Today was my final day at Quest Newspapers North Lakes.

I worked on a 50th wedding anniversary story in the morning. It was such a romantic tale and the happy couple were as in love now as they were when they first laid eyes on each other. The husband said, “She was beautiful. She still is. Now she’s embarrassed.” That’s one of the rewarding aspects of local news. Hearing stories that capture the essence and beauty of human nature.

At 10 I did the interview with the Divisional Editor, Nick Crockford. It was a very informative and insightful discussion and I learned a lot about community newspapers and their importance. I got photographs of Nick and Jamie (the news editor) and Jamie got photos of me.

They then had a Morning Tea for one of the Advertising staff members. Advertising forms a vital component of local newspapers so the advertising staff are truly worth their weight in gold.

In the afternoon I finished up a few stories and did one final interview and wrote up the story.
I’m started to feel more confident but I haven’t quite mastered the art of being a natural communicator. That’s the core of good journalism. Having an innate ability to have a chat and get useful information in a relaxed yet purposeful way.

At 4 I thanked everyone for their help and guidance. I gave them a card and biccies. They love culinary treats at that newsroom and there is another morning tea next Friday for Amelia’s farewell. She is moving to the Springwood office. So they’ll enjoy the treats.

While I have questioned if journalism really is a career for me since June, I am utterly convinced that we need genuine, grassroots journalism, now more than ever. More importantly, we need quality, independent reporting from committed, diligent and capable journalists with the best interests of the community at heart, untainted by vested interests, corporate interests, cronyism, favouritism and ideologically driven battiness. I’m sorry, but I can’t think of another word for the media coverage of blackouts in SA in the last 24 hours. We have been having blackouts for decades during severe weather. The coverage recently is a far cry from good journalism. Sadly, the people who know better say nothing, to our great shame. Until journalism starts reporting accurately, fairly and objectively, and stops distorting reality to gain political advantage, the industry will suffer and then democracy and freedom suffers. Let’s not forget, we are a free country. Journalism should reflect that freedom, lest we become slaves to somebody else’s ideologically driven obsession and flawed perspective.

In my opinion, this is why Social Media is so successful. The readership want authentic, independent reporting from trustworthy and credible sources. If I am fortunate enough to find a journalism job, I hope it is with a local paper or an international publication. After all, journalism is all about the people and reflecting their stories without fear or favour.

As an aside, I might take this opportunity to commend The Advertiser who managed to still put out a paper the day after the blackout in South Australia. A phenomenal effort and true commitment!

That is another important element of good journalism and a good newspaper: PASSION.

PS. I will write up my final blog featuring the interview with Mr Nick Crockford in the coming days when I’m not quite so exhausted and sore in my neck and back! My body definitely isn’t used to that much time in front of a computer.

PPS. I will always treasure this week where I got to experience being a real journalist. It was wonderful to be living the dream, finally! Just goes to show, never give up! Persistence, perseverance and discipline pays off eventually.

Thank you to those who have been reading my entries in the blog. I appreciate it.