Thursday, March 16, 2006

So who would be a journalist?

After the last ten days, I really do wonder.

I sit here at three in the morning when I would be better served to sleeping (tried and failed) or working (ditto). My brain is in that state where unthinking tasks such as filing and writing agendas for meetings is much more possible and, frankly, more fulfilling. Yet the muse overcame me.

I mean, I’ve had one of those weeks. Sit down to edit an interview and irretrievably delete it. Turn up to an interview and the minidisk decides it does not like working. The last TV news days have been technological nightmares. Reports not coming together or if they did in an unwatchable fashion ….

Then there have been the stories which have collapsed. After two days reading rather dry Local Transport Plans (who said journalism was glamorous?!), I try to get an interview with the councillor involved who then decides he’s too busy.

The hours spent moving small bits of sounds around at random hours of the day and night. The constant wandering about, looking for a story and the hundreds of questions you need to ask all the time.

And yet …

Being nosey is quite fun. You hear all the stories that people would not be able to tell otherwise. Like the Stocksbridge brass band. In constant struggle but still a marvellous example of success in a trying world. Or the Council’s General Market Manager who tells me that he has had far tougher questioning in the past, not realising that his natural tone and attitude towards his traders when faced with a friendly me was far more revealing. There’s a certain satisfaction in exposing the story and doing your utter best.

Then there are the fun bits. I received my first press pass in the post the other day. OK it was to a Brass Band Contest but once again I was allowed to walk around with utter freedom. I can sit in Courts and Council Meetings where others are chucked out. I have a privileged position in society and that’s great.

Just this afternoon I got a call from an MP’s security saying that they had managed to get a ticket for me to see the budget. Live. In the Commons. Not everyone gets that.

So who would be a journalist? Well me. And at this moment, despite the issues, I’m proud to call myself one.



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