The Friendly Face Behind the Finance by Amie Tsang

Monday 15 November 2010

Michael Moore reappeared earlier this year with a new film and a new reason to be angry. This time it was capitalism. A number of filmmakers have since followed in his footsteps, looking at how the banking system unraveled and left the economy struggling. Two years after the financial crisis, the time has come for filmmakers to present to the world their version of events.

They are not the only ones grappling with the economic climate and trying to give it a storyline. The FT Weekend Magazine had a makeover just before I started my internship and they too have been putting a human face to the statistics and numbers reported on in the newspaper.

The continuation between the daily newspaper and the weekend supplements means that from day to day I’ll be immersed in anything from scientific studies to divorce and torture law. If you didn’t read last week’s issue, torture and divorce are in separate articles - nobody was making that sort of judgment. That issue came out just days before Bush published his memoirs and defended waterboarding, so you are never in a void here.

Nonetheless, as much as the news varies, the overall mixture of features still brings surprising variety to my day. I didn’t expect to find myself ringing up music publishers in the US to find out about rights to Mos Def’s lyrics and I’ve spent an unprecedented amount of time discussing sports equipment and the ‘vajazzle’. (Admittedly, the latter was overspill from Life & Arts, where the Essex mockumentary has become an unlikely hot topic.)

You’ll have gathered from the other blog entries that FT internships aren’t based on your ability to make tea, but the magazine really has been very inclusive and not simply by using me as work overflow. Everyone who works on the magazine has made an effort to involve me in the process, from including me in a meeting so I know what I’m researching to giving me advice about pitching articles and fretting over where I am sitting.

So yes, there are numbers and a lot of them, from the box outs in the magazine to the derivatives in the FT Trading Room that I had the chance to learn about. But there are also narratives that run through the entire newspaper and interning at the FT Magazine is a chance to see the more human side of the publication, through the work of the people at the FT as well as the people themselves.


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