So this week has been interesting to say the least…

From a slow start of twiddling thumbs and getting a grasp on the area, I’ve gotten through a couple stories in the paper this week, fluff and actual news.

One tip I’ve learnt is to keep calling. If it goes to voicemail, leave a message and keep calling. Find someone else that can get the info.

I’ve also discovered everyone wants a positive story, which isn’t always possible.

On Friday I went to the local water education park. It’s an initiative by the council and local water corporation, and was meant to have a restaurant as part of the park.

After the opening night, the popular restaurateur George Kotis was killed in a car accident on the Bruce Highway and the restaurant closed shortly after.

The new lessees of the canteen and restaurant are a lovely couple. They were also nervous about the interview, saying they wanted it positive and moving forward from the tragic history.

There has been an expectation in the community that they would open a restaurant there but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen with the economy.

I wrote the article, leading with the fact the restaurant wasn’t going ahead but offsetting it with the café opening. The deputy editor tore it to shreds and this is what it was printed as.

I wouldn’t say it’s exactly the positive story they were going for, and I’m unsure if they’ll be calling on Monday to abuse me.

Other stories I’ve gotten in was one on some young breakdancers that a local called up afterwards and booked them for a performance.

I’m in today (Sunday) covering a local fire and doing the police rounds from the weekend.

I’m trying to put a bit more flair and interest into my main stories, as the straight up news approach doesn’t seem to cut it.

My attempts seem to amuse the dep editor.

I also went to the police station today and lodged the incident of my car being smashed up, the one night I left it on the street because the car park was full (it was also the start of school holidays)

My front windscreen, right in front of the driver’s seat was smashed, plus the back windscreen and back right passenger window. Just for fun it seems.

Hervey Bay is a beautiful place. The coastline is stunning, the wildlife fascinating and the people are lovely. But they also have bikies (The Rebels), lots of low socio economic families and bored kids.

I’ve been told by the journalists here of the gang of youths that went around attacking sole males walking home at night for fun.

I grew up in Ipswich, the supposed backwater of south-east Queensland. It’s got nothing on this.

Other than all that, the experience has been good and it’s getting better as the dep editor becomes more comfortable with my abilities and throws me more stuff.

The arson story I think will be on the front page for tomorrow but prob not the main story as the photos are pretty sub-par (not so much the Maryborough photographer’s fault as it is that the shell of the house is intact and not charred up – very un-thrilling photo).

On another topic, The Hervey Bay photographer here was a charter boat operator before he switched to photo journalism around a year ago and just won a Clarion award for his series on “The Tragic Passing of George Kotis”

See here –

The chief reporter here won the clarion for young journalist of the year in 2007. She’s 23 and started at the Chronicle after high school.