• Juliet McGuire is a 13-year veteran as a motoring journalist.
• She started a YouTube channel several years ago, and amassed almost 9000 subscribers.
• Juliet has experience in print and digital media.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
If you've been on YouTube lately, scouring through the endless channels on motoring, you probably came across Juliet McGuire's channel.
Juliet is a familiar name in motoring circles, having been around long enough to know what goes for what. But this wasn't what she had in mind when it was time to choose a career path.
"I don't think I even knew there was a career such as motoring journalism when I was growing up," she said and began reflecting on how she imagined her life to be. Juliet wanted to be a TV presenter and made it her mission to complete her Film and Television studies after school successfully.
Still, something was missing, and she soon realised that it was the fuel pumping in her veins.
Her passion for cars began at home with her dad, but a high school boyfriend sparked the fire. She recalls: "He had a passion for cars that was unmatched. One could almost say he was a bit obsessed. But it was this obsession/passion that really ignited a love for motoring for me."
Combining the passions
After completing her Film and Television studies, Juliet had something that was continually bugging her. There was an emptiness that needed to be filled: the empty void in her life that only cars could fill. And then, like a bolt of lightning, she realised that she could combine her two passions.
Why not become a journalist - a motoring journalist, more precisely - and present videos on cars?
Following the successful completion of her second qualification, an honours degree in journalism, Juliet completed her internship at one of the leading motoring magazines in South Africa. She recalls that she simply "refused to leave" when the internship was over, and the publication took her on. As part of her portfolio, she had to start a video platform, and this, as she gleefully says, "was right up her alley."
After seven years at the publication, Juliet spread her wings and would continue to do so for the next six years.
Juliet McGuire (Supplied by Juliet McGuire)
Making an impact on YouTube
Shortly after starting her new job at a different publication, Juliet started a YouTube channel, aptly called 'Juliet McGuire'. The need for the channel came after she became bored with seeing the same things and wanted to mix things up.
"It took a while for people to warm to it and there are still those who hate it," she recalls, "but I have so much fun doing it that I have to turn a blind eye to those people."
Juliet's videos are all fun and quirky, but she remains adamant that each video must adhere to two criteria: Be both informative and entertaining. She explains that she wants her viewers to have fun, feel awkward, have a little laugh, and sit back and think: "This woman is a lunatic, but she knows what she's talking about."
Keep your eye on the ball
After 13 years in the industry, Juliet has seen it all. And more, she's experienced everything it could throw at it. But some of the more challenging moments came because she's a woman. When she started, there were a handful of women reporting on cars. The chosen few of the day had their work cut out to be taken seriously, and some men are still not open to them sharing their space.
Juliet explains: "To be taken seriously was a real challenge, and one I still face today. I don't fit the mould of a 'typical' motoring journalist, and it can be a very harsh environment. I wish I could say that things have changed drastically, but unfortunately, there is still a way to go before women are completely accepted into this profession. I could probably say that about the world in general, though! (ha-ha)"
Despite the various challenges, Juliet still perseveres, and the determination has brought her admiration and respect from many in this space; albeit colleagues or the broader public. She has made her mark and credits a thick skin and standing up for herself, because no one should change any part of who they are; not for anyone or any publication/place of work.
"You deserve to be here as much as anyone else," she says and emphasises that women are not inferior to a male colleague. "You are enough! But work hard, and it will pay off."
Juliet McGuire (Supplied by Juliet McGuire)