Is this what it’s like to be a journalist?

I went to get some work experience at the AAP (Australian Associated Press) today, and it was fantastic! I learnt a lot about how an agency like AAP operates, and how that is in many cases quite different to a traditional newsroom. IMG_8060

I met a family friend in the morning at their main offices in Rhodes and she gave me a tour around, explaining briefly what each part of the office did.

I also met the Editor, who was incredibly gracious and helpful in setting me up for the day. I started off chatting with him about how the newsroom works and how stories and images travel from creation to sharing on news websites and papers around Australia.

I then caught the train to the Sydney city newsroom (the day added to include six train/bus journeys!) to meet a finance reporter who was headed to an event at a hotel near Circular Quay, about businesses and cyber-security. There were two speakers – one from ANZ and the other from Telstra – who gave relatively quick and light talks about cyber-security and what the constant threat of attacks means for businesses. The journalist I was with told me we very well may not get a story out of this, but to listen out and see if we could find one. I was surprised at how light and vague the talks were (one was a twenty-minute talk saying that people need to collaborate better. Great! No info on how or specific ways, though), but as it was a sit-down lunch for the paying guests, the journos were given a (very nice) lunch as well! I took a few notes throughout the event in case we did need to write a story up on it. My first real reporter’s notebook!

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I found it interesting to see what made the news and what didn’t. It was common sense, and the journalist and editor made the decision following the lunch in a phone call, where they decided it didn’t offer anything really new or useful to readers.

Arriving back in the Sydney newsroom, I stayed shadowing the same journalist who showed me how the AAP journalists actually wrote copy (they use a program first used in 1998, but are changing this week! They are quite proud of that.) and finding information, in this case, for the closing wrap of the stock markets. I got put on a hot-desk and could see what all the journalists were publishing and how they were edited, etc. My first newsroom computer and phone! (Yes, this was a day of firsts..!)IMG_8059

After this, I headed back to the Rhodes office where I debriefed with the editor and said goodbye to a few other people. I learnt so much today and it was a very rewarding experience to be able to have. I know I’ve been told quite a few times ‘get into another industry while you still have a chance; journalism is dead.’ But if this is what journalism is like, well, I’m afraid I’m hooked.

Anthony

An anchorman’s awesome message for student journalists

Jorge Ramos is an anchorman in Miami. He recently addressed a group of university students, and gave a powerful and inspiring talk about the future of journalism and why the profession is more important than ever. 

You can read his full speech here.

Ask tough questions. Don’t be scared. There are no forbidden or silly questions. And your attitude should be that if you don’t ask that question to the President, to the mayor, to the Senator…no one else will. Don’t look around. It is your responsibility. That’s why you chose to be a journalist.

Australian soldier dies in ‘non-combat’ related incident in Afghanistan

BREAKING NEWS: An Australian Special Forces soldier has died in a ‘non-combat’ related incident in Afghanistan.

Stock photo: Australian soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan. SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons

Stock photo: Australian soldiers in Kabul, Afghanistan. SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons

Speaking from Canberra, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin told journalists that the soldier was found dead in a building used for administration purposes by the Australian Defence Force, in the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul. Continue reading

Solomon Islands Suffering from Diarrhoea Outbreak

This post was originally written for The Global Panorama, and has been uploaded here as part of a growing portfolio of work.

HONIARA — More than 18 people have been killed in the Solomon Islands, as a diarrhoea outbreak threatens the entire population of the small Pacific Island. Authorities warn that if immediate action is not taken, more lives will be lost. The outbreak has been blamed on the recent flooding of the Islands in April this year.

Continue reading