Nigel Whitfield

Freelance journalist & editor

Nigel Whitfield, September 2006
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My career as a freelance journalist started in 1995; before then I worked for Dennis Publishing where I started compiling product listings for Computer Buyer, when it was being launched in 1991. By the end of that year, I was Features Editor, and I became Editor in August 1993, leaving in April 1995 to go freelance.

Major freelance positions

Although the bulk of my work as a freelance is individual commissions, I also work for clients in their offices or on longer term projects from time to time, including Computer Active, where I was responsible for the news section of the magazine from May 1998 to September 1999 and again from January to May 2000.

Most recently, from October 2009 to April 2009, I worked on Personal Computer World, providing temporary cover while the magazine recruited both a Deputy and a Reviews editor, so I was responsible for commissioning and editing the reviews and group tests, as well as proof reading and managing other sections of the magazine.

I'm also one of the two editors on the Computer Active Ultimate Guide series, responsible for putting together six of these 100 page one-shots a year.

From January to April 2001 I worked on the launch of Web User at IPC, where I was responsible for setting up the structure of the site reviews database, and implementing systems to ensure consistency in the ratings, as well as interviewing staff, in addition to writing reviews and feature material myself.

Between January 2002 and February 2005, I was responsible for editing the Hands On section of Personal Computer World, which entailed dealing with the other contributors, editing their copy, proof-reading and some commissioning. I have also, at times, edited the network section of the magazine on a freelance basis. In August 2006, I resumed my editing work, and am presently responsible for the Hands On section and editing monthly features, as well.

From April to August 2005, I was responsible for planning, commissioning, editing and re-writing existing material to use on the UK Microsoft at Home web site.

Regular work

I have been writing a regular column in Personal Computer World for over ten years, covering internet issues, first as the net.answers section, then as Web Development and E-Commerce; presently my web development column appears every two months.

A regular contributor to the EasyPC part-work (a VNU publication), I wrote many features and workshops over the two year period of publication, and also worked on some of the previous incarnations of the title, including PC Know How.

Other highlights

Two books have been published under my name; the first, the Official AOL UK Handbook, was written in 2000, for AOL 6, and the second, Email and More, the following year.

I appeared regularly on the TV programme Chips With Everything, as an expert panellist, until the closure of the .tv channel in the autumn of 2001, and have been a guest on various radio shows.

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Outside the computer press, my work has appeared in titles such as Alive!, Home Entertainment, and in national newspapers including The Independent and The Times, where I wrote a column called Click Tips in one of the Saturday supplements.

I've also written a range of material for PR clients, including advertorial that has been placed in the regional press, and marketing inserts for magazines. I've also done similar work for corporate magazines, such as Demon Despatches.

Besides writing, I undertake consultancy and web work, usually for smaller non-profit organisations; in the past I've worked for clients including Stonewall, and the National AIDS Manual.

A new book from Readers Digest, Practical Projects for your PC, is now available, and includes a number of articles written by me, including guides on instant messaging and creating a web site.