Day Five at The Daily Telegraph
My final day started with another quirky story – Sydney’s at times confusing parking signs. I was sent out to see if I could get 5 or 6 good examples of parking signs that can be confusing (due to damage or the fact there can be 5 or 6 signs all on the one pole). I thought that they might be a little difficult to come across – I thought wrong. After 10 minutes on my motorcycle I had some really good examples of some really bad signs.
I wasn’t told to get quotes but I spoke to two people anyway (one a former parking ranger) to get their thoughts on the signs, if they found them confusing e.t.c.
Even though I found some good examples of poor signage pretty quickly it still took me 2 hours to get back to the office as I went from the city to Randwick and Moore Park. Sydney’s much maligned light rail project has caused traffic chaos in these areas and I thought it would be a nice tie in to my story.
This effort proved fruitless however. Due to the works being conducted so many of the streets have become one big clearway – no parking signs as there is no parking allowed!
Back at the office I wrote my story and sent it through. Jack Houghton (who was in the role of Chief of Staff for the night) gave me some great feedback and pointers on what I had wrote. From sharpening up the intro and using the first three pars well to using less euphemisms and inserting quotes earlier, he really showed me what could be done to improve a story.
I took onboard what he said and rewrote my story. We went over it again for a few more pointers before it was submitted.
I learned a lot from my time at the Telegraph. Seeing how the newsroom ran and what was required to put a story together was a great learning experience. Being out of the office was what I enjoyed most however.
So much of what comes in to the newsroom is from a media release and you can build a story from calling people and internet research at your desk.
You can’t beat being out on the street chasing a story however. Talking to people as I did at the Surry Hills unit block (Day Two) or at Westfield Bondi (Day Four) amongst other out of office trips I did gives you a great feel for what is going on, how people feel about an issue or what has happened before that you need to find out about.