“It made it on the front cover of the magazine so that was a big, proud moment,” said former Index editorial assistant Kieran Etoria-King, talking about his interview with stage star and model Lily Cole.
Etoria-King, now a graduate trainee at Channel 4, was the 2016/7 Tim Hetherington fellow at Index, a programme for journalism graduates from Liverpool John Moores University and backed by the Tim Hetherington Trust.
During his time as the second LJMU/Tim Hetherington fellow, Etoria-King worked on four issues of the magazine and on the website throughout the year, as well as interviewing Cole.
“My proudest moment editorially was the commissioning, when I got to the point where I felt like I was able to bring in ideas,” Etoria-King said. “I saw a picture of some North Korean art, and when I saw that I became fascinated by these amazing North Korean paintings I’d never seen before. I pitched that idea, and then went out and found someone, BG Muhn, who is an expert on the subject, and was able to write a really good piece about it. That was probably the first moment where I felt like, ‘yeah, I can contribute to this and able to bring stuff to the table’. It was like the first or second piece from the front in that issue so that was amazing.”
Etoria-King has taken the skills learned at Index into his new role. He said: “The confidence that I can bring ideas to the table has been a huge help.”
“Anywhere you go in the media, people are gonna be fascinated by the work Index does, even if they haven’t heard of it, when you tell them what it is, they’re gonna be fascinated.”
Talking about what he learned during his year on the editorial team, he said: “They really helped me really refine what to put in applications, refine my skills and how to pitch myself. You couldn’t really ask for a better introduction [to media], because you’ve got so much experience there in Sean, Rachael and Jemimah, Jodie and the whole organisation. Being such a small team you have a lot of input, and your presence is really valued and your input is really valued.”
The fellowship was set up in memory of Tim Hetherington, a photojournalist from Liverpool. He is best known for his work covering soldiers and conflicts including Afghanistan and Libya. His photography was celebrated for focusing on individuals’ experiences, not just the war zones.
Hetherington’s assignments took him from the UK to Africa where he lived and worked. He also studied US fighting forces for a year in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008, which led to the Oscar-nominated film Restrepo and Infidel photo book. He also worked in Libya, where he sadly lost his life in 2011 from a mortar attack during the country’s civil war.
“Tim spent his whole life challenging limitations on expression,” said Stephen Mayes of the Tim Hetherington Trust, including a period of time spent as an investigator for the United Nations Security Council’s Liberia Sanctions Committee.
“The opportunity to introduce new talent to work in this vital field is unmissable and we wholeheartedly join with LJMU and Index to promote the values of free speech and political expression.”
The Tim Hetherington fellow works on the award-winning Index on Censorship magazine and website as the editorial assistant with opportunities to do a range of tasks including interviews and podcasts.