Jane O’Neill is a journo’ who spent more than 20 years working on newspapers and magazines in the UK before moving to Dubai in 2014, despite being allergic to sunshine.

Early years

Starting out in her early 20s as a freelance magazine writer, Jane wrote for UK entertainment and nightlife magazines including Mixmag, Express Mag and Newcastle Stuff. It was an addictive taste of the glamorous life of a journalist, so Jane took a chance and went back to college, where she re-trained as a news reporter.

Her gamble paid off and she secured a post as a trainee reporter at the Northumberland Gazette in Alnwick.

Here she cut her reporting teeth covering everything from court cases, village shows, and council meetings to accidents, pantomimes and golden wedding anniversaries. No teeth lost, many experiences gained.

The middle bit

After passing her senior qualifications a year later, Jane moved to the busy daily paper, the Sunderland Echo, where she took charge of the Echo’s city centre office as a multi-media journalist and court reporter at Sunderland Magistrates’ and Coroner’s Court.

Looking after the fast-paced and challenging beat, Jane built up a wealth of contacts, a portfolio full of front-page stories, and the ability to outrun angry people and make a nice cup of tea.

From interviewing victims of rape and savage assaults, dancing with theatre stars, helping soap stars track down missing dogs, breaking the news about the UK’s first voiceless comedian and reporting on every type of crime imaginable (and a few you wouldn’t want to), Jane turned her pen to a vast range of news stories.

For light relief and free food, she also worked as a features writer for the Echo’s glossy monthly lifestyle magazine, Etc, reviewing restaurants and hotels around the UK and beyond.

In 2012, she won a place on a Rotary exchange trip to Brazil and spent a month living and working as a journalist in the South American country. She continues to keep in touch with the friends she made there, always apologising for her terrible command of Portuguese.

In Dubai

After relocating to Dubai in 2014, Jane was made deputy editor of Dubai Week, assisting the editor in creating top-class content for the magazine and overseeing the magazine’s social media channels and website.

When the weekly title went online only in September 2015, Jane was the natural choice to become a digital editor.

With a team of writers, she became the driving force in the development of a new Turret Media online product, overseeing all social network communications, producing a constant flow of new web content, two weekly videos, four e-newsletters and still managing to wear matching shoes.

Right now

After pausing for a few weeks to birth an excellent small human, in February 2020 Jane became responsible for the entire brand output of Commercial Interior Design Middle East, including events, print and digital media.

Jane is the editor-in-chief for Commercial Interior Design’s magazine, digital channels and events, including the highest-grossing awards ceremony in ITP Media Group’s portfolio, conferences, round tables and industry socials. She has introduced new events to the brand, maximizing pre- and post-event coverage for participants and partners oversaw a redesign of print products and website, introduced a paid subscription model and grown the digital audience.

She is a skilled writer, subeditor and proofreader, and proficient in Google Analytics, InDesign and digital content management systems, including WordPress.

In summary, a commercially-minded, experienced manager, editor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience, eight of them in Dubai.

She still assures everyone that her tea is best, but is yet to make her colleagues a cuppa.

To contact Jane, email – thejanegirl[AT]hotmail.com or use the Contact Form

“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money” – Samuel Johnson.