Okay, so I was at the Queensland Times in Ipswich for a week from the 2-6 September.
I walked into the office on Monday, sat down at my desk and began reading Saturday’s paper. After being summoned to the morning news conference by Brigid, the news director, I was partnered with Geoff for the day. I followed Geoff to the Magistrates Court where I furiously took notes. After spending the day at court, I wrote up some briefs (one of which was published in the following day’s paper) then was assigned to do the daily vox pop.
I was warned that, being on work experience, I would be doing the vox pop nearly every day. So it was.
Tuesday had a different vibe to it, given I pitched story ideas at the news conference and was pretty much left to my own devices. I was assigned a couple of stories as well. For example, we ran a story on this couple that had their 60th wedding anniversary. So I jumped in the car with Dave (photographer) and visited them, asked some questions and took some snaps. Stuff like that was good interviewing experience, and the photographers were quite helpful.
I followed up my own stories over the next few days, and was pretty flat out doing interviews, both on the phone and in person. I got my first by-line in the paper on Wednesday (I think) for a story I did on a school fete. A few more followed in the paper on Thursday and Friday, and I had a full page lead in Saturday’s paper as well.
Stewart (the editor) and Brigid complimented my work, and I think they appreciated having someone who was happy to do anything, even if it was a 25-person vox pop. Brigid was impressed by the amount of story ideas I came to news conferences with, and the quality of the ideas.
During my time at the QT, I felt like I had adequate support from other reporters and Brigid, but was also given license to do my own thing. I never felt like I was babysat, but didn’t feel like I was left out either.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience, and feel like I can now hold my own as a real reporter.