Thursday, 14 April 2011

Within the bowels of the Catholic Herald offices...

Jo-Anne shares her two days experience at The Catholic Herald offices.
The Bishops meeting

Last week I found myself at 15 Lambs passage. Now if you Google that it’ll come up with Ballroom Dancing in London and Cambridge – I can assure you I wasn’t prancing around in sequins trying out for Strictly Come Dancing! I was, instead, visiting the Catholic Herald, as they had kindly agreed for me to join them for two days work experience.

Their offices are in an old building next to St Joseph’s Church, near Bunhill Row. Or so I found on my first day, trying to follow my Google map through the winding streets. Promptly arriving at 10, I was buzzed in, and after climbing quite a few stairs was met by Luke Coppen, Mark Greaves, Anna Arco and Ed West – who maybe you’ll recognise the names of from Twitter.
The first job of the day was the News List, searching for interesting news items to include. Trawling through blogs like I do at Archbishop’s House and news sites for an article that would catch my eye, a list was compiled. A meeting followed deciding who would write what and which stories would go where in the newspaper. I hadn’t seen this process before so I found it quite interesting.
Having been given the Cardinal pub story I tried to find out what was going on and where things stood. Half way through the day Independent Catholic News started up a petition, which changed my article.
It wasn’t until the next day that the news bustle really kicked off. Tuesday was News Day, so Simon Caldwell, News Editor, was in distributing the articles. This is something I love - being given a piece to write, collecting the information and quickly writing it up, then the next one and so on. I got to write a few during the day, which was a great experience.
By the end of the day I’d finished off all my pieces; had rung Alexander de Forges, CCN to talk about the Bishops meeting, contacted the Jesuits about their Superior General’s upcoming visit and followed the Cardinal pub story as it began to take off.
It would have been good to have seen the full journey of the newspaper from Monday to Friday (The Catholic Herald comes out Thursday), but instead I settled for waiting to see what and where my articles would be when I picked up the Catholic newspapers on Thursday.

The Cardinal Pub in the Herald

My Cardinal pub piece was front page down right, and the other pieces had been put in page 2 and 3. A good result for my portfolio! Even funnier, I had tweeted live from the Social Responsibility conference on the Wednesday morning. When the Archbishop told the attendees to sign the petition away I tweeted – Mark Greaves updated my story online and I watched as people RTd an article I had written. Even better, a certain reporter at the conference told me that hadn’t thought anything of the comment until I tweeted it and the headlines all changed from ‘Petition to save The Cardinal Pub’ to ‘Archbishop urges MPs etc to sign petition to save Cardinal pub’ – woopsie!
Since then the Archbishop has been busy on BBC radio, TV, news and being interviewed about it. I am absolved from blame here! The petition had already taken off - it now stands at 650 signatures.  
All in all a successful two days work experience, though it’d be great to pop back in to The Catholic Herald offices to see what happens the rest of the week. My journalist’s curiosity has gotten the better of me already!
Jo-Anne Rowney
Archbishop's House, Public Affairs Intern

No comments: