I cannot explain how unusual my internship has been thus far.
5.30pm the Sunday before I hadn’t set foot inside The Morning Bulletin and I had encountered a multitude of unusual situations.
Firstly I was propositioned by a drunk at 8.30am. He just wanted my number, you know “in case he ever needed it”.
I wondered around my new home, and I casually bumped into the Rockhampton police station.
Flash-back to last night.
I was at my cousins wedding in Warrick. There was booze, laughs and flower girls running around with no underwear. Yes, it was a gathering of Claytons.
As the designated driver I was taking my slightly tipsy (cough) mother to an ATM. As I don’t know the area I ran through a stop sign…oopsy.
Mum: Did you see the stop sign?
Mum: Did you see the cop?
Mum: Their following you. Don’t freak out.
Me: Double shit.
Then the flashing red and blue.
Policeman: Did you see the stop sign?
Me: No, or I would have done what it told me.
Policeman: Did you see me?
Me: No, if I did I may have stopped.
After blowing zero and not producing my license the policeman very nicely informed me to go to the police station in Rockhampton to prove my identification.
And if I didn’t?
Well, they were going to have to storm into The Morning Bulletin and arrest me. I kid you not; he told me they would arrest me at my place of work. And that would be very “embarrasing”.
I should have waited it out, call his bluff but I didn’t want to risk it. I came here to report the news not be the cause of it…I think.
After proving I was Ryanna Clayton I checked into the Backpackers. Exhausted after only four hours of sleep, I needed a nap.
When I opened my room there was someone or something in my bed. Unsure what to do I just stood there a little stunned.
Uh, is there a squatter in my room?
Suddenly a frightful beast reared its head looking disheveled and cranky. Okay so it wasn’t a beast and ‘it’ wasn’t an ‘it’… she was the cleaner.
She was tired and decided to take a nap, in my bed. She apologized and then asked if she could stay a few more hours.
Sure, no problem.
Hours later I got moved to another room, without someone in my bed.
Later I got to meet Emma McBryde a former Jschooler. She works at The Morning Bulletin and she took me under her wing.
I quizzed her on what I should expect and heard a few ‘on the job’ stories. This talented gem has pissed the Rockhampton Mayor off so badly he refuses to speak to her.
Afterwards I was enjoying the sunset, reading the Saturday edition of The Bulletin (courtesy of Emma) when I noticed a special individual screaming unsavoury names at unsuspecting plant life.
Yes, I was off to a good start.
My first day at The Bulletin involved me following the court reporter Kerri-Anne Mesner. We had no idea what to expect that day. She’s only been in Rockhampton for about four weeks and this was an experience for her as well.
As we walk up to the courts we see news crews setting up out front.
Still not a clue what was happening we went inside and sussed it out.
We sat in on a sentencing, which is where the Win news reporter was sitting. After the court filled up to maximum capacity the media were shifted into the Jury section.
That’s when I noticed.
On the left the seats were filled with Aboriginal Australians and on the right, let’s just say they were the latter.
Oh boy, was my first instinct. This concern and excitement increased as three plain cloth policeman sat down.
The case: a 20-year-old man raped and murdered a frail, elderly 82-year-old woman.
There is no nice way of putting that, for details I wrote a story for Newsbytes. It was implied that the man used a fire hydrant, that he stole from her house, to uh… assault her.
It was confronting to say the least. He barely looked up throughout the entire proceeding. At one point he looked straight at me and part of me curled up and cried on the inside.
He received life in prison.
While he was taken away by police one of his family members (his aunt or mother, she couldn’t decide which she was) yelled out in court.
“Your a bloody hero! You took the blame for something you didn’t do! Your a hero and we love you for it,” she screamed.
This spectacle carried on outside.
My first day I got to assist with providing notes on the front page story. Kerri-Anne wanted me to come along with her today.
I think it was because she liked comparing notes and having someone to bounce ideas off. Very flattering.
It’s dark now and I’m still at the office. Emma strongly suggested I go home, I’m just around the corner but she really doesn’t want me walking at night.
Someone call me in 20 minutes to make sure I’m not dead.