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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Working for the Merc

I started my week's work placement at the Sunday Mercury in Birmingham yesterday. I was feeling pretty crap about it beforehand, given I no longer even know if I want to work in newspapers (but fear not, fans of Rebecca King - I still want to go into the media - phew), but it turns out it's much better than I thought.

It's very different to the Mail as it's a weekly and therefore fewer of the staff have a blood pressure of over 1000 and appear like they are on the verge of a nervous breakdown. In fact they even find time to chat, exchange a joke or two and have lunch. Immense.

They're also much more of a tabloid than the Mail. Those who would think this was impossible - you ain't seen nothing yet - the Merc start off articles with phrases like 'evil sex beast'. Sorry, I mean 'EVIL SEX BEAST'. Also immense. I thought this would mean they were harder to write for as I'm not adjusted to the tabloid vocab - you know, changing the word 'toddler' or 'child' into 'TOT', 'teenager' or 'child' into 'YOUNGSTER', friend into 'PAL' etc etc, but actually it seems easier, in that so far my writing hasn't been butchered into something unrecognisable with a byline that still belongs to me.

They've also encouraged me to come up with my own stories and at the moment I'm getting to write a feature on something that was my own idea... don't be silly, of course I'm not going to tell you here - I'll post it pre-publication. Suffice to say it's been pretty fun.

It has made me realise that working in newspapers doesn't have to be all about hideous deadlines and heart-attack inducing stress, nor hours of the kind that don't even exist in a sensible world. But we'll see if it changes my mind on the direction of my future career for good after more mulling. Don't hold your breath...


  • That post doesn't look good coming up on the screen at school!

    By Blogger aidan, at 5:43 pm  

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