Meet the Team: Emma Beatty (Senior Lecturer in Journalism)

In our latest post from the UoP Journalism team, Emma Beatty talks about art, life and magazines.

Name: Emma Beatty

Background / Education: I studied Spanish and Italian at Exeter Universtiy, spending my second year in Rome. Then I did a shorthand/typing course and went to temp in London–including a few stints at The Sun as Picture Desk secretary.

My first magazine job was at Minerva — an ancient art magazine with its office on London’s Old Bond Street, the hub of the UK art world at that time. I learnt a huge amount about art and publishing, becoming editor of the magazine. We were even asked to send two years worth of the magazine to be used as set dressing for James Bond’s flat for the latest Bond movie.

I then moved to The Art Newspaper, originally as a writer, then as Deputy Editor. It was a brilliant job, and I mainly worked on the Italian and French stories. We had regular press trips all round the world — New York, Venice, Australia, Singapore — visiting new museums, exhibitions, art fairs, etc. We covered lots of legal stories too — from grave robbers to the long-running Marion True Getty case, which I had first encountered at Minerva.

I left to go on maternity leave, then worked freelance while doing a Masters. When my sons were a bit older, I got a job as a feature writer for The Royal Opera House website. I’ve always been a huge fan of ballet and opera, and consider the ROH hallowed ground–so I was thrilled to work on its social media. It’s one of the digital hubs of the ballet/opera world, with audiences in the millions. I was especially proud of an online ballet glossary I devised, where we filmed the dancers performing all the main ballet steps and uploaded them to YouTube.

I only work on a fractional contract at the university, so I still do freelance work now. There are some of my pieces on Medium, such as this.

What is your subject specialism? I teach the magazine unit now, but my specialism is Arts writing.

What is your favourite place in Portsmouth? Eastney Beach and the Coffee Cup (especially on stormy days).

What is your favourite book? Ones that really stay in my mind are from my university days: Don Quixote(which is laugh-out-loud funny), Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, and Calvino’s The Nonexistent Knight.

The Nonexistent Knight

What is your favourite movie and TV show? Currently, the second series of Narcos, before that Better call Saul, Breaking Bad and all the original Swedish Wallander shows.

What is your favourite album? Don’t have one as such. I love opera — mostly Italian, Rossini and Verdi. I avoid Wagner; it’s wonderful in short bursts but the whole operas send me into a weirdly fretful sleep.

Cats or dogs? Both.

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