Well things are starting to get intense and we've not even finished the second week yet. I'm getting home later each day and the assignments still keep piling up. On the plus side, one of my pieces has met Roberta's exceptionally high standards. Only another 15 to go...
We've been doing a lot of interacting with the public lately and that's really what I wanted to talk about.
As a socially anxious introvert, being sent out to interview strangers is one of the most terrifying situations you could drop me in. If you had asked me to do a vox pop this time last year I would have passed out or thrown up or both.
But I love it. I get such a kick out of just talking to people about the issues they care about and understanding why they think the way they do. Maybe I'm just lucky. The people I have spoken to have all been perfectly pleasant and very few have turned down the opportunity to rant in front of a journalist. I'm amazed by how comfortable I feel walking up to people and striking up a conversation.
That's not to say the anxiety is all gone though. I was at Liberty Festival this weekend. A guide directed me to the press tent so I could be ticked off the list of approved reporters. Of course I wasn't on the list and they had to ring management to clear it. I sat in that tent for ten minutes hoping that they weren't going to ring the PA and kick me out when they discovered I wasn't technically briefed to cover the event. That didn't happen. They finally waved me through with an all-access pass to the event. Within half an hour I had my story and I was gone. I kept the pass though. It reminds me that even if I don't always feel it, I appear confident enough to bluff my way into anything. Also it's yellow and that's my favourite colour.
Also on the subject of talking to strangers, guess who made a lot of phone calls this week? I hate ringing people because I struggle to process speech and the lack of visual clues makes this much worse. But I needed information for a couple of stories and information I got. Sort of. Nobody actually picked up the phone so I left a lot of professional-sounding voice mails. I had been hoping to do it while the others were all out at lunch but of course they all came back as I started the first call. No pressure there then. Many phone calls later I finally get a call back. To get to the person I need to speak to (an academic researcher) I basically have to go through channels. Earlier today I received an email that gave me a time to call the researcher. An email which I didn't have chance to read until I got home because of our hectic day editing our vox pop video. So that went well.
All in all, I'm loving everything so far. I can already see a major improvement in my copy writing. I now have video experience, which is something I always wanted to be able to do but never thought I would. Plus, I've just sent my request for work placement. With a bit of luck, I'll be sipping post-work cocktails in Soho in a few weeks.