A life in numbers; a move to freelancing (end of year)

Golly, scooped on the details of my own career. But I’m a top story! I feel I should quote Peter Kirwan’s Fullrun site – “Tools for tech marcoms pros” (marcoms == marketing communications) at length, since it’s objective:

Charles Arthur plans to leave the Independent to go freelance at the end of the year. Arthur says that as a freelance, he’ll continue to write for the paper. In particular, he will carry on filing copy for his column.

The impending birth of a third sprog chez Arthur seems to have spurred the move. Says Arthur: “It makes more sense for me to be near home helping with children than trogging up and down motorway each day in order to pay
nanny.” It’s unknown how the Indy will use the slack in its headcount. According to Arthur, there are three possibilities: “replace me . . . get someone science-y, or [hire] another news reporter”.

We’d put money on a straight replacement, not least because tech display advertising has been a real success for the Independent in recent years. In the four-title “white” broadsheet market consisting of the Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Independent, Arthur’s paper cornered 27% of ROP (run-of-paper) advertising volume in 2003. In 1H04, the Independent’s market share rose to 31%. This comes against the backdrop of an overall decline in ad revenues at the newspaper following its conversion to tabloid format.

Wow, nobody ever told me we were doing so amazingly well in the tech ad stakes. (Or that the overall tab had fallen, but it has.) However, as to replacement, I’d also ask: how many news technology writers – as in, people who are just tech writers, rather than science or environment writers – can you name in Fleet Street? Excluding the FT, I can’t think of any; Jack Schofield and Neil McIntosh are/were attached to Guardian Online, nobody seems to do it at The Times, The Telegraph’s Robert Uhlig concentrates far more on farming stuff and going around the world on motorbike with Ewan McGregor (true).. so who?


  1. I’ll do it. It can’t be that difficult.

    Congratulations on the new offspring btw.

  2. Ah Steve.. well, you’ve done everything else :-)
    Of course I should point out to anyone who wants to do the job: the challenge isn’t writing the pieces, it’s getting them in the paper…

  3. Charles, I did a similar thing very recently, I left the FT for the blogging life…it’s fun, extremely (not) lucrative, but might become a reasonable way to make a living at some point. Maybe we could do a transatlantic link up of some kind!?

  4. If you have any spare time in the new year Charles, maybe do some PR advisory. You seem to have Ebay’s number, and Edelman might want to make friends with you too :-)

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