Diary of a journalism post-grad, chapter three

WELL, my flat warming party was a roaring success (don’t worry, you can all come next year). No complaints from the neighbours even though it went on till the wee hours and not too much of a clear-up operation required.

Guest of honour? A random guy, who no one could account for, who said he was a member of British Intelligence and was “responsible” for Guantanamo Bay… he left without too much trouble, fortunately.

Nice to see so many people from my course there – I hadn’t realised what a hassle it can be getting to places in London, so I was impressed that such an effort was made. Spent the rest of the weekend recovering, with Monday arriving all too soon.

Lots of assignments this week – one based around Private Eye editor, Ian Hislop, who came into
the journalism department to give a talk about investigative journalism.

Thoroughly interesting – just a shame that we weren’t allowed to just sit back and listen, but had to take notes and find a news story to hand in the following day (although my tutor said yesterday that he like mine, so can’t say fairer than that).

Shorthand this week has stepped up a gear: we’ve learnt the theory rules behind Teeline shorthand so now it’s all about speed. Speed drills – exactly as much fun as they sound. But still, it’s a necessary skill, though I’m not quite sure how I’m going to get up to 100 words per minute.

We are soon to be issued with our very own – wait for it – shorthand CDs, so we can carry out dictation exercises. Soon, I fear I will be dreaming in shorthand.

Have barely spent any time at home this week, except yesterday when my ‘off-diary’ session was cancelled (hurray) and I was able to ‘work from home’ – cue copious amounts of tea. Aside from this, I have been working above and beyond the call of duty, going out to my patch every night.

Nearly got recruited by a bunch of socialists on Wednesday night. Slightly terrifying, but got a good story out of it because John McDonnell, who will be challenging Gordon Brown for the Labour leadership, was present.

Also went to the switching on of the ‘festive lights’ – yep, on October 16th. A little early some might say, but it was such a lovely event, great fireworks and a really good atmosphere. Who says Londoners are unfriendly?

Looking forward to the weekend. I’m planning on taking it very easy, though I have quite a lot of writing up to do. I keep doing interviews for my patch report and then never getting round to writing them up. I have also volunteered to be part of the sub-editing team for my course newspaper – more fool me – so lots of grammar and spell checking should make for a fun Saturday night.

Laura xx