Mid-term report, by Daniel Igra

Friday 22 May 2009

I’ve spent a sizeable chunk of the past year doing work experience as part of my postgrad journalism studies. Some of it has been fairly average – on occasions my tea-making and sandwich-buying abilities have developed more than my reporting. Some of it has been good. My time at the FT ranks at the very top.

On my first morning I was given a tour of the offices, taken to morning conference – where the editor picked out the highlights and lowlights of the day’s paper and heard pitches from desk editors for the following day’s – before being introduced to everyone on the world desk, where I was to be stationed for the next six weeks.

Attention is paid to interns here. By the same token they are expected to push themselves and make sure they’re not forgotten about.

I’m into week four of my time now and am starting to feel like a proper member of the team. I’m given real responsibility helping edit web copy and publish stories online. This week I’ve stood in for the desk researcher, selecting briefs for the newspaper (which vary according to each regional edition) and liaising with the stats team to build charts to accompany pieces on anything from Taiwanese GDP to the European Parliament elections. I go to the world team’s huddle every morning, a mini version of the morning conference but with a few more jokes. And I’m involved as the pace quickens when deadlines start to loom in the afternoon.

One of the best parts about my time at the FT is that I don't really have a "day in the life". I do new things every day. And fortunately very little tea-making and sandwich-buying.


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