It’s half past ten in the evening; I’m shattered, my eyes are almost closing and I must admit, I feel the slightest bit guilty. Today I spent the day with the planning team at Sky News, which after a fun packed day of thrills and spills yesterday, seems like the biggest culture shock in the world. There’s no glamour here; you spend the day trawling through local and national news trying to pick up something that might be worth covering, only for a reporter to steal all your glory after you’ve got them the gig. The other major catch is you’re not especially looking for breaking news, more something that might hold until the weekend or things which have an embargo on them anyway. I know my predecessors haven’t been overly enamoured with planning, but I guess it takes the actual experience for you to finally, and somewhat guiltily, admit you’re a little bit bored.
The problem with planning work experience is that as even I don’t know how long I’ll be sat at my desk so I can’t really set myself a challenge of a day to fill and you just pick up everyone else’s odds and sods; unfortunately no one really had any today. The one titbit I was thrown about a cancer patient survey turned out to be a diary glitch and any ideas I had from trawling through endless nationals were met with a “yes I suppose that maybe could work”, in a way which really means “well no, not really”. In fairness it’s pretty low odds that something missed by a team of six Sky reporters will be spotted by the work experience girl. I did, however, get the chance to sit in some editorial morning meetings and it was fascinating to feel a part of deciding how the news agenda which pretty much dictates public conversation. You also feel almost privileged; we know what’s coming up in the next few days and what’s being kept hush hush.
As I left for the day in the pouring rain, feeling somewhat dejected and thoroughly shattered I happened to stop and chat to the security guard. It turns out he also studied Journalism at university in Nigeria and has taken a job as security at Sky in the hope he’ll get some work experience and eventually get his big break. This guy even gives up his holidays to shadow reporters. When I was telling him about what I’m doing and why I’m here I can tell whilst he’s genuinely happy for me, he’d probably saw his arm off for the same opportunity. As he compliments me on my constant happy demeanour and smile, he assures me I’ll go far and I can’t help but feel incredibly guilty. You really have to take it all as it comes and give it all your best shot; henceforth I don’t care if I’m stuck at the planning desk for entire four weeks, I’ll give it my all and I’ll bloody enjoy it.