Ryan Smith: 'I don’t think I’ll ever forget the excitement of getting my first journalism job.'

Business Comms

The Belfast Live editor on always wanting to be a writer, his guiltiest pleasure that he doesn’t feel guilty about, and how that pint at Borough Market in London last summer after lockdown was his fave memory of the year that was 2020.

The boss is buying you a drink, what are you having?

I’ve fairly simple tastes so a pint of Carlsberg. If I haven’t been sent home by 11pm, a Jameson and Ginger would be nice if he doesn’t mind splashing out.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A writer...and then a journalist from the moment I stepped into the Fermanagh Herald office at 16.

Social media platform of choice?

Despite its many faults, some of the things we’re able to do with Facebook as a media organisation are incredible - even new things in the last few months. Outside of work, WhatsApp would be my most used.

Favourite writer?

It’s very hard to split them between Maurice Fitzmaurice and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Currently reading?

Nothing at the moment - I like to pretend I read more than I do to seem smart but unfortunately I’m averaging three or four books a year these days.

Who is your celebrity crush?

I don't have one but if we're talking about the Northern Irish media industry it's definitely [redacted]

Someone you might be starstruck to meet?

Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Bono - it’s a long list. Although hopefully it’d be the start of a lifelong friendship.

What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the excitement of getting my first journalism job at the Fermanagh Herald in 2012. But obviously getting the opportunity to take on the role of Editor of Belfast Live in September has been very special.

Hidden talent?

Would love to say I’m a great singer but fear, in reality, I am not.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

I’m well aware people hate U2 and Bono - but I love them and don’t feel guilty in the slightest!

Name the film you’d watch again tonight?


Biggest life lesson to date?

It’s a cliché but you get what you put in. I’m lucky to work with a lot of people who understand that inherently.

What would your superpower be?

In this job, invisibility would be good - I’d only use it for good though.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

To Greenwich Village in New York in the 1960s for the folk scene. Or 1920s Paris so I could go drinking with all the famous writers who lived there and tell them about the book I was never actually going to write.

What is the worst job you’ve done?

I’ve only been a shop assistant when at school and a journalist - so no complaints here in case any old bosses are reading!

What is top of your bucket list?

I’ve never been to New York so that’s up there. But I love travelling, so anywhere would do me as soon as this is all over.

Describe your 2020 using emoji only: 🎢

To the audience: You should make Belfast Live a part of your day because… We care, we understand what matters to our readers, we don’t have any political bias...and we’re a bit of craic too.