Start Date: 5/11/18
Angry Anderson’s son, Liam, had allegedly been murdered by Mathew Flame. This was what I stepped in to on my first day. Mark ‘Moz’ Morri was on the phone and talking to Matthew Dunne at the same time about the death and a lot more that was going on.
The amount of people on the phone was astounding and I soon realised that a third of my time was going to be spent getting information through phone calls.
I wasn’t assigned anything immediately as Rowan Hunnam, chief-of-staff and my patron saint, was in the news conference. So, when I heard Moz talking about the alleged murder of Liam Anderson and the possibility he went to a nightclub in Oxford Street the night of, I offered to make a phone call to a connection that knew everyone in that industry through gaming/hoteliers.
It came to no fruition because people were clammed up and we still didn’t know what club he was at, but it was worth a shot.
Rowan came out of news conference and she proposed sending me out onto Oxford St to cold-call the clubs to see if they had seen or had CCTV footage of Anderson and Flame on the night but it was a long shot and being a Monday, they were mostly closed so we opted against it.
Via an email I was moved on by Rowan to another story. Managing emails became essential; they come fast and thick and may have you juggling multiple stories.
I was to report on an updated released by NSW Police to an alleged baby formula theft ring. Recognising where news comes from was big for me. Police NSW media updates carries a lot of traffic; so too social media.
The original copy I wrote for the baby formula story was reworked by Rowan and appeared in the paper the next day. I may have got the substance right but the style was hers. This was a definite learning curve.
This seemed a big deal to me at the time, my byline in the paper, even though I knew it was a novelty and would wear off. There was work to be done.
I met the night chief-of-staff, Ben McClellan, who became my night boss for the week when Rowan left for the day. They crossed over around 5pm and Rowan would leave around 6pm.
Ben tasked me with scrawling social media to find persons of interest in the alleged Anderson murder. They were difficult to find. I spoke to the boss of the accused who was remorseful for speaking to the media the day before and closed up.
I was working the afternoon shift, 2-10pm, on the general news desk though, because I was green, I got out at 1030pm the first night as I was determined to finish writing copy.
In the days prior, and during work, I read the Daily Telegraph page to page to be across the stories in case I was asked to update a story and to learn the paper’s style. I found I learned style quicker when I was corrected by the chief-of-staff’s, and re-subbed copy.
I was seated at Janet Fife-Yeomans desk right near the centre of the newsroom and chief-of-staff. I recognised quickly that there is a hierarchical spiral outward in the news department.
In my booth are Sharri Markson and Crime Editor Mark “Moz” Morri. I was sitting across from Karen Raghavan, the news desk operator, or glue, as I liked to call her. She is both funny and a relaxing presence.
Learning the Telegraph’s style continued to prove difficult.