Fine times: Christmas at the FT Weekend by Sonia Krylova

Thursday, 7 January 2010

The most exciting task of my internship was reporting on a modern day ‘Feed the 5,000’ in Trafalgar Square. This mass-scale freegan meal, organised by ‘Lunch with the FT’ guest Tristram Stuart, was raising the issue of wasteful consumption by serving asymmetric potatoes and imperfect bananas to surprised Londoners. Accompanied by a photographer, I was to capture their reactions through a Vox Pop.

The Financial Times is renowned for the quality and accuracy of its work, and this is reflected in the meticulous approach to every article. My first research task was to put a figure on the fortune of an art-collecting Ukrainian oligarch. I found the answer in the FT’s very own library, after a flick through Forbes’ List of Billionaires. I then had to chase an image of Pinchuk’s latest acquisition by calling Christie’s and Sotheby’s. “Hello, I’m from the FT”.

The office is generally calm, and if there is a commotion, it is probably the How To Spend It sale. This alone is sufficient to awaken the animal spirits of the hard-working journalists, who otherwise remain unfased by the fast-paced environment.

You can spot the FT Weekend by the stacks of books on the desks, sent from publishers hoping for a mention. As I imagined, working here comes with glamorous perks. Still, I did not expect to be sent to The Hospital, an arty private members’ club, to review a film in my first week.

Other interns you meet will confirm that working at the FT will supersede your expectations: most people leave with a by-line. The graduate trainees, too, praise the scheme as the best in the industry.

Applying for the internship is surprisingly simple and for anyone serious about journalism, it is definitely an opportunity too good to forego.


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