Day Two at The Daily Telegraph

My second Day at the Telegraph started with an email from Rowan asking me to work on an interesting story – Australia’s first female Senior Rabbi. I was sent a media release detailing the event that was to take place and contact details for the communications person at the North Shore Temple where Rabbi Nicole works.

I wrote my story from the media release and information I found on Rabbi Nicole online. I knew however what I had was lacking so I got in contact with the communication person from the temple and got the Rabbi’s email. I sent off five questions and was told I’d get a reply soon. Rowan Hunnam had a look over my questions and said they were good which showed me I was on the right track in that regard.

Most of this shift however was spent out of the office. The Tele had a story about a man who had impaled his leg on balcony furniture after falling from a unit block in Surry Hills. I was to speak to neighbours to see what people had heard on the day in question.

I arrived on the street and talked to people coming and going from the block. I also spoke to near-by shop owners. No one had much to say, some people didn’t even know the fall had happened.

I was joined later on by Sam McBeath and it was interesting watching how he interacted with people and the questions he had for them.

Chasing this story was a big lesson in persistence. No one had much to say about the fall and after a while you wonder if you are going to get any info. A lady approached the unit block and buzzed one of the units to be let in. She seemed to be a guest there so I thought there was no point in asking her about the incident.

I then decided I may as well take a shot – and I was rewarded with gold. The lady was a guest and didn’t know anything but when her friend who she was visiting came down to collect her I asked if she knew anything. It turns out she had photos and videos of the man being loaded into an ambulance as well as a good description of what she heard/saw. I was invited up to her apartment where I got her details and saw the videos/pics.

I gave the lady my email address and she sent me a link with the media she had on her phone. What a score! No other media reporting on the story had these vids/pics.

This night was also a learning experience as Sam gave me some great pointers on turning what I had into pars for a news story. Where as I thought I had very little, Sam showed me how to use what had been told to me by various people that night and turn it into pars that could ‘fill’ a story.