Do Some Work Experience At A Local Newspaper

Courtesy of darrenslaughter.com

I’ve been lucky enough to carry out a week’s work experience at my local newspaper and must admit, on Monday morning as I walked to my new office for the week, I felt the flutter of butterflies deep in my stomach. So far, it’s been a funny three days. The newspaper office I am working at feels almost like a library, not a shouty, exciting, manic office where hot-off-the-press stories are flying around and the phones are ringing off the hook. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of my time staring at a computer screen, writing trivial stories about a lot of bones that turned out to be those of a cow — not a human, despite all the fuss made. I don’t not appreciate what I’m doing for one second. Oh no – I realise how incredibly lucky I am to get this opportunity and it not only builds my CV but it lets me see how newspapers, local ones at least, work.

In many ways, it’s very sad. I looked around the office today and there wasn’t any particular buzz. One of the guys opposite told me that they try and find fillers for the newspaper each day and that often ends up being something very insignificant and a little bit random. There’s nothing wrong with that, however you cant sustain jobs and livelihoods on that and it makes me wonder just how much longer the newspaper will last. I simply cant understand how a newspaper that sells for 48p – and has all of its news stories online anyway – provides a salary for 25 or so people.

When people say that newspapers are dying, I think I am witnessing the decline of the local ones for sure. Who knows how much longer they will last – maybe 5 more years, maybe 10. Maybe not even that long, I really don’t know. But while there is internet and the stark fact that even national broadsheets are struggling to sell, I don’t see how local newspapers can survive. And that is sad. Because no matter how trivial things may seem, it’s nice to write about local events and keep a large majority of people who don’t use the internet, up to date with what’s happening in their local area. I suppose only time will tell how much longer these little newspapers will last.

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