The World News Desk by Hannah Murphy

Tuesday 16 February 2010

Monday morning, I arrived at the FT with two large bags. It wasn't the intention to arrive for the long-term although I've become rather enamoured with the moneyless system of lunching, the rivers views and free coffee. My reason for carrying large bags into the FT offices was that I have been 'on the road', a euphemistic term for 'gainfully employed in television'. My background is making current affairs documentaries. This is obviously an entirely different gig and as I stood in the FT foyer, it dawned on me, three rolls of gaffer tape, a screw-driver, lens cleaner and a head torch weren't going to be helpful.

Inductions, tours and straight into the morning conference. I was asked the question 'where are you from?' by the editor 30 minutes into my first day and not sure how to answer with any gusto, I promptly said 'Channel 4 or I was' and stared at my shoes - the confusion of a freelancer.
Today begins my third week on the World News Desk. Before I started I had visions of a frenetic office buzzing, glowing, ringing. That is exactly what I encountered, an exciting freneticism, a rare breed of freneticism, freneticism with poise.

Coming from television, I always had the luxury to digest and investigate a story for several months. Here, the stories are pinging off the walls faster than I can blink. Slowly, I'm beginning to find my feet in world events. I can talk at length about the seal population and GDP of Nunavut and the going rate for an ox and plough in Juba (100,000 SDD). I'm learning the style in which the FT is bound together and trying to bend my 'human story' leaning towards world economics and international relations - an excellent discipline and one as hearty as Guinness.

I need to eat more oily fish and listen to vast quantities of classical music to expand my brain so over the next two weeks I can improve on the following:
--collecting and processing data/statistics as part of a story package
--writing exhilarating copy at great speed
--produce headlines that do not require amendment
--my fear of publishing directly online
--the poise


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was the application process like?

24 May 2010 at 03:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How has working with FT affected your writing so far?

24 May 2010 at 13:05  

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