Q&A MAIN IMAGE: MARK THOMAS
What made you become a journalist? It was something I wanted to do having trained as a photographer
What other job might you have done/have you done? I wanted to be a black cab driver in London. I also cared for physically and mentally handicapped children for a year and I acted in various TV programmes and did a nine month theatre tour of the TV show ‘Button Moon’
What advice would you give someone starting in journalism? Follow your instincts,feed your passions and don’t be afraid to speak your mind.
underground in Dunkerque. It was freezing cold, standing in four feet of water,covered in mud with a portable light,but it was fun.
Which six people (alive or dead) would you invite to a dinner party? Fidel Castro, Gianfranco Zola, Jack Jones (The Trade unionist), Mike Pentelow, Peter Sellers, Charlotte Church.
When did you join the NUJ and why? I joined the NUJ 20 years ago to get support and advice when needed.I have had legal and technical support on a frequent basis.
Are many of your friends in the union? Fifty per cent of my friends are in the union, the others are from different walks of life.
What’s been your best moment in your career? I received The Silver Medal from the Royal Photographic Society in Bath in their annual worldwide competition in 1999 for a photo of the Prague underground. It was from a series that I exhibited. There were 4,000 entries.
What is the worst place you’ve ever worked in? I once had to photograph Tony Robinson for the Channel 4 programme Time Team 100 foot
And the best? I’ve done couple of jobs in India. What an amazing country. You can see the complete spectrum of life in a single day.
Who is your biggest hero? Che Guevara
And villain? Tony Blair
NUJ & Me
Mark Thomas is a photographer and a member of the London Photographers’ Branch
What are your hopes for journalism over the next five years? I hope that the freedom of the press remains and that journalists can report on injustice and inequality without fear of reprisal
What was your earliest political thought? My Dad took me to Churchill’s funeral in 1965 and that sparked an interest.
And fears? I worry that more restrictions will be placed on Journalists.Th
e impending Trade union Bill is an example of freedom being shackled.
How would you like to be remembered? As someone who took work very seriously, fighting against inequality and injustice but who looked on the bright side of life.
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2011 GETTY IMAGES, MARTIN CINTULA / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
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