Scott Thompson, senior editor at financial technology title, IBS Journal talks about B2B journalism, the highs and lows of the job and the changes currently affecting the industry.
How did you get into journalism?
I completed a post-graduate diploma in magazine journalism in the 90s and started out as a reporter covering the shipping sector. I worked my way up to editor and stayed in the industry for a few years, but the life of a ship spotter wasn’t for me. So I made the jump to the technology sector, becoming editor of Retail Systems, then FStech, then group editor across both titles. Earlier this year, I was offered the chance to take over as senior editor at IBS Journal and it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
What do you like about working in B2B/trade publishing?
There’s never a dull moment and you get to meet some genuinely forward thinking, creative, driven people. Oh, and there are plenty of free drinks and invites to posh restaurants on offer.
What’s the hardest aspect of your job?
Juggling the demands of a monthly magazine and daily online news service. It can be quite challenging at times, it certainly keeps me on my toes.
What is the most rewarding?
I’ve been editing magazines and writing news stories for close to 20 years and I still feel a sense of achievement when signing an issue off, or beating a rival to a story or interview.
When are PR professionals most useful to you?
When they have interesting clients and send targeted emails about them rather than generic ‘Hi, would you like to speak with so and so about blah blah blah’ type messages. And when they don’t bombard me with calls and emails about said clients, but appreciate that, if it’s of interest, I will be in touch.
What do you wish that you had more time for, either in or outside of work?
Outside of work, creative writing. I’m a big comedy fan and have written various scripts, receiving positive feedback from those in the know. But in recent years I have let things slip, never enough hours in the day!
What, do you think, are the most significant factors affecting journalism, and how do you think this will shape the industry of the future?
It has to be how content consumption has changed massively over the past few years. In the banking technology sector, I consider IBS Journal to have three main UK rivals, all with different business models. We publish 12 issues a year of IBS Journal and also offer a daily online news service and blog, as well as a series of reports and consulting services. One of the rivals also has a printed edition, while the other two are online-only; one of those has always been a pureplay while the other ditched its printed edition last year.
Some will disagree with me, I know, but I still believe that a mix of print and digital is the best way forward. Certainly, IBS Journal recently invested in a major redesign of the magazine and it continues to be a major part of who we are.