We are moving the intern blogging site

Friday 18 October 2013

Please visit the Editorial intern experiences 2013 page for latest posts from our interns. We are no longer updating this site as from today.

For more information about our internships visit our FT Internships page


FT Video Production Desk by Nicholas Barrett

Thursday 17 October 2013

In November 2012, I was lucky enough to find myself seated almost directly behind the chief economics writer for the Financial Times, Martin Wolf, on the night he was awarded the James Cameron award for journalism (normally reserved for embattled war correspondents – as the name suggests at City University London. My company at the time included a star struck ex-business correspondent from Milan. For years my Italian colleague had regarded Mr Wolf’s disillusion with government austerity and the omnipotence of the free-market as what separated the FT from that old Daily Telegraph trope of existing merely to ‘comfort the comfortable’.

Before accepting the award, Mr Wolf was approached by George Brock, head of the City journalism department. After a brief chat Mr Brock looked up, scrutinised a ragged row of students before looking directly at me. Pointing back to Mr Wolf he informed me that “this man wants to talk to you’’.

The columnist turned in his chair: “Are you a journalism student?”
 "You’re not expecting to make any money are you?”
 “Good, this is trade becoming a rich man’s hobby.”

The value of any newspaper office could easily be measured by circulations and prime location, where the FT has impressive bragging rights. Pearson however, is also in possession of another profound and valuable resource. There is not a room in One Southwark Bridge where intelligent, insightful and well-informed conversation cannot be found; and the ground floor edit room is no exception.

On a typical day various videos will arrive from either the studio or the outside world. The footage, along with an appropriate template must be extracted from the clutches of Final Cut Server. Once edited, a blurb and title must be written. This metadata is then sent to the presenter for “checking”. After approval is given, this copy is sent to “web-revise” who check the title and blurb for grammatical errors before returning to sender. As this is being done, relevant thumbnails have to be requested from Manila.

On the return of the corrected title, the corrected blurb and the correct thumbnail, the metadata must be meticulously entered into both “what page” and “topic plans”, each subsections of an online publishing tool called Méthode. As this being done the video must be returned to the Final Cut Server, where all the metadata must be  entered once again. This is followed by a visit to Brightcove.com where the thumbnails are added. (This can take any time between 40 seconds and 40 minutes) Once thumbnails are up, the video can be released into the wild. As can the intern.

There is now a growing realisation in the newsroom that video is going to play a big part in the future of online journalism. News, our editor informs us “is no longer the newspaper”. In this evolving world the video editor is the sub-editor, the camera operator is the reporter and they are often the same person. The printing press is now a towering server and we are its servants. If you’re expecting to make any money, don’t. If you’re expecting to make any news, to quote a David Byrne song: “Behold and love this giant.” 

FT Special Reports Desk by James Nickerson

Tuesday 24 September 2013

One of the reasons the Financial Times is the leading financial newspaper is because it breaks new stories combined with second-to-none analysis. Another reason why it stands out to me is because it is consistently accurate and does not deal in conjecture.

My experience at the FT showed that this commitment to quality journalism exists at all levels of the newspaper, from the morning conference and across all desks and all platforms.

An internship with the FT offers an insight into how a daily newspaper is produced in print and online dealing with a range of topics. The team in which I worked offered me fantastic guidance and opportunities, allowing me to learn a vast space in a short amount of time – as well as working in a welcoming and fun environment! 

FT Industry Desk by Daniella Tsar

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Opportunities are what the FT gives you. What is more important is that it gives you the opportunities you want. Speaking to other interns I have discovered that the things we are doing are very different. And that is perfect. After all we are different, our skills are different and our interests are different.

And that is where the FT internship’s strength lies. While some of the interns are doing more day-to-day reporting my role is more research based. While some interns work in teams or independently I am working a correspondent on the Industry desk. And I am working on one particular project.

On my first day I was welcomed and given a tour of the FT building. After that, the morning editorial meeting showed me the way a newspaper prioritises its content and the strong work ethic of the entire team. Then I started my work.

I have to look through a huge amount of documents quite forensically (some of them are 250 pages long!) but the rush of excitement I get when I see something that changes the entire view on the topic or find data buried deep within the pile of pages is worth it. At the FT precision is of the utmost importance. I have to do all this with the final project in mind, which includes interviews, structure of the article and content.

But, as I said, the FT gives you the opportunity to work on what you want which I realised the very first time I met the correspondent I am working with. She gave me flexibility and encouraged independence, but at the same time she made it clear that I could ask for help and advice on anything on my mind. What’s more she encouraged me to trust my instincts when I saw something that felt valuable or interesting. It was clear to me that the FT valued my experience here just as much as it valued my contribution.

The team on the Industry desk was incredibly helpful without probably realising it. While everybody was friendly and I know they were willing to allow me to steal the little time they had with my questions, the most valuable experience for me was observing the way they worked. I saw the way they cooperated with each other, talked to their sources and constructed their strategic approach to asking questions. It was incredibly useful to see how they approached their topics, how they gave advice to their colleagues, and shared their respective expertise with each other. I never thought a single person could be an expert in so many fields as the correspondents around me were.

