subjects. I’ve always lived by the ethos that I should be able to look myself in the mirror before going to bed without having an qualms about how I have treated my work. So, being someone people can trust and being true to my own standards and the way I do work is instrumental to my work.
When did you know you wanted to work in football?
When I was a kid. I was never good enough as a player, and eventually I understood I had a way with words and the knowledge to be within football. I therefore took a bachelor’s degree in Sports Journalism at Huddersfield University, and have never looked back since.
What is the most enjoyable part of your role?
To be able to partake in a society and an industry which I admire, and that has given me some of the best moments in my life. And to be able to tell people’s stories through them opening up. I always find enjoyment in not necessarily being first with every single news bit, but to be able to tell the whole story. I think that part of journalism has become more and more of a lost art in this day and age when a lot of people want to be first.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
The chase. That hussle and bustle of the industry where you fight with other reporters and journalist to be first to a story, or to feel the pressure of reporting something unique. I respect that it is a part of the industry, but it can become an obsession. It did so to me for a long time, and it was extremely unhealthy. Which is part of the reason why I stepped away from it for a while. It became too much, and I still do feel it being quite overwhelming at times. But it is part of the game, and I have found ways to combat that. But that is part of the business which I think needs to be better communicated to the young and aspiring journalist.
You’ve freelanced for several football publications including The Guardian and FourFourTwo. Can you tell us more about this experience and your thoughts on the current freelance market for football writers?
Those were some fantastic opportunities, and the FourFourTwo article came as a result of me being very obsessed with South American football, to which I was given the chance of doing an article for their web page. The Guardian happened due to Ole Gunnar Solskjær being such a hot topic. I think the market for freelance journalism is very tough, but I do believe it is rewarding. I think you have the chance to create more as a freelancer, but you are a greater economical risk. Also, I find it to be more challenging, at least in my country, as opposed to being within a newspaper or a broadcaster. But I think the ceiling is endless for a freelancer, if he/she is prepared to put in the work and realize that there will be a lot of sacrifices on the way.
What general advice would you give to those individuals looking to pursue a career football journalism?
What are the key skills required? Be persistent. And be prepared for anguish. Passion only takes you so far, and being a “football nerd” is never enough in this industry. You need to be able to get out of your comfort zone and to challenge yourself. Go to communities and societies within sports that you did not think of doing before. But be prepared for the disappointments that will come along the way. They make the success that much sweeter when you, eventually, find it. And speak things into existence! Tell yourself that you are going to be on Sky Sports, or you are going to write for The Guardian or that you are going to do football radio. Don’t be afraid to back yourself.
Where do you see your career in the future? Are there any specific objectives you hope to achieve?
I have no idea. I really don’t. I have worked print and online media a lot, so of course I would love to do more TV and broadcasting. So, that would be a fun challenge. Other than that, I just want to do things that give me joy in life. As of right now, I am content with whatI’m doing. I think the beauty is also when you realize you are not really in any hurry. I used (and still use) a lot of time to realize that.
And finally Jonas, where can people find you on social media?
I’m available on Twitter and Instagram, @chegiaevara
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