Day Four at The Daily Telegraph

My fourth day at The Tele began with a news meeting. It was interesting to see all the writers from different sections of the paper (business, sport, celebrity e.t.c) come together and give an update to the editors and chief’s of staff on the stories that they were working on and what would be in the next day’s paper.

Not long after the meeting I went to work on a story with a subject matter I never thought I’d write about – Barbie dolls. (Never ceases to amaze me what can be turned into a news story). A British MP had complained about a popular Barbie toy set as the theme was Barbie at work in a kitchen wearing pink.

Chief of staff Rowan Hunnam wanted quotes from social commentators as well as Mum’s and Dad’s on the issue.

I did some quick research and found where the toy was for sale (it goes for 60 to 70 bucks by the way!) and decided to head to Bondi instead of the city stores as I thought I’d get more parents who I could talk to there.

I hopped on my motorcycle and rode to Westfield at Bondi. I went into Target and located the Barbie set. I wasn’t sure how to approach people as it was a bit of an odd sight – a bearded 27 year old wearing a leather motorcycle jacket standing in the kids section of Target holding a Barbie!

Luckily enough I came across a Dad from Paddington and a Mum on holiday from Romania who were happy to chat and gave me some great quotes to work with.

Rowan gave me a call while I was at Bondi to tell me they had arranged for a Mum in Randwick to have a chat to me. A photographer from the paper was on his way and I was to meet him there so off I went on my bike down the road to get some more quotes.

I arrived at the house and introduced myself to mother of three Lisa Bristow. The interview was quick enough but there was a problem – the photographer needed the Barbie set in order to get some photos of Lisa’s four year old daughter Holly playing with the toy.

Apparently one was on the way courtesy of another Telegraph employee but if I had known it was needed I could have purchased it myself when I was at Bondi. Either way the delay gave me more time to file my story back to journo Derrick Krusche who was in the office getting quotes from academics.

Lisa kindly let me use her study room so I got my laptop out and transcribed what she had given me. I emailed my pars to Derrick and decided to hang around to watch the photographer do his thing for a few minutes. I’m glad I did as I got to see a very thorough professional at work.

The story on Barbie by Derrick and myself got a run in the next day’s paper.