Tom Dunstan, Senior Reporter, FT Adviser

In today's Money Talks, Headlinemoney Awards nominee Tom Dunstan encourages new journalists to try and pick up on the little nuances in writing that make the most talented journalists so good, and gives a shout-out to his childhood chippy.
Tom Dunstan, Senior Reporter, FT Adviser
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What are the main beats you cover?

I cover mortgages and protection as well as anything in general that may be of interest to financial advisers.

What was your reaction to making the shortlist?

A healthy mixture of delight and surprise. I was a little bit shocked when the email first came through but was absolutely thrilled to be recognised for my efforts in the industry.

What made you become a financial journalist?

I studied history in university and, when it came to the end of my master’s and I started looking for a job, I knew I wanted to use my writing skills in my career. I started looking at journalistic positions and discovered financial journalism. I hadn’t considered that this was a path I could go down but, as I was always very interested in financial news, it seemed perfect!

What is the story you are most proud of and why?

It would be my interview with a mortgage prisoner called Emma. It was the first time I had spoken to a mortgage prisoner and my first real understanding of how much of an issue it is and how it affects people. That will be a story that sticks with me for a good long while and so I am very proud of it.

What financial interview would you most like to arrange?

I’m very lucky that I get to speak with a lot of members of the financial services industry in my position so I think that I would like to go further afield and speak to the Chancellor about his plans for the future and what schemes he would like to introduce. I have always had a keen interest in politics so that would feel like a major achievement for me.

Tell us about the most surprising/interesting money story you have read recently

The one that really caught me off guard was “'£2,000 landed in my account' - The people who say they're manifesting riches” by Jess Sharp. The concept of people wishing really hard that money will appear in their account is simply mind-boggling to me!

What advice would you give to someone starting out in financial journalism?

Read as many articles as you can. Once you start reading financial news articles you will not only improve your knowledge of the industry but also pick up on the little nuances in writing that make the most talented journalists so good.

What topics do you expect to dominate the news in the second half of 2024?

It’s hard to look too far beyond the general election at the moment as it seems like whichever party is victorious will bring in a raft of financial changes.

If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would it be?

Learning another language. I’ve been attempting to learn Welsh for almost two years now and my progress can best be described as “glacial” so it would be great to speed that up.

Describe your dream holiday:

I’m not very good at dealing with the heat so probably not anywhere too sunny. I have always wanted to go to Iceland to see the Northern Lights in all their glory so I think it would have to be there.

If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A portion of sausage and chips from my childhood local chippy, Plassey Fish Bar, complete with a couple of slices of bread and butter to make chip sarnies.

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