Freelancing / Inspiration and Editors / Interviews

INTERVIEW: Rivkie Baum, editor of SLiNK magazine

By Annette Stevens.
SLiNK Magazine is a fashion and lifestyle bible for women sizes 14+. Who said curves weren’t sexy? The magazine explores plus-size fashion, embracing all shapes and sizes. Annette spoke to the editor, Rivkie, about her role in producing the magazine.

“Styling your curves, fashioning your life.”

Thank you for agreeing to do this interview for Jump for Journalism! Currently, you’re the successful editor of SLiNK magazine. Could you tell us a little bit about your duties as the editor?

Essentially as editor I am the Queen Bee – ensuring and overseeing everything that goes into the magazine. From deciding on the theme, to sourcing the contributors and approving articles as well as selecting models and picking covers! I steer the ship as it were!

How are features at SLiNK HQ made, freelance or commissioned?

Normally we decide on a topic within the team and then we post on social media about it and invite people to write and suggest features.

Could you tell us what happens at the office, on a day-to-day basis?

Essentially SLiNK is made up of freelancers. As an independent magazine we work from the comfort of our own homes or meet up in coffee shops for meetings. It’s quite social and chilled. No two days are the same – we might be on a shoot or sourcing clothing or simply just sitting and typing or doing layouts.

Growing up, did you ever know that you would work in this field?

I was really interested in journalism but I didn’t actually study English at University as I was totally in love with fashion and actually read design and pattern cutting. I had started to contribute as a stylist to online magazines before starting to cover fashion shows at fashion week which was really how I got into fashion journalism.

Rivkie Baum

Rivkie Baum

What was the idea behind launching SLiNK?

I was working in plus-size retail on the side of freelancing and really felt there was a lack of media for women above a size 16. Magazines were cutting women off and as there was no relevant content they weren’t buying into them. I’d already worked as an editor for an independent magazine called RANDOM, so I understood the processes and just thought, I could do this and I could do it well, so I did!

Before launching SLiNK, have you ever done any experience in journalism?

Yes, I was the editor of RANDOM magazine for about 18 months and had done freelance contribution work to several online publications as well as covering shows at fashion week in London and Paris.

What are your handbag essentials for a day at the office?

I work from home so I never have to take a bag! But I always have my Macbook, iPad and Blackberry to hand (as well as a cup of tea).

If someone applied for work at SLiNK, what would you look for in a CV and cover letter?

I’d want to know they understood what it was the magazine stood for and that they were in line with our outlook. I also like to see a well written letter with capital letters etc. in the correct places. Make your letter interesting and personal to the publication you’re applying for! Equally, make sure you spell my name correctly and I know my name is unusual but it’s easy to find out if I’m a Sir or a Miss – It’s the little things that show you care – it’s all in the detail.

What is your stance on unpaid internships?

I’ll probably be scolded for this but I actually think unpaid internships (where the intern actually learns something) is more than fine. With new legislation stopping unpaid internships I actually think, students and graduates are going to miss out on valuable learning experiences. Smaller organisations where you will probably be able to gain more experience and really see a job through from start to finish and learn lots won’t be able to afford you. Instead larger organisations can afford interns but I don’t think you will gain the same great skills. I interned once at a large magazine corporation. It was a free internship but I was so happy to be there that I worked really hard. Within about two weeks they decided to pay me and then invited me to come back for a further work period. I never expected the money but was so grateful for it. Equally I worked above and beyond and was motivated. As an intern you’re there to learn not necessarily to earn. Just because you’re not being paid – sometimes the experience is greater.

Slink, the magazine for women 'with curves'

Do you offer work experience at SLiNK HQ?

At the moment, no, because we can’t afford it. We do sometimes let unpaid interns come along to editorial shoots to help and see what happens behind the scenes and accept articles from those aspiring journalists looking to get published.

For aspiring journalists, do you have any tips?

Think of the long game not short-term gain. I still write for free for the right places. Network – it’s often about who you know not what you know. Go above and beyond, hand in articles early, go the extra mile. I once ended up getting a ticket to Julian Macdonald’s catwalk show because the article needed to be turned around quickly and I had a reputation for writing up shows at lightening speed compared to the rest of the team – it was one of the best shows I’ve seen.

And finally, one random question: Do you like Pineapples?

I prefer tinned pineapple and I like it with savoury food.

Thank you!

Find out more about SLiNK Magazine here:

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