The Herald Sun- the highest selling paper in Australia is located in a large skyscraper on the South Bank of Melbourne. I know because it loomed over me as I approached the huge rotating doors and wrapped my thick coat and scarf around me.
As I sat in the large intimidating reception on some leather and chrome seat contraption I contemplated what my week may be like. It could swing either way- it could be a week of filing, making coffees and doing other journalists’ dirty work, or it could be an exciting, finger on the pulse few days jam packed with experience, adventure and maybe even a published story or two at the end of it all. I was hoping for the latter.
Initially I met the other intern, my ‘competition’ as I saw her. A small weedy looking girl from La Trobe University in Bundoora. She was a third year uni’ student, who had no idea what shorthand was, had never been published let alone been on an internship and looked absolutely terrified. Suffice to say I felt I had the upper hand .
I was taken up to the daily newspaper and given a desk and a nonchalant ‘I’ll be with you shortly’. Ever determined not to waste my week I went about writing my own story and waiting for the editor to come out of a meeting.
I approached Paul, my editor, who liked my story ideas and said I should work on them, after I had helped out James- one of the paper’s general reporters.
By the end of the day I had spoken to every single Council in Melbourne and had no time to work on my own stories.
The next day I arrived hoping not to be a dogsbody for the next eight hours. Eagerly I agreed to venture out with the education reporter and went to a fancy PR-run promo with free pastries and coffee to boot. After a few questions with the Premier and his posse we headed back to the office where the journo I was out with passionately agreed to help me with my going nowhere story.
However by the time 5:30 hit and the woman in question still hadn’t ventured anywhere near my desk I realized I’d been shafted and was very much looking forward to a slower paced and far more friendly atmosphere at the Sunday Herald Sun.
The Sunday was more my kind of paper, the pressure of daily stories was eased and replaced with the gentle grind of trying to find a good yarn.
From Wednesday to Friday I was given decent stories and encouraged to work on my own story ideas, I went out with photographers, spoke to the public, did a heinous amount of research and got along fantastically with the reporters there.
The Editor was particularly encouraging and assured me a story in The Sunday Herald Sun, and sure enough come Sunday I was awoken with screams of joy as my Mother came running into my room, paper in hand to parade my byline in front of me.