Friday was the day to finish off all my stories, and not ask anyone for any more.
I didn’t want to be stressed at the end of the day trying to finish everything. This approach kind of didn’t work as it was a slow morning with no one answering their phones.
But it did give me time to review and perfect yesterday’s stories (with a fresh perspective) to the best of my ability before I emailed them to the editors.
In slow periods after, John’s tasks for the week (write blog and report) came in handy. They got me writing and thinking about the experience while also looking busy.
My fact checking promise from yesterday paid off. I got to look at the paper mock up with my bakery story and edited it, crossing out a totally wrong assumption that had been subbed in.
Also I rang the owner of the cafe I was writing a school holiday promo on to double check details. Turned out the mocked up flyer we had been given had a few mistakes with the dates.
Getting this second chance to talk to the owner also allowed me to clarify some other details and update my story with a more interesting quote.
In the afternoon I got the chance to go out on a photoshoot with one of the journalists Angela (all the photographers were booked out so she had to do it). The story was on safety in universities surrounded by bushland and I was to be the uni student looking vulnerable with my back turned.
But it’s always when you’re out for half an hour that a person you’re waiting on calls you.
The Bulimba MP had been in parliament all day so was really hard to catch! I needed her comments to add more meat to my flood hero stories as the locals had been quite gracious about what they did. The phone tag continued and I hoped I’d be able to finish my stories by the end of the day.
In the afternoon I interviewed the male editor Gary. He was an excellent interviewee, constantly talking and giving me his thoughts as I scribbled down notes. (I really wished I was a whiz in teeline at this moment).
The politician I was waiting on called at 4.30 and we finally got to talk!
5 o’clock came round (the one day I actually did a full 9-5) and I was scrambling to get my stuff together. I was pretty tired and hungry and thought I would finish the last two hero stories when I got home. (Thank goodness for relaxed editors!)
It’s been an exhausting week but really worthwhile in the end. This is the most hands on internship experience I’ve had and it’s quite exciting to see your name in print.
Sometimes I think I can be lazy but I was happy to see myself rise to the challenge of making these fluff stories the damn best that I could. (I didn’t offer any of my own story ideas but that’s just how it worked out for me).
I got great feedback from the editors, and as I left for the last time I did feel a little sad to say goodbye to the people and the place I had just started to get to know.