Working for the ‘Evil Empire’ part 2

As all good things must come to an end, so must my work experience placement at the Sunday Times. It’s been an interesting two weeks and I’ve definitely picked up some very useful skills, but very little in the way of facetime with anyone other than those working on my desk. Counterproductive? Possibly.

On the one hand, I’ve established myself as a reliable and hard worker who can turn his hand to any of the type of articles that the section needs. On the other hand, virtually noone away from my old desk knows my name. (except for the columnist who threw a tantrum because I emailed her details of an interview request from the BBC instead of phoning her mobile and telling her about it, bearing in mind the columnist hadn’t even introduced herself and I only had the company address book – which doesn’t include phone numbers – to work with)

All said and done, I can still add “work experience at the Sunday Times” to my CV so I’m not going to sweat about it too much!

Stuff wot I learnt:

  • Sentences must be no longer than 27 words (random but important)
  • People-locating skills, in conjunction with commercial locating services
  • Preparing cuts
  • Importance of regularly updating articles about breaking stories
  • Researching – and writing – appropriate content for regular features
  • Transcribing interviews (the most uninspiring, if necessary, task I’ve done over the fortnight)
  • Contacting agencies and publishers to sort out interview opportunities and permission to publish their content
  • How to successfully deal with press offices

I’ve learned how office-based journalism works, which is cool, so now I want to find out how local news works. Time to approach the local paper!


About Gaz Corfield

B2B reporter, editor, potential entrepreneur, consumer of quality beers.
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