Part-time Journalist Interview, with Nady El-Zayaty


Interview by: Amy El-Zayaty; Junior Head Editor

1.)   What magazine do you write for, and what is your opinion on the magazine?

I write for Business Today.  In my opinion it is an exceptionally well written magazine. It does a good job of balancing matters important to Egypt as well as the International community

2.)   What topics do you write about? What are your favorite topics to write an article about? Least favorite?

I typically write about topics related to managing organizations, leadership, and other business related matters. My favorite topics to write about are those that I think could improve the way managers in Egyptian organizations treat their employees or the environment.  I am allowed to choose the topics I write about so I don’t have a least favorite topic- if I don’t like a topic, I don’t write about it.

3.)   As a journalist, what are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Your greatest achievement?

I think my strengths are taking complicated topics and putting them in a language that the average reader can understand.  My weaknesses are not always being able to keep my articles to their suggested word limit.  My greatest achievement is having people read my articles and then tell me they really enjoyed something I wrote, that means a lot to me.

4.)   How much time does it take you to write an article for the magazine? From planning an outline to completing it? How many words on average?

It takes me a while to think of a topic that I think people will actually want to read about, then I have to get the topic approved by the Managing Editor.  From there it takes me about an hour to make an outline, 2-3 hours to do any research, 4-5 hours to write the article, and about 2 hours to proofread and edit.

5.)   What are your relationships with other journalists in your office like? Do you ever collaborate on pieces together, discuss the others topics, etc?

In my office every writer is responsible for their own work, so there are no team efforts.

6.)   What is the salary system like? Do you think it is a fair system considering the effort that you put in?

I get paid on a per-word basis.  Given the average going rates in Egypt, I feel that the rate is fair.  I spend a lot of time on proofreading and organization that don’t get considered in the word-count, but I prefer to turn in high-quality work.

7.)   What other categories of writing are available in your magazine?

There are categories on current events, Egyptian Society, a restaurant guide, and technology reviews.

8.)   What do you enjoy about your career, what feelings does it give you? What do you dislike?

What I really enjoy is finding a way to apply the things I have learned in my education in a manner that can potentially benefit Egypt.  I feel like something I write might affect positive change that makes me feel like I am doing something of great benefit.  All I dislike is how hectic things are around the office during the actual production of the magazine – the end of every month is a mad dash to get things done and becomes quite hectic.