What an interesting time to be a journalist in a Fairfax newsroom! My week at The Age has been different to say the last and it couldn’t contrast more to the small country newsroom I was in during June.
Day 1 began with a tour of the two floors of the seven floor building that contain editorial staff. The floor I was given a desk on comprises sport, business, foreign, politics, crime, online, breaking, investigative, fashion, arts, education and general news. (Thats kind of everything, right?)
Wrong. A floor up houses the Sunday Age team, as well as the team who out together the liftouts, mags and books The Age is associated with (ie The Age Good Food Guide).
Sadly being shown around on my first day my supervisor Colin was upfront about the empty desks littered throughout the two floors, particularly within the Sunday Age section.
He explained that the two would no longer have seperate teams but everyone would write for both the weekly and Sunday editions.
Furthermore, online and digital media which is currently seperated from print was becoming one and the same in the coming weeks.
But not to get weighed down on the negatives, there was still lots happening (still a newspaper to get out everyday!) and my favourite part so far has been sitting in on the twice daily news conferences.
Attended by each sections editor or key writer plus the layout team and picture editors news confernces generally began by politely going through the lists of stories planned for the day, but more often then not turned into robust, lively and wonderfully entertaining discussions!
Debates about story quality, accuarcy plus the all important question (is this a page 3 or a page 5?) all provided valuable insight into the working newsroom of a major paper.
They were also not afraid to pick up that days paper and comment on what was done well and what needed to be better.
On Wednesday I went along to the huge teachers strike which stopped Melbournes CBD, along with three other wonderful journos (plus doxens from other organizations).
It was wonderful to be in the thick of it, and flash my impressive, although temp, press pass to get to the front.
While I couldn’t get anything published for the paper with it already being so well covered by their experts I relished the experience to be there first hand.
So thats me by Thursday. Nothing published yet, and as Barclay commented that tricky thing in a huge newsroom is their experts know so much and every story you have they are already onto!
But the experience is incredible, as is my celeb spotting!!
Although, as my rather unimpressed friend commented “oh, journalist celebs, not real people celebs.”
Yep, lots of journo celebs 🙂