Warsash is a very strange name for a place. It's where we did our first real 'journalistic' work on the course, and despite my reservation it turned out to be quite a lot of fun. This is the first of what will probably be many 'unofficial' assingments given by our lecturer in the main print segment of the course; 200 words on the day itself with the emphasis on skills used rather than critical feedback."Warsash Breaking News Day
In an event such as the Breaking News Day – staged or otherwise – a journalist needs a large number of skills in order to achieve their goals of both gathering information and digesting and translating that information into a written article.
I found that while I felt reasonably prepared for the experience, there were a few things that I struggled with from a journalistic standpoint. Perhaps the most important was the note taking; although I felt like I was quite eloquent and thorough in my questioning, having to take multiple notes and develop a working timeline while on the site meant that my notes were disorganised. I didn’t always get down everything that I had asked.
Similarly although I felt like I asked the right questions to the right people and took down all I need to produce a cohesive story, I also felt that there were some interviewees that I didn’t spend enough time with, and some which I spent too much. I’m not sure how I could remedy that on a personal level, as a lot of the problem was that the moving between areas and people was rather regimented.
As such, I’ve learned that a journalist requires a large amount of organisation and ad-hoc planning skills alongside the ability to sort through that information. The thing that really surprised me – although now it seems rather obvious – was the pace of the event itself, and then getting back and having to get a grammatically correct and factually interesting and accurate story up when we got back to the news rooms.
Overall, the day was an enjoyable and eye opening experience and I hope to build on a lot of the things I felt I lacked while in field, as well as develop the things I believe I did well."
General feedback from Andy on this was quite good. Andy pointed towards my 'thoroughness and open self-analysis', which can't be a bad thing. I'm also 'honestly assessing [my] weaknesses' which is typical, though I wish I was nearly strong at assesing my strengths without sounding arrogant or doubting myself. Didn't quite keep this to 200 words, and that's something I really need to work on.