Let me mention that today I started my third day at the FT. I guess that shows there is not one dull moment. Whatever happens in the future, this was one of the greatest decisions I have made.

FT Video Production by Audrey Jordon

Thursday 23 May 2013

The term "intern" conjures up images of flustered young men or women balancing several lattes in one hand and bunches of papers in the other. However, I found that this was a terrible misconception as soon as I entered the FT building. People were very helpful and welcoming and instantly made me feel at ease. I was taught that interns get ignored and handed the admin jobs as we only have several weeks in the company. Another misconception proven wrong! On my first day I learned a lot just by shadowing, things that can never be learned at any university. And ignored I was not. In fact dare I say it, I was treated as a colleague.

My internship started off with a quick tour of the building. Finally settling at a computer, I quickly learned that video editing is a meticulous and serious business. I was glad, as this is exactly what I was looking for. My day ended by being handed my log-ins and checking that they worked.

The next few days were about learning and to my excitement, on the fourth day I edited a video which was uploaded on the FT website. It was a brilliant experience to watch a video online that I had helped edit. A true accomplishment.

My fear before starting the internship was that I would not cope with the time pressure I assumed video journalism had, but it quickly vanished as soon as I started, having watched everyone calmly but efficiently get everything done.

Walking to and from the FT building isn't half bad either. Seeing the hustles and bustles of London can inspire a person to dream big and mine is one day to come back and work for the Financial Times.

FT Video Production by Tulay Kalyon

Wednesday 10 April 2013

As the author Betty Bender says: “Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile...initially scared me to death.” Surely that is the case with the Financial Times internship. As soon as my internship was confirmed, it scared me but I knew it was going to be a great experience.

Arriving at the reception, I was met by an Editorial Assistant, who provided me with information that I could not even think of asking. A tour was given of the building showing every single section, explaining what they do in detail. I was then taken to the editorial  conference meeting.

The meeting was led by Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times. After watching the meeting, I just felt high, high from being in the same room with Britain's top journalists and seeing how great minds work.

After the meeting I was taken to my section, the video unit. There I was welcomed by the video team, who were extremely professional and helpful. That's one of the most amazing things at the Financial Times. Everybody works hard yet they are relaxed. It's where Northern Europe an organisation skills meet Mediterranean cheerfulness perfectly finished off with British politeness.

The first day I was shadowing and was patiently explained every single thing they do on a daily basis. I was shown the studio, introduced to the presenters, showed software they use and how they produce the videos. But the internship at the Financial Times is not just about shadowing somebody, the first day they make you feel relaxed but after that they want an intern to feel confident and be able to produce some work. It is not like other places where they say "Oh, you are only here for a short time, you do not have to learn how to do that." At the Financial Times, they teach you everything they do, you can ask anything you want to learn.

After watching how everybody operates, then I was free to create my own material and make my own little contribution to the Financial Times which felt amazing. I published news, produced videos and did research. I did not panic as I always had somebody to ask when I had any hesitations. The video department is full of accommodating people.

After a week spent at the Financial Time's video unit, my manager asked me if I was happy. I was assured that if I had any problems or any suggestions, I should not hesitate to talk to him which made me feel at home. Every single person at the Financial Times from security to maintenance is extremely polite and ready to help at any time.

During past weeks, I have done many things and learnt a lot of useful skills that I can use in my professional journalism career. Calling these experiences an "internship" would be like calling a philosopher a life coach. The Financial Times is a great academy, an academy that makes Plato's academy look low-key.

FT World Desk by Julia Zhu

Thursday 28 February 2013

It’s my fourth week at the FT. With initial excitement and nervousness fading away, I’m gradually fitting into the working pace and feeling comfortable with the daily life here as an editorial intern.

I was assigned to the World News Desk where editors commission stories to our correspondents all over the world, edit and make the final call on which stories are going to the paper and which are going to the website. As of what I do on a daily basis, I help with reporting, editing, web production, graphics, slideshows, blogs and so much more. So far I’ve got two bylines on FT.com and two on the World blog. It all depends on the timing – we cannot control when news happens after all.

One thing I learned and am impressed since I came to the FT is the spirit of finding the truth. People here always say: “We are not the fastest, but we are always right.” One example would be when dozens of bodies were found in the Syrian city of Aleppo on January 29, my third day at the FT, when the Guardian had already put up more than 100 bodies were found, the editors at the FT insisted of waiting for a dependable direct source rather than a third party source which was used by everyone else. “We always confirm with our own correspondents and sources,” people here said.

The spirit is growing on me. Last Friday, I was working on a map showing countries affected by the horsemeat scandal. Apart from checking all the wires and news coverage, I contacted correspondents in different countries just to check if the supermarkets in their countries were influenced and making any moves. As a result, I discovered several countries that were not covered by any other media outlets are pulling products off the shelves in awake of the horsemeat scandal.

I spent hours on one single map that day, multiple edits and revisions and tweaks, the attention to details and the spirit of finding truth are among reasons why the FT is the best global business publication in the world.