Rod Kitson is someone who writes mostly about food and sport, for the Evening Standard and The Sun respectively. He’s also an artist who specialises in portraiture. His Instagram account is updated regularly with new pieces ranging from life drawing sketches to finished oil paintings. You can follow Rod here. Thanks to him for not only answering these questions, but for taking the time to make us an exclusive piece of artwork for the image.
Briefly, your biography please.
A human man with a curiosity for many things.
What’s new in journalism?
Volume and speed. Sadly, printed news is on the way out because it can’t keep pace with the way information is consumed. Web readers aren’t so bothered by typos or style as long as the message is conveyed — quickly. So it’s out with editing and in with content generators and rapid-fire contributors.
Who inspires you?
People who do what they do because they love to do it. Artists who make art for the sake of a personal journey and writers who relish storytelling.
You write about food and sport. Any crossover stories?
Former Olympic triple-jumper Francis Agyepong is now a head chef at a top London restaurant. I did a story on him when he hosted a superfood lunch for other GB stars. He insisted competition in the restaurant game is hotter than in athletics — because the critics are harsher. That was a good one.
Ex-Spurs midfielder David Bentley opened a bar in Essex a couple of years ago. Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs had recently opened Cafe Football so I thought it would be fun to carry the on-field rivalry into a whose-is-best in the hospitality stakes. He was game.
Then there was the falconer who’s hawk kept Wimbledon’s tennis courts free from pigeons who opened a game restaurant serving… pigeon. Not the flying rats we get in the city, thankfully, but their plumper country cousins.
What makes writing fun?
The different ways you can tell a story, the characters you meet and their generosity of opinion or insight. A great freedom of journalism is it enables specialisation in the fields of your biggest interests, which can lead to the added win of meeting and speaking to people who you most admire or are interested in…without coming across like a stalker.
Tell us about a website.
www.private-eye.co.uk. The Eye must be the only printed publication with a growing circulation. Amid a sea of dumbed-down clickbait it shows readers will still pay for quality journalism. The website has enough to keep you interested until the next edition is printed. A great model and a must-read for journalists.
How dependent are you on computers?
Very much so. For writing up, editing and page-building, filing copy and fact-checking.