FT Weekend Magazine by Natasha Higgins

Thursday 31 March 2011

Along the edge of the river, through the cobbled streets of Bankside, up onto Southwark Bridge and in through the smart, dark revolving doors of the Financial Times.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by a lovely editorial assistant, who instantly made me feel at ease. She chatted freely asking me about my background and giving me useful information about the company before taking me on a comprehensive tour of the FT offices.

In the afternoon I was taken to the FT Weekend department and was given a desk, an FT email address and some research to do for a cover story. Research and proof reading are the order of my day but I’m also encouraged to pitch story ideas - it’s a real privilege to have the commissioning editors sitting a desk away from me. I have been invited to editorial meetings and gained invaluable insight into the sort of stories that make it into the magazine as well as how a weekend supplement is brought to fruition.

As an intern you’re expected to get stuck in. One of the highlights was going to Parliament on Budget Day and being a runner for the production team. On a lovely sunny day, I watched George Parker being interviewed about the cuts.

The energy of the magazine team, the views of London and the excitement that prevails, gives a snapshot of a highly desirable world to be involved in!

Special Reports by Matthew Pountney

Wednesday 23 March 2011

I reached the decision to become a journalist last year and the editorial internship with the Special Reports desk of the FT was my first experience of working for a newspaper. From the moment it began two weeks ago, I have enjoyed every moment and, I hope, made the most of this opportunity to understand how the FT operates.

After the tour on the first day, my new colleagues welcomed me to the team and I began work on some research and writing on the state of the UK economy. This was quite involved – some (basic) number crunching using government statistics, contacting banks for comments on the piece and locating strong facts to back these statements up.

The next few days allowed a mixture of editing, proofreading, fact checking, arranging interviews and identifying possible interviewees. I even went to track down some props for a photo-shoot for the front cover of a new report. Everything, including the more basic tasks, came with a salient lesson which will no doubt help me as I build my career in journalism.

In my second week, a real privilege: a piece I had written was published in a special report. I was very lucky to get something in print in the FT and I am grateful to the team for this chance.

There were moments when things were quiet, but these gave me time to learn more about the FT and the work of the Special Reports team. I also had the opportunity to talk to my colleagues – all of whom were journalists – and to obtain their career advice and shadow them in their day-to-day roles.

I would recommend this internship to anybody who is pondering a similar path. Self-starting was key but people at the FT were unfailingly welcoming and happy to help and to answer questions.