Today I gained a glimpse into a few more aspects of the local newspaper business. I spent the first half hour working on a 60th Wedding Anniversary story that Emma Williams gave me. I spoke to the happy couple who are in their 80s and seemed taken aback that Quest were going to run the story even though the husband contacted the paper! I think the general public never really think they’re that important. But this is what hyper local news is all about. Community members’ achievements, experiences and exemplary performances and deeds.
So I had a good chat with Mr and Mrs Wagner and took notes. I have been writing in long-hand so keeping up has been challenging but I’m managing to get it all.
I also chatted with another contact for the breast cancer dragon boat story that I’d been working on yesterday. So the pieces are all coming together slowly, but surely! Like putting together a jig-jaw puzzle, except you’re not quite sure what the finished product will look like……
I then went out on the road with one of the reporters, Alan Quinney who has been a reporter for a number of years.
We went to a Travel Agency by the sea at Redcliffe who are one of the oldest travel agencies in Australia. The owners who formed a business partnership 18 years ago are now retiring. It was a fascinating story and it really highlighted how critical community relationships are for business and newspapers. Alan took notes in long-hand as he has long-forgotten shorthand after many years as a sub-editor. It was also a very relaxed, informal chat and was more like a conversation with friends.
We then went to “Try A Trade Day” at the Australian Trade College at Scarborough. The principal took us around to the various workshops and we saw the visiting students trying various trades from plumbing to beauty. I took photographs for the paper and JR202. I got names and ages and what they were doing. Photojournalism is an intricate and fascinating craft that I think takes time, patience and practice. Luckily everyone was very patient and helpful. It also helped having Alan there who reminded me to look through the viewfinder, rather than looking at the screen, and to use the flash. My ex-Husband has told me this about a thousand times so lucky he wasn’t there (“PUT on the FLASH!!!” Me: “How do I do that again…….?!”) Luckily Alan was much more patient and civil.
We headed back to the newsroom for a desperately needed coffee and lunch break at around 1.
The newsroom is very laidback and people lunch together and relax and flick through The Courier Mail. I chatted with Alan and Nick Crockford about the local newspapers and the changing times and how important local newspapers are to communities.
In the afternoon the reporters and editors had their meeting which I also attended. They discussed general business like staff changes and then they each discussed story ideas for each paper. The Quest North Lakes office publish several newspapers in the region. So each reporter discussed the stories they would be working on over the coming week.
After the meeting I worked on stories I began yesterday and the Trades College story.
It was an enjoyable day and once again I learned heaps and it was great to chat with the reporters and get their feedback and guidance. They really are a helpful, generous and kind group of people. It’s no wonder there is no shortage of stories as they are definitely in-tune with the events in the area and have mastered the art of establishing a rapport beautifully. It reminds me of the time I got to shine in the sun many years ago when I volunteered for Meals on Wheels. The paper rang me and interviewed me and took my photo. Except I honestly can’t remember which paper it was anymore! But it was pretty cool. But it’s even better to be the one writing the stories!!
PS. It just occurred to me that my Titles for these blogs are really boring! I will try to be creative tomorrow when I’m hopefully not quite so exhausted.