27 February 2010

One week down

Reached the end of the first week of my placement at Planning - the journal of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Press day is Tuesday, so things were hotting up when I arrived on Monday morning. "We're starting to move into fourth gear," the news editor explained. Straight away I was given stories to follow up, and got myself a byline on page two of the magazine. Not a bad start to the week.

I've had plenty to do, working on stories they've given me, and finding some of my own. It's surprising how interesting it all is. Who would guess that housing estates in Southampton and footbridges in Devon could be so exciting. And Shepway District Council is having a meeting next Wednesday to decide on whether to allow the expansion plans of Lydd airport. I await the results with interest.

I don't know anything about the subject, which can be tricky when it gets complicated. The editor is still having a think about a feature I could write. "I don't want to give you something that'll make you want to kill yourself," he said. On the other hand, after only a week I've learnt a lot and I'm already starting to get a handle on the big issues facing the industry.

The strangest thing is that everyone arrives at 9.30, and goes home at 5.30. If I arrive at 9.25, there's no one there, and if I leave at 5.35, I'm the last to go. I thought that press day might be a longer day, but no! They actually finish early. How extraordinary to have evenings and weekends free.

PMA has prepared me well. There was a freelancer in yesterday. She was doing exactly the same job as me, to the same standard. The only difference was that she was getting paid. Now there's an idea. Perhaps I'll try that next.

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