It’s only my first day at the Courier Mail and I already feel I am acquainted with the pressures of journalism. I met Clare Armstrong, whom I would be working with, and she seemed a little flustered and stressed. The Courier Mail runs an annual ‘Pride of Australia’ series devoted to highlighting the exploits of ‘everyday heroes’ and running four times a week for four weeks. That’s 16 profiles needed, and Clare had maybe 7. So it was straight into research for me, no time for getting-to-know-you.
At 11am we were off to Police Headquarters to cover a media conference. We were late and would need to catch the online stream. While we were in the city we took the opportunity to do a vox pop for the daily ‘Word on the Street’ article. Thanks to previous experience doing vox pops for Jschool I felt pretty comfortable in this environment. It was while we were out of the office that Clare and I really started chatting and getting to know each other. She said other interns hated doing vox pops, that they wanted to do real journalism, but she made the interesting point that “all journalism is a vox pop, you approach random people, try and gain their trust, and ask them questions.”
When we were finished in the city it was back to the office to put the vox pop together as well as the article from the police media conference earlier in the day. Clare trusted me to write it which resulted in my first published article in the Courier Mail!
Clare had a number of articles to write and phone calls to make so I spent the rest of the day spent researching potential Pride of Australia nominees, checking with the Bureau of Meteorology for weather updates and monitoring Twitter for traffic or weather related stories. It was a hectic day. After 8 hours I was exhausted. Poor Clare had started at 6am and was still there when I left at 6pm, a full 12 hours. That is apparently normal, and expected. The pace and hectic nature of the newsroom was probably the biggest eye-opener on day one. But also exciting, and I can’t wait until tomorrow.