Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Interviewing the Interviewers: Cate Sevilla

One of the privileges and joys of journalism is meeting and interviewing truly inspirational people.  The new digital age has meant this privilege has now opened up beyond professional journalists, with some of the most thought-provoking interviews now conducted by numerous industry thought leaders in addition to our most respected journalists.

In NDA’s Interviewing the Interviewers series, we caught up with some of the best interviewers in our industry, from journalists to independent content creators, turning the tables to find out what makes them tick.

Cate Sevilla is one of the most experienced figures in digital publishing. Now a freelance editorial consultant, her illustrious career includes being Editor in Chief at The Pool, Founding Managing Editor of BuzzFeed UK, and Head of Editorial at Google’s Cultural Institute.

What is your biggest hope and your biggest fear for the media and digital industry in 2019?

My biggest hope is that digital media companies and advertisers will find a better way of working together, so smaller publications with highly engaged audiences have a fighting chance.

My biggest fear is that all publications are forced behind a paywall.

What was your biggest industry highlight of 2018?

I loved the Gal Dem takeover of Guardian Weekend magazine.

Who was the most inspirational person you interviewed in 2018 and why?

I interviewed the cast of Queer Eye — so that’s five people, not one, but surely they count as a unit?

They’re inspirational because they are kind and open in a way that’s both authentic and vulnerable.

What one technology are you most excited about this year and why?

I can’t think of any specific product, but right now any form of technology that is going to help and encourage your average consumer to cut-down on single-use plastics and have a positive impact on climate change is exciting to me.

What was your favourite ad or media experience of 2018?

In the UK I loved the BBC Sounds adverts, and the US’s Tide Ads with David Harbour were perfect.

What is the buzzword or phrase you’d like to ban forever?

Listicle…and I worked at BuzzFeed so that’s really saying something.

Who’s the one industry figure you’d most like to interview you yet haven’t?

Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

How could someone persuade you to interview them and what would put you off completely?

To persuade me, be honest and authentic, but also passionate and specific about the topic you want to chat about.

What would put me off? Arrogance and entitlement.