FT World Desk by Julia Zhu

Thursday, 28 February 2013

It’s my fourth week at the FT. With initial excitement and nervousness fading away, I’m gradually fitting into the working pace and feeling comfortable with the daily life here as an editorial intern.

I was assigned to the World News Desk where editors commission stories to our correspondents all over the world, edit and make the final call on which stories are going to the paper and which are going to the website. As of what I do on a daily basis, I help with reporting, editing, web production, graphics, slideshows, blogs and so much more. So far I’ve got two bylines on FT.com and two on the World blog. It all depends on the timing – we cannot control when news happens after all.

One thing I learned and am impressed since I came to the FT is the spirit of finding the truth. People here always say: “We are not the fastest, but we are always right.” One example would be when dozens of bodies were found in the Syrian city of Aleppo on January 29, my third day at the FT, when the Guardian had already put up more than 100 bodies were found, the editors at the FT insisted of waiting for a dependable direct source rather than a third party source which was used by everyone else. “We always confirm with our own correspondents and sources,” people here said.

The spirit is growing on me. Last Friday, I was working on a map showing countries affected by the horsemeat scandal. Apart from checking all the wires and news coverage, I contacted correspondents in different countries just to check if the supermarkets in their countries were influenced and making any moves. As a result, I discovered several countries that were not covered by any other media outlets are pulling products off the shelves in awake of the horsemeat scandal.

I spent hours on one single map that day, multiple edits and revisions and tweaks, the attention to details and the spirit of finding truth are among reasons why the FT is the best global business publication in the world.


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