FT Video Production by Alessia Giustiniano

Monday 25 June 2012

After 10 years working in financial markets in London, the FT has become a pivotal part of my breakfast routine, almost beating the iconic slice of toast with Marmite.

Whilst attending my Master degree in Media in New York, it was the only subscription I could not do without. For the whole four years of my Manhattan life, it was delivered to my door, together with a monthly supply of the yeasty spread. Both these items have certainly contributed to preserve my adoptive Brit soul from the attacks of American culture.

Back in London, with my new hat of financial video journalist wannabe, my first thought was to check the FT careers website for any opportunity.

I was lucky to spot the ad for this internship few hours before the deadline, and here I am, few weeks later, trying to absorb as much “pinkness” as possible before the end of the month.

The company culture is so very British, polite and calm but very productive. The greatest asset here is certainly the presence of so many amazing financial journalists. Coming from many years in banking, it is exciting to meet in the corridors the likes of Martin Wolf, Gillian Tett and everyone in the Lex team, it almost feels like being allowed back-stage at some big rock band gig.

The video team is very active, they produce up to 5 pieces a day for the website, with topics ranging across the whole FT coverage spectrum.

Everything has been extremely interesting so far, the approach has been very hands-on as I am working on a different video piece every day. This is unusual for an internship, where you generally get to be buried in boring admin tasks for the majority of the time.

Because the FT focus is on analysis rather than newscast, the video pieces are like small documentaries. I have just finished editing a piece on inhabited islands disputed between Japan and China and I am about to move on to Kenya’s geothermal explorations and Greek elections! Everyone in the team is extremely helpful and kind about showing me the intricate world of on line video production. I was surprised to see that they also value my input and my ideas and I am certainly making the most of all the great facilities (including a fully geared recording studio and a radio room). Anyone interested in financial video journalism will find this internship absolutely perfect.

FT Life & Arts by Mika Ross-Southall

Tuesday 12 June 2012

When I was pre-GCSE, the pink newsprint of the Weekend FT and the colour-saturated photographs from the How To Spend It magazine had an enthralling glow.  I snipped at beach scenes and tore chunks of newspaper into my own Richard Hamilton-style homework title pages and birthday card collages.  I even stored parts of the destruction in a clear plastic folder to use later.

I am not being entirely honest – this process of FT-orientated demolition still occurs.  But whilst I pour over the visuals of the paper and supplements and wonder what I can create, the writing is always uppermost in my mind.  As I quickly realised during my first week as an intern to the editor of the Life& Arts section, the publication’s content is already a satisfying collage in itself even before my scissors loom large. 

Every article goes through a surprising journey.  One of the most interesting meetings I attended was the Life & Arts editors’ discussion about the features for the weeks ahead.  Decisions about which articles to include, and where and when they should be placed in the section are a skilful, choreographic process.  I was excited to see a meaty list of famous names in the cultural world being put forward or dismissed for future front pages, Diary articles or Lunches with the FT.  And I discovered the importance of how each potential article interplays with the whole section to create a collage of culture.  I have not just been an observer in the journey of this process; I have most enjoyed the feeling that in a small way I contribute to the weekly publication.  Amongst various other jobs, I have done a few pieces of writing, devised and conducted interviews and proof read articles.  Every word, every fact in each article is meticulously checked – a gratifying and curiously fruitful duty that I was given from the outset.  Did you know George RR Martin began his fiction-writing career fantasising about the tumultuous progeny of dime store turtles?  I had no idea that you were once able to buy live turtles in a plastic bowl from American Woolworths’. 

The internship firmly confirms my enjoyment of writing cultural journalism and my eyes are also now wide open to the stimulation of being involved in the editorial process.  The finished Life & Arts section continues to ignite my imagination, but I have discovered the exclusive excitement of the collage behind each article and each week’s publication.

FT beyondbrics by Peter Vanham

Without any exaggeration: everyday when I go home from my internship, I’m sad yet another working day at the FT has passed. I really do like working here a lot.

Why am I so positive about my internship at the FT? It’s because I work in a great team, and get the chance to write about tremendously interesting topics. I write for ‘beyondbrics’, the FT’s emerging markets desk, and can recommend such an internship to any aspiring journalist in this field.

My day start everyday around 8:30 AM – if the underground works properly, that is – when I scan the day’s print newspaper for interesting articles on emerging market events and trends. I also look out for noteworthy articles from elsewhere on the web, and then write a post of ‘Further Reading’ for our blog’s readers.

At around 11AM, I write a second blog post, called ‘New York Headlines’. As the name predicts, post is a wrap-up of all important news events for the New York readers of our sites – for who the day start 5 hours later.

In the afternoon, I either do research for my own pieces for beyondbrics, edit pieces of other contributors, or – most of the times - both.

In just one week at the FT, I published 3 own pieces, about topics as diverse as “virtual working in the Philippines”, “consumer spending in Africa”, and “mobile banking in India”.

It is great to see that I often get to propose my own story ideas, and get quite some credit from the colleagues. My first piece was even mentioned as an “editorial highlight of the week” by the FT’s editor Lionel Barber.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, is the great atmosphere in which I get to work at the FT. My bosses are in the first place my colleagues, and they both guide me and support me in all my initiatives; the staff members have been very welcoming and continuously supportive.

My day usually ends about 6-6:30PM, but I usually stay around longer. Not because I have to – my editor tries to send me home each time – but because I’m really into the work I do here.

That’s what life is like in the day of on FT intern.