Brief Journalistic Biography

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Nick Farrell the Hack!

In school I really did not know what I wanted to be. While others were good at accounting, or languages I was only really any good at sailing up the nasal passages of teachers by asking too many questions. The closest thing to that was journalism, however at that point working as a journalist in New Zealand was impossible without some form of qualification from one of three schools. I applied to the year course of the Wellington Polytechnic and was turned down, probably because I was too young. Disappointed, I joined the staff training unit of the Department of Social Welfare. It was one of my more stupid moves which managed to damage my self confidence for several years. However just as I was about to be asked to leave I re-applied to Wellington Polytechnic and this time, in 1984, they let me in.

A year later I was thrust onto the journalistic world terrified. My first job was as a stringer in the Feilding office of the Palmerson North Evening Standard. While I was good at getting news and learnt a lot there, my self confidence was not good enough to consistently write well. I wondered if I should try my hand at PR and signed up to working for the New Zealand Post Office. I had been there a few days when they split into three divisions, telecoms, banking and NZ Post. Cheryl Robertson and I went into the Banking side and ended up on the head office restructuring team. There was no PR manager and we were left to our own devices. In my head we did pretty well, the only problem was that when the PR manager was appointed he managed to upset Cheryl and she decided to leave. We both disappeared to the Napier Daily Telegraph, which put me in the heart of Whare-Ra territory and the Order of the Table Round. It was the best place to work in the world and I really enjoyed myself. Cheryl who I was living with at this point wanted to go to England for a couple of years and I came with her.

I found a job at the Windsor Express which lasted for a year before a recession meant I was made redundant. For a year I did several joke jobs, including an estate agent, a travel agent and finally a computer operator for Windsor Castle (where I was sacked because “they didn’t appreciate my sense of humour). I realised that while I was quite good at journalism, I was not much good at anything else, so I joined the Slough and Windsor Observer. This was where I learnt a lot about journalism and writing. It was there that my self confidence stabilised and I pretty much could handle anything. I was made News Editor and finally deputy editor. While I was doing this I was filling in a few freelance shifts for the British tabloids. Not many, but enough to realise I didn’t like it much. However they did teach me one important thing, which appears in my novel, Tree Falls. That is that it is not the facts which are important as much as the story. That does not mean that a story is made up, although some are, but there are certain components which make up a story and if a news story does not have them, it is not ‘news’.

I left the Observer and ended up working for a local paper in Chalfont St Peters, but I really had enough of local papers, and besides nothing was happening in Chalfont St Peters and no one wanted to admit it. A friend of mine suggested I should write for the technology press as it paid more cash and it got you out of the country quite often. I worked for Network Week for a year before I worked out I could do the same thing freelance. This would not only get me more cash, but also it would give me the freedom to write other stuff.

For about five years I wrote for Computing, Network News, and a few other titles. However the industry changed and I became interested in working online. I moved to Bulgaria and was filing news to various online magazines, such as VNUNet.

Then I joined Mike Magee’s online tech magazine theinquirer.net. I would file six stories a day and have time to write my occulty books. The Inquirer is more aggressive and opinionated, but it was there I developed a style of my own, which has slowly filtered into my books. Later I joined www.Fudzilla.com and the IT Examiner.com which had a similar ethos. Lately I have been writing for Mike’s latest project Instant News which is like the Inquirer for real news.

My journalism career has meant that I have seen some interesting sights, been shot at, had death threats gone to parts of the world I would never have seen. It is also a good earthing for all the imagination stuff that occultism tends to throw up.

Nick Farrell journalist only has similarities with the one who is involved in occultism. They both need each other and it would be nice if they were totally integrated, but they cannot be completely. While we are both a bit cynical and look to shove one-liners into everything we do, the journalist likes to wind people up more. Apple fanboys have been a target over recent years. Apple is no better or worse than any other evil company who wants to make a buck, but it has somehow convinced people that it is superior. Its cult of emotionally immature Apple fanboys police the Internet screaming their religious doctrine of superiority found in owning an expensive gadget to any hack who dares say that there is.