Sunday Herald Exclusive – disabled and sick face unpaid work programs

Posted on 02/12/2012 by


This week I did my first collaborative project with fellow journalist Peter Geoghegan, and we nailed a great story, getting the front-page lead story and a double page spread in the Sunday Herald – my first article for the paper. It’s about how the Government’s controversial mandatory work program is, from tomorrow, being extended to include tens of thousands of sick and disabled people.

You can see the full story here.

If you are personally affected by these issues, please get in touch – we’ll be following the Herald piece up with radio reports about workfare, mine for FSRN in America, and Peter’s for RTÉ in Ireland. I hope we can continue to shine a light on this important issue.

The actual process of working together couldn’t have gone better. We were working at my home ofice on the first day, and then remotely using google drive/dropbox/email/phone on subsequent days, chasing down different interviews, looking for contributors on social media, and checking each others copy.

It’s a way of working that we’d been talking about for some time, and we’ll definitely be doing it again. In particular we wanted to see if working together would allow us to take on more ambitious stories, and be able to do them in more depth. But most importantly, we wanted to be able to share skills – Peter’s experience as a print journalist, and my experience as a broadcaster. Being able to watch and learn from colleagues is one of the main things I miss as a freelancer, so we’ll definitely be doing this again – and looking to work with other people too.

Now, if only there was a cheap, accesible shared work space where freelancers wanting to collaborate could go in Edinburgh…