The day didn’t start off well as the uncomfortable hotel bed left me with a crick in my neck, not to mention the crazy hair; the provided hairdryer was broken so through the night my hair settled into a mussed up, frizzy, wavy mess. Really good way to make a first impression on the journalists I’ll be spending the rest of the week with. I really wanted this to be the day to waltz into the offices looking polished and perfect, with my action face on. The universe decided that today was not that day.
Bekki and I left the hotel a bit too early and stopped by Costa for breakfast. It was all going well until we tried to access the toilets, only to find that there was a code for the toilets on the bottom of the receipt….is this normal? I feel like this isn’t normal, mainly because it’s never happened to me before. What’s wrong with leaving the toilets accessible without a lock?
On we marched to the building where The Sun office was located and it’s safe to say that it looked incredibly imposing, which made us feel a little out of our depth. At the reception desk, we were greeted by one nice receptionist and one not so nice receptionist who must not have had her coffee fix this morning seeing as when we went through the wrong entrance (who knew there was a wrong entrance?) she spat out ‘Come on, wake up girls’. Again, not a great start.
Up we went to the sixteenth floor and when we finally arrived we warily crept into the room for The Sun, Times and Sunday Times like two children entering the teacher’s lounge for the first time. We found the table which belonged to The Sun and for the rest of the day spent our time with four reporters (I think). Everyone had their own space with a new computer and old keyboard, not to mention the large TV on the wall that was on Sky News all day.
The first task of the day was reading today’s papers, making sure we were up to date and hadn’t missed any important stories. Then we went online and scanned through all the local papers we could find, searching again for any big stories that had been missed and should go in the paper or any new, fun, quirky stories that could make the national cut.
This was pretty much what we did throughout the whole day, apart from two attempts at writing articles. I’m not sure if I can say what they were about until the paper is printed tomorrow, but we were able to write an article, get some great feedback on how to write in The Sun’s style, and even see the article written for the same story that is being used. I found it really interesting how the style was all about being short and punchy, no superfluous language anywhere. I suppose this could be why The Sun is so popular – it’s accessible to everyone and you don’t need to be an expert in anything to understand certain articles.
Bekki and I took a quick lunch break to a great place called Chopstix – not only was the food good, but it was really cheap too which really helps with saving money for the rest of the week.
Back again to work, we had another attempt at writing an article before going back to searching for interesting stories. We found articles about teddy bear cameras, sheep on a motorway, cardboard sculptures, and grannies that were under 40 but, alas, everything we found was either already covered or a few days too old.
We just about managed to escape the rain, but Bekki almost had a heart attack when a bus blew its horn – who would have thought she lived in London?! Back at the hotel, we ordered some extra pillows hoping that tomorrow we’ll wake up with our necks far happier. We also tried to sort out the hairdryer issue, only to have a very flirty maintenance man from Greece appear and ended up settling down in our tiny room for a chat. It took several very subtle hints before he finally left and he winked six times in total in ten minutes – yes, we counted.
After deciding we were going to have a pub dinner tonight, we found a pub called Yates which had 2 main courses for £8.95. YES you read that right – for the both of us. Being a student in Manchester must be so easy!
So that’s it for today as we’re settling in for a movie night – thank goodness for Film4 – and here’s hoping to a another great day tomorrow. Eleanor, out.