Dream Job: Editor of NME

In September 2009, Krissi Murison took over the role as Editor of NME magazine. She was the first female Editor in the magazine’s history. This week, Krissi has taken some time out to tell us all about the secret to her success and how she got to where she is now.

Tell us about your job and what you do?
I am the Editor at NME, directly overseeing all pages in the weekly music magazine and also working with the website editor on the direction of NME.COM. I do everything from overseeing the content each week to booking tours and organising award ceremonies. I started off freelancing at NME, then a Junior Staff Writer, and continued working my way up until I became Deputy Editor. I then moved to New York for a while to work as Music Director at fashion and culture magazine Nylon, before coming back to start in my current role as Editor.

What’s the secret to doing your job well?
Making sure that you’re listening to everyone! We have a team of great journalists at NME who are also big music fans (of course), so it’s important to listen to them to find out what is going on.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job?
As with all magazines, it’s working out what it is that makes your audience continue to want to buy your magazine week after week. You have to work hard to keep that relationship with your audience alive, so we have great photography and journalism by people who are experts on new music.

What’s the most exciting aspect of your role?
I’d have to say the NME awards which is a huge annual event at Brixton Academy where music’s great and good turn out to be honoured. We also have a whole month of activity over February with shows across London and a UK-wide tour. There’s a lot of build up around who’s going to be the first band on. I’m excited about the artists we are going to be putting on this year.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known before?
I wish I’d known how much I would fall in love with South America! If I’d have known that before then I would have learnt Spanish at school.

Would your school friends be surprised at by the job you do now?
No, I wouldn’t think so. I was always interested in music and going to gigs when I was at school. I was the one that was boring everyone by talking about different records all the time!

Which school subjects did you find most helpful?
I enjoyed my A-levels; they allowed me to concentrate on the subjects that I really wanted to study. I chose Art, History and English and I think that they are all subjects that are relevant to the job I do today. History and English are very much about storytelling, and Art helped me to visualise those ideas on a magazine page.

Is there anything that you regret not doing?
I don’t think it’s good to have regrets. I do wonder what would have happened if I had gone to art school which was something I very nearly did instead of taking the route I chose.

What is your proudest moment?
I would have to say winning the New Editor of the Year award at the BSMEs (British Society of Magazine Editors) last year. When I got the job as Editor of NME I was both proud and terrified. Winning the award made all the hard work worth it!