Nicky Cox

First News Editor in Chief

In First Careers you will meet lots of different people with lots of different jobs! BT has been finding out how technology is changing jobs and what skills people need to make the most of it.

What I do

I edit the newspaper that you’re reading now!

How I got my job

First News was my idea, so I gave myself the job! I had worked at the BBC for 14 years as editorial director of children’s publishing. Before that I had been a journalist at national and local newspapers. It had always been my dream to create a children’s newspaper.

What I love about my job

I love that every day is different and that I really believe in what we are doing. Children are 27% of the world’s people but 100% of the future. I believe that for the world to become a better place, the next generation must be better informed than the last, which is where First News comes in.

What is difficult about my job

Knowing what stories to leave out! There are so many interesting things happening around the world every week and we have a hard job squeezing in every story we want to cover.

What skills I need

You need to be really nosey! You need to have a curious mind and you must enjoy telling stories to people. Obviously, you need to enjoy writing too!

How do you use technology in your job?

We use computers to do research online, to write stories and to lay out and design pages. And we use online photo agencies to browse pictures of news events as they happen, and to choose the ones we use in the newspaper. All the pages are turned into PDFs and sent to the printers electronically, so technology is used every step of the way.

How has that changed over your career?

When I was training as a reporter on a local newspaper, we still used typewriters! We had to research stories by phoning people or meeting them, or using books (the internet was only just developing). Pages were laid out by hand.

Where should young people start if they want to do the job too?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Know what is going on in the world. See if you can get work experience on your local newspaper. Or, perhaps, start your own blog. Concentrate hard in English lessons to develop a good style of writing. Pick subjects like English, journalism or politics for higher education. And look out for trainee positions or graduate schemes, such as the BBC’s. Contact the NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) for advice. Businesses also need people who can write content for websites, social media or their own employees.