Markets Desk- Jun Evelyn Merrett

Friday, 27 August 2010

Scanning over the reams of unread analyst reports and notes in the Markets News inbox, I was desperate to find a great quote for the London Equities web report. I had little time to do this, as I soon learnt from my time at the FT, online journalism never rests. It was when I left ten reports in a row untouched because I knew which reports were useful, which weren’t, which analysts to look out for, and what all the codes meant and why, that I realised how far I had come after only a few days into my internship.

After spending three weeks on the Markets desk, I can confirm with a rigorous nod of the head that the internship at the FT is a hit-the-ground running experience. Only yesterday I was finding good, useable quotes from jargon and data packed sentences from analysts, updating the FTSE 100 report, over-writing the web reports, keeping an eye on what currencies were doing on the Reuters screen and writing a little piece for the currencies report for the next day’s newspaper. This was done all in the space of an hour, so you need to be able to cope with a heavy load, and prioritise accordingly.

Amongst many reasons why the FT internship stands out from all of my other placements and experiences at media organisations, it is a real learning experience. I’ve spent many weeks of my life sitting in a newsroom, feeling like a constant pest when I ask for the fifth time that day: “Is there anything you’d like me to do?” which would always result in the predicted “No…”.

However, at the FT you are guided by some of the best journalists in the industry. The guys on the Markets desk are all tremendously busy, but they make the time to show me and to help me and to show me again, with immense patience when I get it wrong the first time. It is a testament to them and the internship that I have learnt more about the markets in one day than I did in the weeks I panic-read all the dusty library books about the economy weeks before I started.

In this tough industry, the idea of being a ‘multi-media journalist’ is thrust upon us. We have to be as fluent in online as we are in print, and also know our way around a video camera. Yet not many places actually let you gain knowledge beyond emailing the editor your research. The production aspect remains an eternal mystery to most of us until we start our first jobs. Not at the FT. I am now confident in sub-editing, publishing online content, and adding Editor Choice links on Methode and Preditor- all this from someone who claims to be computer illiterate!

Interning at the FT has its obvious benefits. There is nothing like the feeling you get from being allowed to be a part (no matter how small) to such a prestigious newspaper, which is internationally renowned for its authority, accuracy and professionalism. You will get a crazy buzz when you are given your email address and you will feel honoured when you see your name in print and think of the dizzying amount of people who will read your words. You will feel privileged to be surrounded by such talented professionals, but be encouraged by their stories and their kindness.

But most of all, you will notice one random day in the middle of an ordinary task that has become routine, for example, when scanning analyst reports, how far you have come on your journey. You will notice a distinct change in yourself. A greater confidence, as those around you entrust you with important tasks. Improved writing or interviewing skills as constant practice under pressure makes perfect. And last but not least a true understanding of this industry and whether or not you should be a part of it.

This internship has been an invaluable experience and I am thoroughly looking forward in anticipation as to what the next two months have in store for me.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home