In our new ’10 minutes with’ series, which celebrates the next generation of talent across national news brands, we meet Fadumo Olow, the industry’s first women’s sport social media editor.
In the interview, The Telegraph’s Fadumo tells us about switching from youth work to journalism, her obsession with TikTok and why she’d love to have dinner with Serena Williams.
How did you get into journalism?
Journalism wasn’t always a career goal for me, it was more of a path I stumbled across. I was previously a youth worker for a charity called Aik Saath – Together as One – where I worked with vulnerable young people aged 11-19 on community cohesion, sports and volunteering. No two days were the same and I really enjoyed the job, but I always enjoyed the sports and storytelling sides more.
I took a plunge, with no formal qualifications, experience or ideas of what journalism was beyond what I saw on my TV screen. I showed up to a conference by Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation. Their Raise Your Game initiative aimed at helping young people pave their way within the football industry inspired me and from there I co-founded the podcast I Think She’s Offside, became a runner and offered to do anything and everything to get some experience. This eventually led to my role as the social media editor for Telegraph Women’s Sport (TWS), which sees the digital world and a traditional news brand working hand in hand for women’s sports.
Why does journalism matter to you?
Not everyone has the ability or the resources to tell their own stories. To me, being a journalist is about sharing those stories and bringing balance with positive and feel-good stories or memes.
Best story (yours or someone else’s)?
Two come to mind: 7 Remarkable Black Women Who Shaped British History by Sagal Mohammed in Vogue; and a comment piece from Fiona Tomas for TWS, ‘Irish women’s jersey fiasco is a sad indictment of how international women’s rugby is still treated’. Top-notch journalism – I aspire to have their talent.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on the upcoming supplement for TWS and planning more TikTok pieces.
In my personal time, I’m also studying to get an NCTJ, a qualification to help me further my career in the sector.
Career highlight so far?
I recently interviewed England legend Rachel Yankey as part of the FA’s Black, England and Proud series. Within The Telegraph, my highlight was the Black Lives Matter supplement and writing my first feature interview with three up-and-coming black British women footballers.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“There is no such thing as a no, it just means not right now.”
Who or what inspires you most?
The young people at Aik Saath, former Olympian turned sports broadcaster Jeanette Kwaye plus Fiona Tomas, Molly McElwee, Anna Kessel, Tom Garry and Vicki Hodges – the great team at Telegraph Women’s Sport.
Who would be your fantasy dinner party guests and why?
Serena Williams, the greatest female athlete of all time. I’d want to know everything from her first Grand Slam to that iconic catsuit.
How do you switch off from work?
I’ve become a little obsessed with TikTok! I’m guilty of spending far too many hours on the app.
Gym or Netflix?
Well with no gyms at the moment, I’m binge-watching The Crown.
If I wasn’t a journalist/social media editor…
I would be a youth worker!
If you want to feature in ’10 minutes with’, let us know.