Sunday, 27 September 2009

NDJ Day One - The Art of Excitement. .

Whenever I go on work experience, why is there always a McDonald's in the near vicinity? I did not plan this, account for this or even welcome this, let's just leave it to say there was a bad experience at my last work placement due to a bad encounter with a typical fast food employee and a wanted number. Yet regardless of yesteryears horrors, I set out, with perhaps not the most promising start, to a week of what is most likely to be making tea, with perhaps the occasional variation of coffee. After finally navigating my way around the unhelpful and clueless roads which make up our countrie's industrial estates I finally managed to find the building, I was pleased to note you could most certainly not catch any glimpse of those famous golden arches, and even better not even a trace smell of any deep fried "delights" that may be on offer.

As per usual we'd managed to get first day timing down to a tee - you leave way to early, just in case the world collapses, and end up sitting out side for half an hour, not only looking like a world class idiot, but slowly falling prey to those creeping nerves you never knew existed. When it finally was time to make my grand entrance I was greeted by a friendly woman who gave me the tour of the building, being the local paper offices the big tour didn't last long, but I was quite pleased to find I had been allocated a fully functioning work desk, the height of technology with a phone, swivel chair, PC and even my own rubbish bin.

No sooner had I sat down, just getting comfy it my high back, fully adjustable swivel chair, a young looking woman rushed over saying she was just about to go out to follow up an incident to which the fire brigade had been called to last night - did I want to tag along? Now don't get me wrong. . I wasn't expecting the reporters lounged around all day but I wasn't expecting The Times either. So off we trundle in a small little car which appeared to contain half of Next's shoe department on the floor to some obscure little walkway I've never even heard of. I'm sure you can imagine the fun we had with me trying to read a map ("Is this even the right way up?"). When we finally do arrive at our destination, we're awaited by a house drenched in water from a burst boiler - not quite the high end excitement I was expecting, and the busy family give us the boot in favour of yelling at council.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure the boiler incident was quite nasty but I didn't really think it was that exciting and newsworthy, or worth more than a mention. I guess that's my Journalism instincts shot considering it landed the front page head line on next weeks issue. Back at base I'm given my very own lead, a local boy is going to Uganda so I'm the one who's going to have to write it up and suchlike. Oh I do like it when people take you're name on the phone, thinking you're a real reporter! "Jemma Collins, North Devon Journal" . . I'm beginning to like this more and more. .

Moral Of The Day - Little things are apparently quite exciting in the world of local journalism. . ?

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

North Devon Journal Work Experience

It's somewhat hard to believe that a person you writes mildly humorous and exceedingly pointless blogs for fun has managed to land herself a place at the highly competitive local paper. I moan stupidly at things, not write sensible news reports! Nonetheless, a career somewhere in the realm of English sounds like a good plan to me and I'm never going to make any money blogging, so what is there to lose?

First things first if anyone's thinking of going into some kind of career, be it English or Neuro-Science (is that a legitimate branch of something?)then in the words of every teacher to ever grace the planet - get some work experience! It sounds like the same old same old really, and to be honest I was the same. I have to give up a week of my free time willingly to do a load of work I won't get paid for. Or just spend the week making tea. However, I can see the logic of it. Even if it does feel like you spent the week with your arm welded to the kettle you'll have been around and in the working environment, so you'll hopefully have more of an idea if this would be the job for you or whether you would rather physically weld yourself to the kettle.

Another thing I wasn't quite prepared for was the amount I'd have to do to get the place at work experience. Last time round, I went to some boring old firm, but I didn't organise a thing. This time it was all on my own back, but still I thought it'd be a case of send off my uber polished and stuffy letter and they'd welcome me in with open arms. It was not the case. After what must have been letter of the century I was asked to submit an essay on why I wanted to go into journalism, an overview of the paper (which I've never read in my life) and my improvements for it and a list as long as your arm of things I wished to gain from the experience. Since when did people take a tea lady so seriously? It's not like you can really compare the North Devon Journal to The Times. Is it? I certainly wasn't expecting such a long list, if any pre-requirements, but it seems places are very high in demand nowadays and a very serious affair. Hence the major essay writing.

However in true cartoon deer style I managed to gain a place, I'm hoping through sheer talent, but maybe sheer luck and hence the diary begins. I'm sure it'll be a valuable experience in some form, whatever ensues this week and I'm sure I'll mess something up so passing it on can invariably do no harm. . That said. If it could I'm sure I'd be the one to discover unwittingly how. .

One Year On. .

A hapless wanderer of the world wide web happens by chance to stumble across a strange and dormant website. . What is this site? Bambi Poppins. . So you may ask yourself, how could a girl who spends half her time writing about the last Eurovision skirt contest possibly get so busy she fails to write to her alternative little blog for over a year? I hope you're prepared for this. . Bambi has a real life just like you! Oh yes boys and girls. . You heard right. . Everyone's favourite cartoon deer got a little tied up in the ways of the world to be posting.

It sounds like the same old usual naff excuse you may come across on and old Joe Bloggs' site but I have actually been really busy with several English pursuits, including spending a week in Oxford University as well as currently being the work assistant girl at a local paper among other things. But all is not lost for the occasional cyber wanderer who may still stumble across me. .

After a year out I've finally come up with some fresh ideas of things to annoy me and I'll also be looking to pass on what I've learnt in my time out on how to get your foot up the ladder in several different forks of life, so overall we'll hopefully end up with a much more varied and interesting blog.

So for now guys