Better late than never.
It was a public holiday so when I showed up everything was locked. I had a moment of panic when I thought maybe it was Sunday and I’d gotten all dressed up for nothing. I called the office and Brian Semmens, my Editor for the week, came and opened the door. The office at Ipswich is an old railway building that has been refurbished and it looks fantastic. I’d love to work in an office like this. The roof is all open so you can see the old rafters of the building.
Brian ran through the need to know stuff like fire exits and introduced me to (some) of the staff. Only the reporters were there because it’s a public holiday.
Brian explained to me that the Ipswich News is distributed on a Wednesday so things were going to be pretty hectic as they did their last minute prep. I got to help proofread the paper and I researched the What’s On section for next weeks edition and the School Holiday Guide which will go up on the website.
I got to go with Charley to St Ives shopping Centre at Goonda to do a vox pop. It was about the rat plague that they are having after the floods. It was much quicker to do a written one as opposed to the ones we do on camera in the mall. People don’t mind talking so much when you don’t have a microphone in their face. It only took 15 minutes to get them all done. And that was day one.
I got to proofread the last of the paper this morning. Doug and I went over each page and then Brian sends it off to get proof read and sub-edited again. It’s such an intense process, it makes me think I should be much more vigilant with my work.
I went with Charley again to St Peter Claver College at Dinmore to interview some students who are going an a trip to Samoa. Charley doesn’t know how to do shorthand and I can see how that is a disadvantage in the field. I also finished the school holiday guide today. Ipswich has so many activities for kids to do during school holidays. Sport and movies days and mural painting and day trips to the beach and all sorts of things.
Today we had the news meeting where Brian assigned Charley and Doug their tasks for the week. A lot of it was following up media releases like Desley has shown us how to do. Brian also announced there were some full times jobs going with Quest Property and asked me if I’d like to apply which was very generous of him. I went out with Charley on another story today about a local guy who is opening his own hair salon. Charley has given me some great advice in the time I’ve got to spend with her and she was kind enough to let me jump in and ask some questions during the interview. I was worried that maybe I was intruding but she was really happy to let me be involved. I got given a story to do on the local music scene and well as the Imperial Russian Ballet’s performance of ‘Festival of Russian Ballet’. I made a lot of calls to all sorts of people to get more contact numbers to talk to more people who I left messages for and was waiting for them to call back. Brian asked how I was going with the stories and I explained to him that I was waiting. He said that was the hardest part of the job, waiting for people and relying on them for your story. He said often you have to go to a plan C or even D because sometimes things just don’t work out. I wasn’t very busy in the afternoon so I decided to chase my own story idea. I had gotten it from Puppy Pre-School the week before and my own experience with Cookie, I wanted to write about the Parvovirus and vaccination rates in the local area. I called three vets and got interviews from two of them. I didn’t have time to write the story which was disappointing but I’ll do it tonight.
I handed in my Parvo story to Brian and he was happy that I had taken the initiative to use my spare time yesterday afternoon to do my own story. He read it and gave me some great feedback on how to tighten it up then showed me how to book a photographer to take a photo for my story.
I made some more calls to follow up the stories I’d been given but with no luck in getting in contact with anyone Brian said we would have to go to plan C. So i got to interview a guy called 8 Ball Aitken. He is a country and blues musician with a big red beard, interesting sort of fella and had a lot to say about the local music scene. I’ve found that sometimes the people you might avoid having a conversation with normally make for really great interview subjects. They have a lot to say and don’t need much prompting and they give you excellent quotes to use. So I wrote the story on 8 Ball Aitken and sent that through to Brian as well.
I got to help Doug write some of the sport section today. I converted a Mal Meninga media release into a short bit and interviewed the local netball team about their win on the weekend. I was fun to do something different, I haven’t had a chance to write anything about sport before. I was also invited to join the Ipswich News team at their tent at the Ipswich Cup on the weekend. It’ll be a great opportunity to network and should be a lot of fun.