Tara studied MA Global Media and Postnational Communication at SOAS, University of London. She currently works as a senior content and media manager at Equality Now
What first interested you in media studies?
My early career was in TV. I was involved in daytime reality programmes and music documentaries, but I was finding the work rather soulless and, what with the long hours, I thought that there must be more to life than making films about Britney Spears.
What I really wanted to do was to make documentaries in the field of development and, to break into what is a very competitive field, I decided to take a postgraduate qualification at SOAS. The course was a really eye-opening experience for me, and it made me see the world in a different way. It gave me a better understanding of development messaging and also the moral aspects of telling a story.
What drew you to working for Equality Now?
Equality Now is an international organisation focused on women's rights. It concentrates on legal rights, how laws are applied, and advocacy. We have partnership across the world, using media as a tool to spotlight development and equality issues and to give a voice to communities and individuals whose stories would otherwise remain unheard.
What do you do during a typical day?
I am usually involved in pitching and placing stories, raising awareness of different causes, content planning, writing copy across a range of traditional and social media platforms and attempting to grow our supporter base.
I have recently been involved in campaigning to repeal a legislative code in Iraq, which currently allows a rapist to escape prosecution by marrying his victim. Similar laws have already been successfully repealed across the wider Middle East and North African region. I have been in conversation with Reuters regarding this matter.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Sometimes, I get the opportunity to make international trips where I am able to do first-hand research. Gathering stories on the ground is a real privilege.
What do you find most challenging?
The most challenging aspect of my work is that there is always more that could be done. I always know that while I am working on one project, it is taking time away from another. It can also sometimes be rather soul-destroying when you spend an entire day pitching ideas and stories for them all to come to nothing.
Any advice to prospective media students?
Get some grassroots experience. When I was starting out, I bought myself a cheap video-camera and did some filming in Nepal. This kind of hands-on media work was invaluable. I also made a DVD, filming support workers and refugees in London. Work experience and volunteering are really beneficial.