• Jaded

    This isn’t a post I particularly want to write, but it’s one I need to write.

    I’m not really even sure how to phrase it, but here goes.

    I’m having doubts. I’m just feeling really disillusioned.

    I love writing. I like writing so much, I don’t even need to see my name in print – I don’t care if I get a byline.

    But it’s so not a good way to make a living. Like Penelope Trunk’s said, if you can find another way to get by than by writing, you should take it.

    So many of us went into journalism full of hopes and idealism. But once you learn more about the machine, it’s pretty near impossible to retain that.

    News is so mundane. Things get blown out of proportion. There are PR/comm types who stonewall you and irate, often irrational readers who abuse you. There are actually people who talk media-speak – who speak in soundbites and try to make every sentence quotable.

    I know there’s bureaucracy in any job. I know there are commercial concerns and I know there will always be people who you can never fully satisfy. People whose perceptions are so out there, people who are determined to infer things that aren’t there. I don’t just mean nitpicking, I mean straight up crazies. I know accountability is part of having any job, and as much as I fear screwing up and getting the facts wrong or misquoting, I would rather do that than be crunching numbers and potentially making errors which could spell catastrophe for a company’s bottom line. (Did I mention I went through a bunch of my old crap and found my old Stats workbook and exercises? I looked through them and actually recoiled. Then I threw it out. Not that stats has anything to do with, say, accounting, but maths is maths to me…)

    People may look down on those who work in community news. But you know what, I enjoyed doing human interest stories. I enjoyed working with real people, with genuine, honest, humble and down to earth Kiwis.

    I don’t really know where this is going… I just needed to get some stuff off my chest. And just lastly, if anyone out there is struggling with shorthand….freaking A, you’re not alone! It’s bloody impossible to keep up. I’m so not at the stage where I can do it without thinking – it requires concentration, which slows me down and makes it faster to use abbreviated longhand. Bring on second semester!

  • $20 for a 9 hour day

    or, what’s like to be an unpaid intern….

    Luckily, I nipped out for a halfhour lunch today and caught two buses. Two bus surveys = $20, not bad for 30 mins work! Plus another 15min tomorrow to write them up. I’m ignoring the fact that I won’t get paid for them til month’s end…

    Twas a long day indeed.

    The first court hearing I was supposed to go to got postponed till 2.15, so back to the office we went. Then it turned out it did go ahead, sometime BEFORE 2.15, which we entirely missed. The second hearing we were meant to sit in on at 2.15, postponed till 3.45. So we nipped off to Mangere for a small conference with the family of Halatau Naitoko (the guy who was shot by police in the motorway chase back during January). Sad stuff. I just wanted to give them a hug.

    Then it took an hour to drive back to work, despite it supposedly being against traffic and all. Very frustrating, very tiring. I haven’t been this glad to get home in a while!

  • Totally missed exam handback today – forgot all about it. Not that I really care. I’ve never appealed a mark before, and I figure I’ll just wait till Monday when results are released online.

    Internship is going okay. It’s been the slowest news week in a while…..no joke. Hopefully I’ll be doing some exciting stuff next week (I’ll keep you updated) and in anticipation of that, I think I need to brush up on my nonexistent rugby knowledge. Sorry, but I really have no interest in the national sport. But it looks like I’d better taking some!

    My friend N, who’s also interning this fortnight (although for print, not online) was sick for the last couple of days :(. Not the best foot to start off on. So…the paper poached me yesterday to go out on the streets with a photographer and do a few vox pops of “our people”. Now, most people assume that anyone who approaches them onQueen St is gonna try to sell them something. Fair enough assumption, but I was holding a notebook and was in my coat and heels; then again, some of the Red Cross type fundraisers dress pretty sharp. I remember going for a promo job, which turned out to be one of those street campaigning ones, and rocked up in jeans. Except everyone else was in suits. Whoops.

    I was pretty lucky to run into three young girls straight off who were happy to talk to me, and then I encountered a woman on her smoke break. Then we had kind of a bad run; we needed some guys to balance out the sample, only all the men were busy looking suits, homeless looking, or didn’t speak English. Thankfully, my photographer was super experienced, and good at reading people from afar and suggesting which ones would be approachable.

    I’ve come to realise that I really just enjoy the writing. I don’t even need to see my name in print. (And for online stuff, I don’t usually get a byline because so much of it is simply based off releases). And as much as I was aware of the time pressure of working online – I mean come on, I work in the department – actually writing under that pressure is quite stressful. I was hardly writing groundbreaking stuff, but I swear I could feel those time constraints pressing in around me.