Day three I attended my first news conference, run by deputy editor Anthony De Ceglie. I received a topic sheet and watched the COS’s and sub-editors report on what they were running for the day and future press.
Janet returned from a trip to Gosford and so I was pushed to the outer circle of desks with two young journos I’d met the day before, Sam McBeath and Derek Krusche. They’re both legends. Sam was working the 5pm to 1am shift, Derek the 2-10. I observed how they conducted themselves on the phone and how they researched stories with editorial oversight. The interaction of COS’s with their journos was quite thorough. Unsurprisingly, communication was key.
I was then sent out to Railway Square bus station after we had reports that an abnormal amount of bus drivers had called in crook. I was to get quotes from angry customers and meet photographer Jonathon Ng there but when I called he said there was not much going on and he was heading back to the office. I went anyway and canvassed the area, everyone seemed calm, then asked a half dozen people if they were waiting for a bus that was delayed or cancelled. All said no, if the service was late it was usual for Sydney buses. I read the next day the delays occurred at Town Hall.
I was offered a story about a bloke that had advertised in Sydney near the opera house to remove children from detainment on Nauru. I interviewed him and he had applied to advertise on the opera house but was rebuffed, in wake of the Everest horse race, this made it slightly newsworthy. It didn’t run in the end and it wasn’t much to talk about.
I was given the transcript of an embargoed speech by PM Scomo expected the next day in Townsville’s Lavarack barracks and was “tested” to find the most newsworthy aspects. It was a long speech but I passed the test. It was an infrastructure spending scheme in the south pacific to combat the billions china was pouring into the area. Markson had written about it the day before and it was to be linked to that. I wrote some copy that contained too many quotes and was reminded that it needed to ‘grab’ earlier.
When I read the copy of the person who wrote the published story on the speech I realised it was much better than what I had written. While I can recognise newsworthy points/quotes etc. I need to improve how it is presented.
That night I was working with Sam and Derek on finding a case study for a Remembrance Day story. We were to organise a photo shoot and story with a Gallipoli veteran’s descendants for the next day.
Derek was also covering the Boeing Lion Air fiasco, specifically the air traffic regulators sanctioning them. Sam was trying to line-up a contact from an Anzac Day story and I attempted to use my connections in the military. I was also buzzing around to all the RSL’s, and other veteran’s organisations. They were extremely helpful. I managed to line multiple people for use if need be but Sam managed to connect with his man who had three young boys that were perfect for the shoot. Sunday’s paper should be a beauty and a good commemoration to 100 years since the armistice of WWI also.
Ben told me I did “good work today,” which one of the boys said was high praise for a rookie scribe.