Portfolio: Journalism

We have been involved in journalism for many years as editors and news/feature writers

Our work has been published in a host of regional and national newspapers. We have also written for the trade press and magazines such as The Journal and Queen’s Award Magazine.

Making a splash in the national media

Phil Shanahan’s story about a new DNA preservation service offered by funeral directors achieved coverage in the Daily Mail, which has millions of readers.

The article examined the health benefits of preserving the genetic material of relatives for future medical research. DNA is increasingly being used to diagnose inherited conditions as part of the personalised medicine revolution.

Phil’s research involved him tracking down a world expert on the subject, who was on a lecture tour in New Zealand, for a comment.

The piece was also published on the newspaper’s website. It was shared more than 450 times on social media and sparked an international debate.

Power of the press

A supermarket chain stopped storing alcopops next to soft drinks in its chiller cabinets following a report by Claire Shanahan which prompted an investigation.

Her article announcing the decision appeared on the front page of the Derby Evening Telegraph, underlining the power of the press in bringing about change.

The company involved admitted that whilst it was not illegal to sell alcohol next to soft drinks staff had made a mistake in doing so. The concern was that a child could have picked up a bottle of the alcoholic fruit-flavoured drink by mistake.

An industry watchdog upheld a complaint by the newspaper about the practice. The retailer acted swiftly to remove all alcoholic drinks from the chillers and became a signatory to a code aimed at preventing the supply of alcoholic drinks to under 18s.

Feature Writing

We are equally at home writing features as we are reporting hard news. This in-depth story by Claire Shanahan describes the aristocratic roots of fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley in rural Staffordshire.

The article, published in the Derby Evening Telegraph, features interviews with villagers whose relatives worked at the country estate of Mosley’s family. The politician gained notoriety in the 1930s for his nationalist views which often sparked violence.

His supporters wore a uniform of black shirts and were regularly involved in clashes with opponents. The ugly street fights and marches through the Jewish quarters of the East End of London were a world away from Rolleston Hall, where he was a frequent visitor, both as a child and later when he married.

Sir Oswald, in contrast to the rest of the Mosley clan, was not fondly remembered. He never greeted or tipped the servants, and his grandfather strongly disapproved of his movement, it was revealed.

Putting businesses in the spotlight

This feature by Claire Shanahan focuses on Marston’s Brewery in Burton-on-Trent and its time-honoured methods of making cask conditioned ales.

In the article, head tour guide Sheila James explains the company’s unique Union system of producing beer and how it is one of the few breweries to use coal-fired boilers. In the 1972 miner’s strike, when coal was scarce, Marston’s burned tyres to feed the boilers.

Celebrity profile

Phil Shanahan interviewed Prunella Scales about her TV role as the formidable henpecker Sybil Fawlty and her other work for this celebrity profile, published in The Journal magazine.

The interview took place in her dressing room before a performance at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. A few years later the tables were turned when she was the one asking the questions.

Phil had the honour of accepting a posthumous award on behalf of three unsung WW2 heroes for the crucial part they played in shortening the conflict.

Prunella presented the accolade from the Celebrities Guild of Great Britain. Before doing so, the actress quizzed Phil about the campaign he had led to honour the men. In true form, she delivered a perfect introduction. It led to a standing ovation from the star-studded audience gathered in London for the ceremony.

National commissions

Phil Shanahan has been commissioned to write numerous articles for national newspapers. Britain’s biggest-selling daily newspaper, The Sun, devoted an entire page to this feature on Phil’s book, The Real Enigma Heroes.

In the piece, he tells the amazing story of how three men helped bring about an early end to the Second World War. He also explains why he spent years campaigning for the heroes to be given the recognition they deserve.

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