For my first placement I worked for a local newspaper in my home area called the Lynn news, which covers Kings Lynn & West Norfolk.
On my first day I was introduced to the members of the team and got told what my role would be whilst I was with the paper.
My tasks during the week were to mostly do the picture/caption stories which are little stories, mostly made up from charity fundraising and activities going on in the community, that the photographers go to take the pictures and we, as the journalists, find the stories
I was chucked into the deep end by having to ring people on my first day, I was given my own desk, computer and phone. Being shy I found ringing strangers intimating at first but once I had rang my first couple of people I soon got into the swing of it.
The office was busy on the first day as it was the day before the newspaper got published so it was deadline day.
Some of the work that I did on the first day made it into the Tuesday paper so I was pleased that my work was good enough to make it.
During the first week I was invited to follow one of the reporters to a press day of a completed English heritage restoration project, it was here I realised how important shorthand is to reporters as it is really hard to listen to what people are saying and write down at speed so you need shortcuts.
Out of my two weeks this is one of the projects I enjoyed the most as we were out of the office and spending time in a different environment which is why I wanted to go into journalism in the first place as I didn’t want to spend everyday doing the same thing. During the second week I had to do pretty much the same in my first and had to do picture caption stories, however I did get invited into editorial meetings to discuss what to put on the 3rd and 4th papers that were produced whilst I was working there. I also got to write bigger stories, one of my proudest achievements was a story that made page 3 of the paper about a man, who was extremely disabled, that cleaned up his local park for free. All I got to go from this story was a short press release and I had to do lot of phone calls and emails to try and track down the man and after a few days I managed to get an interview with him over the phone.
With two of my picture caption stories that I produced in the second week I had interview people in person as they came into the office, both of these people got quite emotional talking to me about their experiences which showed me that I had to show empathy as a journalist so people can open up to you more.
Over my time at the lynn news I did on average 8 stories a day which the news editor was pleased about saying “no one on work experience has ever got through the amount of things that you have got through” and that if they were looking for a junior reporter I was exactly what they were looking for. I was also invited back any time I wanted to do more work experience.
For my other work experience I wrote on my own beauty blog (www.rosieblogsbeauty.blogspot.com) I had set this up as a side project for me to do in my spare time this year but with my personal circumstances changing during the 201 process I wasn’t possible for me to complete another placement with a company.
I spent most of the beginning days planning what I wanted to write about. I decided that I mostly wanted to review different products and tell readers my thoughts on what I use and what I have recently brought, I also spent hours on the internet searching for different products I wanted to try that I hadn’t seen on any beauty blogs websites. This came at a huge financial cost to me as I had to buy lots of these products I wanted to test and have spent over £200 on various things. I then had to wait for things to come in the post before I could try them out. Once I got my products most of my days were spent testing things which was a fun part as I got to use things that I love as part of work which is one of my goals for a future career to love and care what I am writing about.
I then decided to try and post a new post every week, usually on a wednesday so that readers would know when to expect my posts, I learnt that the use of hashtags are very important in promoting work as people search these hashtags on the internet and then come across blogs and that is how you gain your readers.
I would of preferred to have gained another placement with a professional company but by blog writing it has allowed me to explore the area that I want to write in and to see what it takes to maintain your own blog and how much work goes into a blog post rather than just the writing.