In the past, after successfully scooping a story, I’d sometimes feel slightly anxious. Once the high of hitting publish had begun to wear off, I’d ask myself questions such as: Where will the next scoop come from? Have my sources dried up? Did I just raise expectations a little too much and it would only be downhill from here?
This feeling was further compounded when an ex-editor of mine once congratulated me on a major scoop and within the same sentence made it abundantly clear they now expected more of the same.
The problem is that scoops are never really within a journalist’s control. The seeds of the next scoop are often entirely in the hands of your sources, existing or new ones. If they dry up, it’s pretty much game over.
All a journalist can really do is lay the groundwork by talking to the right people as often as possible and following up on any and every possible lead, always with an open mind. It’s a cliche but in journalism the old adage of 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration, mostly holds true. There’s a fair bit of luck involved, too.
That’s why my first week back from the holidays was so satisfying. And relatively stress-free.
On day one, I managed to hit it out of the park with a scoop on Monzo, based wholly on original reporting and my multiple sources. The challenger bank has begun to work on its plans for a U.S. launch
, much earlier than many (myself included) had thought. The fintech unicorn is planning to launch a “lite” version of Monzo across the pond, similar to the prepaid card that kicked off Monzo here in the UK a few years ago. The timeline for the U.S. is still in flux, but a small team has been assembled and it is
Both scoops were mostly sourced and lined up before I went on leave. All I really had left to do was some final fact checking and to contact the parties involved to offer a right to reply, which I gladly did.
I’m also happy to report that afterwards I only suffered a little post-publish anxiety. Clearly, old habits die hard!
Bonus: Which newly-backed London health tech startup is rumoured to have lost one its co-founders already? How careless.