Debika Ray

Journalist, writer and editor

  • LevelSenior
  • LocationLondon, United Kingdom
  • AvailabilityLocked Pro Plan feature
  • ProfessionsWriter - Copy Editor - Copywriter

Projects credited in

About me

I am a journalist, writer, editor and editorial production manager with more than 13 years’ experience, and a particular interest in architecture, design and global cultural issues. In October 2017, I left my role as senior editor at the prestigious monthly design and architecture title Icon to go freelance and launch my own independent magazine. Since then, I have continued to work as a journalist, editor and production manager, as well as taking on copywriting work for a range of commercial clients in the fields of architecture, engineering, energy and others.

Locked Pro Plan feature

Skills

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Copywriting
  • Sub-editing
  • Editorial Management
  • Editorial Commissioning
  • Content Editing
  • Brand Storytelling
  • Brand Tone
  • Content Writing

Companies I’ve worked with

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  • S

    Self Employed

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    • D

      Disegno

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      • C

        Clove Press

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        • I

          ICON

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          Work history

          Currently

          Writer, editor, journalist and production manager

          Self Employed

          Oct 2017
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Freelance
          • Writing: The Guardian, Wallpaper, Al Jazeera, Icon, Kinfolk, Sight & Sound, Metropolis, Disegno, Blueprint, Frame, LSE Review of Books, LSN Global, Building, Atlas: Etihad Airways, Oryx: Qatar Airways, SilverKris: Singapore Airlines, Easyjet Traveller, Building Design, Arup Journal, The Big Issue, The New Internationalist, The Ecologist, The Asian Times, Stratton Craig, Wardour Communications • Generating exclusive story ideas and original angles on a wide range of subjects, then pitching these to editors to secure commissions • Taking on existing briefs and adding value using my own insight and experience • Conducting research through interviews, via online and published sources, and by attending events, then using the information to build and develop stories • Writing long-form features, reviews, critiques, comment, news, commercial copy and technical analysis of data and business statistics, and submitting to deadline • Preparing proposals for commercial clients, then generating engaging and informative copy that achieves a company or organisation’s goals Editing: The Guardian, The Independent, Icon, Disegno, Times Educational Supplement, Building, Culture Trip, Building Design, Property Week, Chemist & Druggist, Insurance Times, Strategic Risk, Sainsbury’s magazine • Working quickly and meticulously with text of various types, to ensure complex articles are clear, engaging, informative and error-free • Managing a team of editors and designers to shepherd publishing projects from inception to completion, to tight, inflexible deadlines • Planning issues, setting deadlines, supervising copy flow, as well as the editing and production process • Working diplomatically with writers of various seniority, including experts in their field, to improve quality of text. Carrying out extensive rewrites, where necessary • Crafting precise, factual headlines for news; imaginative, enticing page furniture for features and comment; and search-engine optimised text for online use • Collaborating with lawyers to ensure that articles are libel-free, yet still bold, inquisitorial and agenda-setting • Ensuring consistency in style and tone throughout a publication, as well as ensuring copy, images, graphics and page furniture work together effectively • Meeting tight and inflexible deadlines. Collaborating with writers, designers, section editors, printers and commercial managers to make sure that production processes run efficiently and to schedule • Thoroughly proof-reading pages, often in high-pressured environments such as daily national newspapers and weekly titles, and for corporate entities • Liaising with commercial clients to make suggestions and agree editorial changes • Creating a tone of voice for businesses’ written materials and new editorial projects Consultancy and public-facing work: • Participating in or moderating public conversations and talks – recent ones at Tate Modern, Design Museum, Somerset House, London Design Festival and Clerkenwell Design Week • Acting as the public face of a brand or magazine, most recently by giving interviews about Clove for video, radio and print • Advice and consultancy, such as my recent role on the British Council’s judging panel to select the curators for the country’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale

          Currently

          Founder and editor-in-chief

          Clove Press

          Jan 2017
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Freelance
          • I oversee all aspects of Clove’s editorial, branding, design, tone, digital presence, commercial strategy, distribution and marketing. For issue 1, I devised a content plan, commissioned writers, and motivated a geographically dispersed team to produce a 108-page glossy magazine, to a tight schedule and budget. It is now stocked by almost 40 shops, including in London, New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Singapore and Bangkok. It was featured in an exhibition at Somerset House about the future of print publishing, as well as by the British Journal of Photography, Condé Nast Traveller, It’s Nice That and Monocle’s Stack podcast.

          2018

          Acting deputy editor

          Disegno

          Dec 2017 - Feb 2018
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Freelance
          • Working with the editor-in-chief to devise a coherent editorial plan for this respected quarterly magazine. In my role, I sought out and commissioned experienced, novice and specialist writers. I also managed the daily online publishing schedule, including news and social media

          2010

          Senior sub-editor/legal editor (2008–10), sub-editor (2006–08)

          Building

          Oct 2016 - May 2010
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Full Time
          • Involved in all aspects of the editorial process of this weekly magazine for the construction industry, including: • editing, proof-reading, writing page furniture, news reporting • managing budget, setting and enforcing deadlines, managing production • managing website, newsletters and social media; making videos and podcasts • managing legal section: commissioning expert comment and covering news • planning, managing and producing standalone supplements

          2017

          Senior editor (2015-17), web editor (2014-15)

          ICON

          May 2014 - Oct 2017
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Full Time
          • I was initially hired to devise a digital strategy for the brand and relaunch its struggling website, a role in which I doubled online traffic within five months and increased our social media following by more than 110%. I went on to take broader responsibilities and a leading role across both the printed publication and website. • sourcing and researching ideas and writing stories for print and online • seeking out and commissioning writers and photographers in the UK and abroad • writing headlines, standfirsts, coverlines and promotional copy • representing the magazine at events and meetings • planning and publishing topical online content that complemented the magazine • leading online marketing initiatives through social media and newsletters • producing video and audio content • maintaining and updating digital strategy by analysing statistics and performance • developing relationships with other institutions, brands, venues and agencies • organising and hosting talks, exhibitions and events • moderating public conversations and conducting live interviews • curating talks, film screenings, exhibitions and other events

          Education

          2012

          Sep 2010 - Sep 2012
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Merit

          2006

          PG Cert in Periodicals Journalism

          London College of Communication

          Jan 2006 - Mar 2006
          • London, United Kingdom
          • Merit

          2005

          BSc (Hons) Psychology and Philosophy

          University of Leeds

          Sep 2002 - Sep 2005
          • Leeds, United Kingdom
          • 2:1