Internship – Day One

It has been a while since I have seen rain. Even longer since my little umbrella has seen it. The stupid thing won’t open. Bugger. Not a good omen for day one at Community News.

Luckily, I score a break in the rain from home to the train station and the train station to the newsroom. Things are looking up!

The newsroom is in Northbridge, think the Fortitude Valley of Perth. And it’s weird being in Northbridge during daylight hours. Kind of hard to navigate as well without my usual landmarks of open kebab shops and nightclub queues.

Despite not having any kebab shops as landmarks I manage to arrive and arrive on time.

As you walk into the office you are greeted by a big quote by social researcher Hugh McKay – “The suburban newspaper is, in effect, a symbol of the community.”

So pause for effect in the lobby and then up the stairs. There staring at me are the 17 newspapers Community publishes around town.

Some I’ve read, some I’ve heard of and others cover suburbs I didn’t even know existed.

So the Northbridge office is the base of operations for all 17 papers. Subbing, features and reviews all come out of here.

Most of the newspapers run little three man operations out in the burbs. But the two newspapers I’ll be working on – The Guardian Express and the Western Suburbs Weekly, are tucked away in a corner of the rabbit warren they call head office.

Matt, the Chief of Staff greats me and he’s a friendly, affable bloke. The kind of guy you would be happy to have a beer with at the pub.

He is keen to hear about Jschool and what it’s all about. The who, what, where, when and how are all asked. You can tell this guy is a journo through and through.

So we sit in his office for a while and have a chat while he shows me through a bunch of procedures. Then a quick tour and it’s hello desk time.

Not long after sitting down I’m flicked a bunch of press releases to turn into briefs. I pump them out post hast. A week ago I was doing the exact same thing on a Thursday afternoon in class. Now I am doing it for real.

Turns out Des knew what she talking about in between telling us never to order a pizza in our real name.

Then I’m handed a gift. A great story idea sent in by a local. Just around the corner is a Cuban boxing coach. Ruben the Cuban. He has just returned from Queensland with two champion girls who have had victories in the national Golden Gloves Tournament.

Yup that’s right, female boxers. And with the IOC just admitting female boxing into the Olympics for the first time, it’s timely with a great local angle. Interview and photos set up for tomorrow.

Then it’s back to press releases. But this time for a longer story. This one is about a massive groundbreaking news event. Six kittens found in a North Perth bin by a guy looking for beer.

Me being me I find the beer angle amusing but it’s not really news worthy so it gets the flick. Not the story but just the beer angle.

And then just like that it’s home time.