When I first walked through the door of the Redcliffe and Bayside Herald I was relieved that it did in fact look like a newspaper office. The previous week’s papers were piled up in every corner and story plans and ideas were scribbled over the white boards. It gave me a little tingle to be in a real newspaper office with its desk cubicles and dated computers and busy people. I introduced myself to the editor Kylie Knight, who came across as quiet, polite, and accommodating. Yet another relief. It seems we always imagine the worst, but preconceptions are always very quickly quashed.
I was introduced to the journalists I would be working with. To my surprise there were only three, girls and all around my age.
I was immediately set to work. I wrote up about five sports briefs, which to my delight were published word for word as I had written them. I enjoyed the writing style and the freedom of the language I could use. I certainly won’t shun an opportunity to write about sports again, despite my very limited knowledge in the field.
After sending them through to Kylie I was handed a pile of press releases which would be used as fillers throughout the paper. Again they were published without being torn apart, not that the word count was something to boast about.
When I had a spare moment I showed Kylie a few story ideas. Three of them had been covered or were under construction. She said she was happy for me to chase the others up. After calling around three of my ideas turned out to be flops so there was just one left. By Wednesday my story was taking shape. I was allowed to interview the Senior Sergeant for the Redcliffe traffic branch who gave me some great quotes. My story will hopefully be published next week.
As the week went on I was given more exciting tasks and was gaining more trust. It is a big responsibility to represent a paper with every phone call and email.
By Friday I had done all the little jobs for the girls and they were struggling to find me more work while I waited for phone calls. I had written up most of the fillers, the gig guide (which was quite a tedious and lengthy process) most of the sports section, business promo’s, a story for the real estate section, the school holiday guide, the business conference guide, and research for another real estate story. I was not able to get through in time after waiting around for a call which was unfortunate since it took a lot of time to get to that point.
I had been flat out all week, and I was happy with that. There is nothing worse than having to pretend to be busy.
Unfortunately Kylie was not in the office for most of my last day, so I was only able to thank her over the phone. All up I had a great week and learnt things only the real experience can offer.