CommonSpace recently recruited a whole new team of journalists, including 27-year-old Caitlin Logan. Here, she explains why she wanted to work for CommonSpace
I FIRST became involved with CommonSpace in September last year when I took a week off work to do some work experience in the office.
It wasn’t a holiday (although I may have felt jetlagged from the 7.30am start) but it was a journey, because it confirmed for me that journalism was what I really wanted to do with my life.
I was (kindly) put in touch with CommonSpace by another organisation at a time when I was looking for ways to move in to the field after spending my first few years out of university working in the third and public sectors.
I had worked on social research projects, analysed data, and even assessed grant applications, but I mostly found myself wondering: “Why am I here? What am I for?” (Existential crises abounded.)
I had always wanted to be ‘a writer’, although it seemed an elusive, far away concept, and I had always been what I can only describe as a politics nerd, so journalism seemed like a natural fit for me.
I had been writing in my free time, but it seemed like the time (or way past time, depending on your viewpoint) to take concrete steps towards making my hopes, dreams and wildest fantasies come true … And that’s where CommonSpace came in.
I had followed CommonSpace’s work for a while before I first met the team and had the opportunity to write for it, so of course I was a little star struck and excited by the experience.
Since the independence referendum, like a lot of people, I had thought a lot about how to get more involved and be a generally more useful human being in the fight for all that is good and right (but definitely left).
In a rare and perfect alignment of the stars, it so happened that by doing what I loved (writing), I could actually make a contribution to that cause, and CommonSpace was the perfect place to do it.
I loved the fact that CommonSpace was covering issues and amplifying voices which were not widely seen or heard in the mainstream media. During a time when disillusionment with the media was (and continues to be) understandably high, and when it would be easy to become dejected and uninspired, I felt that CommonSpace offered a much-needed source of informed and original journalism.
For me, at least, this has served as a reminder of the good that journalism can do, and of its absolute necessity for a fair and free society. The media’s role should be to scrutinise those with power and to shine a light on the various experiences and viewpoints within a society.
For me, at least, this has served as a reminder of the good that journalism can do, and of its absolute necessity for a fair and free society.
With that in mind, it’s unthinkable that there should not be daily sources of news reporting which represent the 45 per cent of people (at least) in Scotland who support Scottish independence.
As one of only two such sources, CommonSpace had my heart from the start, and it always felt like a genuinely intelligent and nuanced platform. Since my work experience with CommonSpace I continued to submit articles, and I found myself increasingly feeling that my job was an inconvenient distraction (sorry, former employers!) from what I should really be getting on with – writing.
When the opportunity came up to actually work for CommonSpace for real, it was a no-brainer that I had to go for it.
I’m almost three weeks in to the job now and, with the Scottish Tories on speed dial, I am far from regretting my decision. I hope you’ll stick around too so we can keep working together to make the world a better place — or at least keep the politicians on their toes till we do.
Look at how important CommonSpace has become, and how vital it is for the future #SupportAReporter