On this week’s edition of BLND’s Meet the Media, we are honored to sit down with Bridget Arsenault, London Editor of Air Mail. As an experienced journalist, she holds a Master’s Degree from Oxford University and has worked for prestigious publications including Vanity Fair UK, Forbes, and British Vogue.
Please welcome Bridget!
I’m Bridget and I am the London Editor of Air Mail, the new digital weekly founded and co-edited by former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter. Alessandra Stanley, a former New York Times foreign correspondent is the other co-editor. I also work freelance for a number of publications, including Forbes.
How did you get into journalism? Was this always where you saw yourself?
The short answer is yes. At least from my mid-teens, I knew I wanted to be a journalist. I started writing for my school paper, then my college paper and then a local Canadian paper. At college, I knew I wanted to move out of Canada and work in New York or London and I went to my college alumni office, copied down the names and emails of every alumnus who worked in media and publishing and contacted them. It was through this that I managed to get a work experience placement at Conde Nast in London.
From your experience, what makes a great story?
It needs a beginning, middle and end; it needs a unique angle or way in; and you need some level of access or information that no one else has. I love writing profiles of talented directors, actors and playwrights. I recently interviewed Josh O’Connor for Air Mail and he was as charming as I’d hoped.
What’s an accomplishment you consider to be the most significant in your career so far?
I moved to London in 2008 and I didn’t know one person. I’ve been able to spend most of my career—my nine years at Vanity Fair and now at Air Mail—working for the person who I consider to be the world’s best magazine editor, Graydon Carter.
What is one thing you wish the public knew about your job?
One of the best things about working with writers and editors is that they are incredibly witty, funny and brilliant company. Our team meetings and Zoom calls at Air Mail are never dull.
I always scan all my emails in bed and attack anything urgent. At the moment, I do a Zoom barre class, then make coffee. If I’m writing or editing and need quiet. If I’m just answering emails, researching or doing admin, then I always have music playing.
What’s one piece of career advice you’d give a young person looking to follow in your footsteps?
It’s hard for career advice, or any advice, not to come off sounding cliched… Good work gets noticed. Be consistent, write well, take every commission and opportunity seriously, and deliver it on time and in great shape. If you can do all of that, typically the work will continue to build.
When you’re not writing, what can we find you doing?
Cooking. I love to cook and to bring people together over a great meal.
Three words that describe you? Generous, industrious, straight-forward
#1 place on your travel bucket list? Deplar Farm in Iceland.
Go to drink order? Double espresso
Favorite restaurant? Kitty Fisher’s in London
Where can people follow you? @bridget.ruth or @airmailweekly