German journalist works for the FT by Tino Andresen

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Having the possibility to work for the Financial Times in London for six weeks as an awardee of the George Weidenfeld Bursary is a unique opportunity for a German journalist. Usually, I work for the Handelsblatt, Germany’s leading business and financial daily.

I was not sure how I would be able both to write in English and to respect the deadlines. I should not have the answer on my first day. Instead of that, I had a very professional introduction, including IT training and the chance to observe the morning conference.

However, on the second day, I had my first try. Vislink, a secure telecommunications specialist, published an interim management statement on its third quarter. The FT’s emphasis on editing articles helped me. For this piece, I got a constructive and helpful feedback and the hint to care extremely about the lead sentence.

The rest of the week, I had to write a story per day that was published on the web. Working for the UK Companies desk, where I spent the first half of my internship, was very interesting. I got to know companies like Boomerang Plus, a Welsh independent television producer, Edinburgh-based Forth Ports, the UK’s only listed ports company, or Ultrasis, the interactive healthcare software maker.

Moreover, I had the possibility to contribute to the In depth “After the Berlin wall: Europe 20 years on” with a piece on a leading supplier of equipment and technology for the photovoltaic industry founded by three then East German scientists just a few months after the Wall came down.

For the second half, I will stay with the UK News desk. I am already curious how that will be. I hope to be able to offer one or two pieces proposed by myself as the topics seem to be more general than those of the UK Companies desk. For I did not known too much about companies based in the UK before to be honest.

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