“You’re a rock star, Paul,” said reporter Paul to Mayor Paul Pisasale as he answered questions from school children after today’s council meeting.

It’s day 2 at the QT, the oldest surviving provincial newspaper in Queensland, but for the Mayor, Ipswich is growing beyond its provincial roots.

During council, Mayor Paul has passed on a hot story to the media which will have reporter Paul busy for the rest of today. The Chief of Staff agreed that I could write up our other council story which should appear as Wednesday’s page 12 lead in the QT.

Before wrapping up for the day, I did vox pops with photographer Dave in the Ipswich city mall. One respondent, a sprightly “91-and-a-half-years old”, and his wife were celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary – and they had a fabulous tale to tell. At tomorrow’s news conference, I will have a special extra story to pitch.

As I was whisked off to council this morning before I could pitch stories, this afternoon I prepared background on a topical health story to pitch tomorrow. Seated at Andrew’s desk today, I had the police band for constant company – and I took note of “tips for reporting on emergency services” on his noticeboard.

Yesterday, I received a friendly welcome at the QT.

I was seated next to Kate (courts) who handed me the day’s issue of the QT, had me logged on in minutes, then seated in the news conference before I had time to blink thrice.

I spent the morning in magistrate’s court with Kate who passed on tips and introduced me to key people as opportunity permitted. During the break, I obtained the special headset for “hearing augmentation” as I have partial hereditary hearing loss. The headset makes a huge difference!

Whilst my story was accepted at the news conference, it died a death during the day – sufficient coverage by other reporter/s. Instead, I was given the task of accompanying photographer Sarah to Courcals of Mt Crosby – this weekend’s open garden – to obtain quotes from the owners. (Reminder to self, pick up copy of this week’s Ipswich Advertiser.)

Although I asked for more work to do, the rest of my first afternoon was quiet. In between sourcing story ideas, Kieran and I swapped information and thoughts on journalism courses and shorthand.

It’s great to know the APN reporters have been impressed with Jschool students and graduates, and are willing to offer their support this week.