I was fortunate to secure a work placement with Gravesend Messenger during my Easter holiday. It was a golden opportunity handed to me by my lecturer and the university.
During my week at Gravesend Messenger, I had the chance to experience the real life of a journalist. I started my first day with vox pops where I asked people on Gravesend high street regarding their opinion on the EU referendum.
On my second day, I was working on a few stories where I was required to take a few pictures of an event where a man took the challenge to wax his legs to raise funds for leukaemia research.
My third day was a new experience as it was my first time attending an inquest hearing. I followed a court reporter, Julia Roberts, and she taught me many useful tips about inquests. I was asked to take notes during the hearing, where I finally made use of my shorthand skills. My editor then assigned me to write up a short article on the inquest I attended using all the information I wrote down in shorthand. It was terrifying as my shorthand was messy and I was worried if my details were wrong but my editor and Julia provided lots of help.
I was out covering events on my remaining two days with journalist Lizzie Massey. One was a tea party for elderly ladies who are 90 years old and above in conjunction with the Queen’s 90th birthday. The other was a huge St. George’s Parade held in Gravesend high street. It was an amazing experience as I get to see how a journalist covers event, how they conduct their interviews and how they interact with everybody.
– Elaine Loke is a 1st year BA Journalism student at the University of Kent.