Day One at The Daily Telegraph

I started my internship at the Telegraph on a Monday at 2PM. I was originally supposed to work the 9-5 shift but seeing as how my Jschool colleague Robert Farnan’s internship was a success doing the afternoon/night shift it was decided I would do the same.

The first two hours were slow and I was told to read that days paper so I could be up to date on what was in there.

I got my first job at 4:15PM when Rowan Hunnam (Chief of Staff at the Telegraph) emailed me an embargoed media release concerning an event that was taking place later that night.

The NSW Australian of the Year awards were taking place in Sydney and the media release detailed the winners of each award.

Seeing as how the embargo was in place until 7:20PM I had a few hours to do my work. I had to pick out the most newsworthy winners and focus the story on them. I was also told to include the basics of the event such as what it was, who was hosting and when the announcements were made.

I did my research on the winners and decided to focus on the NSW Australian of the Year award winner Kurt Fearnley and the NSW Young Australian of the Year Jarrod Wheatley.

It wasn’t a difficult story to write but I thought it was a bit dull as I couldn’t contact the winners due to the embargo – they didn’t even know they had won their awards.

Ben McClellan (Chief of Staff working the night shift) wanted me to call the media person listed on the media release to confirm that 7:20PM would be the earliest time we could run with the story.

This was my first lesson in always being persistent/chasing things up as the media person said the event would be streamed live on Facebook – I would be able to listen to the speeches and get quotes from the winners.

I recorded the speeches on my phone, got the best quotes from the two winners I was highlighting in my story and emailed the finished story to Ben. He gave me some pointers with what I had written (not to start sentences with someones age and not worrying about including someones title such as AO) but was happy with it overall.

It was a big buzz and a strange feeling seeing my byline on the Telegraph’s website – even stranger seeing it in print in the next days paper!

The night ended with the office watching Four Corners. It was a report into the internal blow up at the ABC that left them without a Managing Director or Chair. The reaction of those in the office when Michelle Guthrie made allegations of bad behaviour against Justin Milne was palpable. There was no doubt what the key news-point of the hour-long program would be and Jack Houghton’s report of the show was on the next day’s front page.