19 January 2013

A large proportion of the local residents were witness to the majority of mortalities in the vicinity of the tiny hamlet

Our second Saturday saw us finish off our lesson on alternative words with Keith. It was nice to finally find out what a paradigm is.

We then did a few hours of tightening up our intro-writing for news. Just when we thought we were getting good at it, we all had to take it in turns to reveal how we had re-written a shabby news intro from a genuine paper/magazine/press release. Sometimes we were pretty close, sometimes we were pretty far away, and sometimes we had missed the angle of the story altogether. Sometimes we hadn't even realised there was a second column to the news story we were meant to be rewriting.

One thing I did learn for sure, though - if a job on HMRC's in-house magazine becomes available, I'm definitely applying for it straight away. Any magazine that states at the bottom of the page "Help us liven up our pages - send in some stories" is probably not the most gripping page-turner you've everv seen.

Meanwhile, we were all popping in and out for our second one-on-ones with Roberta. A former PMA-er who came in who is now working for What Hi-Fi magazine doing tech reviews and buyer's guides. A pretty nice job really. He told us that the meetings with Roberta are like "receiving a cuddle and then getting punched in the face." I thankfully haven't had any punches yet but there's plenty of time for that later.

We ended the day early so a few of us took the chance to pop over to Spitalfields Pop-Up Vintage Fair on the hunt for stories for our magazine. I managed to sniff out a few promising leads, including very interesting conversations with a vintage map seller, a Swedish vintage photo seller, and a hilarious vintage hat seller. The latter was unfortunately a Chelsea fan, and as I was proudly displaying my lucky Fulham scarf, we enjoyed about 10 minutes of good-natured football banter before we even began talking about vintage hats. She said that it was "always nice to speak to one of the poor neighbours from down the road." Grrr.

The magazine is beginning to come together now that we have a more coherent vision and idea for it. As News Editor it's dawned on me that I really need to get on top of the news stories so that's priority number one for Monday morning.

The other thing that starts on Monday is features writing. Four solid days of features.... We've all been moaning about having eight resubmissions of 50-word news stories. Now we can look forward to the same with 2,000-word features. It's safe to say I'm not overly excited about it. On we roll.

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