We catch up with Dominic Beesley, from Motivate Publishing, who gives Team TMN his opinions on the UAE media industry, as well as how he thinks publications should be changing…
Name: Dominic Beesley
From: West Kirby, England
Current Job Title: Junior Features Writer for Hype magazine
When did you first arrive in Dubai?
In 2007, at the age of 17, I moved to Dubai with my family. I returned to the UK briefly between 2010 and 2013 to attend university and have been back in Dubai ever since.
Where did you work prior?
I was an intern for Time Out Dubai, at ITP Publishing before I joined Motivate in 2014.
What were your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?
I thought it was an exciting industry and full of opportunities. After a few weeks of interning, I’d already written a load of content that’s still on display now, you can find it at At The Top in the Burj Khalifa.
Has your opinion changed much?
Not really. I just feel I know the industry better, and I’ve learnt a lot more about how it works here. Speaking from the experience I have as a music journalist, I think there should be more of a focus on Dubai’s local music scene, rather than just the big international bands or DJs that visit here. There are a lot of talented people living here and making music, and they’ve come from all over the world. Through my writing, I’d like to help bring them to the public’s attention more.
Tell us about your current role…
I write features and news stories, edit the columns that our contributors send in every week and interview people around the UAE with unique jobs and hobbies for the feature United Emirates.
What challenges do you face?
Mainly finding and getting in contact with people to interview every week for the United Emirates feature. I manage it, though it is a struggle, and I’ve now interviewed everyone from stand-up comedians to underwater models. It’s also difficult to find passionate contributors who both know their fields and are capable of producing good writing within print deadlines.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
To see the words I’ve written put in to print (followed by worrying about whether anyone will actually enjoy reading them).
What advice would you offer to someone looking to start a career in media in the UAE?
Persevere. Stick at it. Even if that means interning for months and months, it’ll be worth it in the end (probably).
What do you think of the quality of media publications in the region?
It’s terrific. There’s a wide variety of magazines across almost every genre, and there seem to be more niche publications coming out every year. I especially enjoy the magazine that’s employing me.
How do you find PRs in the region?
I’ve worked with some great PRs so far. I know a lot of people seem to find PRs here particularly annoying – check out the #UAEPR hashtag on Twitter if you don’t believe me – but I on the other hand, don’t think that. Maybe I just haven’t heard from all of them yet.
What’s your pet PR peeve?
Spelling mistakes. The people who spell ‘definitely’ as ‘defiantly’ are the worst – you know who you are.
What advice can you offer PRs seeking coverage in your publication?
Be nice to me, please.
How would you rather be contacted at work?
By e-mail, if everything is spelled correctly, that is.
Describe yourself in five words…
I like music a lot.
Five things you can’t live without?
My iPod, my Kindle, a notebook, a pen… and, I don’t know – a box of Wispa Golds?
If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?
If you could change one thing about media in the UAE, what would it be?
There should be some kind of rule implemented stating that you have to pay all interns. Don’t make them work for nothing – these are the people who are passionate about what they’re writing and will one day, if they’re any good, be editing your publications. By not paying them, you’re simply wearing down talented writers and contributors before they’ve even had a chance to get going.
How do you see media changing in the UAE in the future?
More holograms, and virtual reality magazines. But perhaps in the nearer future, I think times are only going to get tougher for print publications and publishing houses. As a journalist, I think it will be more difficult to succeed although hopefully for consumers, this will guarantee a much better quality of writing within publications. That, or every magazine will simply be kovering Kardashian news (in which case, I might just give up).
If you could have one work wish granted, what would it be?
That I could be a bestselling author.
What is your favourite form of media (i.e; TV, radio, print)?