12 January 2012

First few days of PMA

We are now into our fourth day of the course, but it feels like much longer. I started the week very worried about how it would go and whether I would be able to cope with the workload. However, now we have settled in a bit I am really starting to enjoy it.

On the first day, we were sent out on a scavenger hunt to answer a wide range of questions about Camden. We asked anyone and everyone we could and quickly learned to lose all fear of asking seemingly weird questions to total strangers!

The next day we were thrown into the wonderful world of news articles with 50-word pieces. Fifty words might sound like an easy thing to manage, but it is actually very difficult to cram everything you want to say into such a short space. You have to cut all florid writing, meaningless fluff and anything else that bloats the copy.

Since then we have had multiple pieces thrown at us, all of which (so far!) have been returned to re-work. I have not yet had anything passed as acceptable, but I really hope that will change by the end of the week! I’m getting better though; my second versions have been returned as “usable with minor amendments”, an improvement on “needs extra work”.

Today we did our first vox pops. In other words we all ran around Camden trying to find people willing to answer questions about a range of news articles. Ced, Michael and I were covering the government’s new pollution initiative. For those of you who haven’t heard about this, they are encouraging motorists to turn off their engines when they are stationary at traffic lights or unloading their cars. Each of us had to speak to three different people.

I was pretty nervous to start with, particularly as the first people I asked said no. However, everyone else I spoke to was nice and I managed to get all three interviews done quite quickly. Deciphering my madly scrawled notes was harder, but I’m pretty happy with the final piece.

Tonight we start work on our magazine, Seaside Business. We’re all pretty exhausted but we want to get going so we can make the magazine as good as possible. Previous groups’ titles have won awards, so the bar it set pretty high!

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