Day 3 in Manchester

I am happy to say that today was better than yesterday, mainly because we can smugly say ‘We know tomorrow’s news today’ because, well, we worked on it! Both Bekki and I woke up with slightly less-cricked necks, but unfortunately I then had to pick out some popcorn I’d missed in my bed last night.

It felt really cool turning on the TV this morning to see stories that yesterday we’d been writing about, but what did break my heart was the awful news of the passing of Robin Williams. I grew up watching Aladdin, Jumanji and, my favourite, Mrs Doubtfire. To think that such a wonderful person isn’t alive anymore just makes me want to start crying all over again.

Work today was a lot more interesting than it was yesterday and, thankfully, it rained today only once when we were inside – progress! Guy Patrick, the head of The Sun Manchester office and who gave us the work experience, was back in today and it was great hearing from him. Over a cup of coffee, he told us all about a typical day and the usual going-on’s of the office and even of the bad reputation The Sun gained after an article entitled ‘The Truth’ which still to this day stops many Liverpool readers from picking up The Sun. For those of you who aren’t aware, this article was stating that victims of Hillsborough were disrespected by being urinated on or having belongings taken by Liverpool fans. This wasn’t said to be fact, but someone working for The Sun ran the article and entitled it ‘The Truth’. Despite the fact that no one involved in that article works at The Sun anymore or the fact that no one at The Sun now condones it, people still boycott The Sun for this reason alone.

I find it so interesting that a single article can have such an impact and that, fifteen years later, it’s effect hasn’t waned.

Anyway, after that we went back to the office and helped out one of the reporters research by trying to find out some facts like location etc. It did feel a little like detective work at one point, but the best part was spending most of the day on Twitter searching for any leads or information.

002(^^ a better photo I took when no one was looking, mainly because there could be a chance they don’t want photos so I’m taking them before anyone says no)

After that, we had the chance for more coffee and talking with two of the reporters we’ve been working with telling us about their very different pathways into journalism. One went from the bottom to the top, making her way through agencies until landing a job at a national newspaper and the other got into the Sun on a graduate programme. I always love hearing about how people get into the jobs they’re in now, but their advice was not to do Journalism as a field of study in college/university – not because it’s bad as many people in the office did Journalism at university, but they reasoned that if you have a degree in something else (like English, History, Geography etc) then at least you have something to fall back on so you don’t have to worry should Journalism not work out as well as you’d hoped.

After our second round of coffee, we were back to the office to have a look into features which was really interesting. It was more like a Buzzfeed style and basically our task was finding the source of a Vine video, finding out the names and ages of the people in it and where they were from. We then had to take it a step further by saying what made this certain Vine interesting and scrolling through tons of internet pages to see if we could find any quotes to use.

Finally it was the end of the day and, after movie night, Bekki and I were knackered. This was really shown on the elevator down as we stopped on the fifth floor, but Bekki wanted to get a move on so pressed the button to close the doors. I’ll probably never forget the look on the poor chap’s face when he looked up to his phone to see the long-awaited elevator arrive, only to have the doors shut in his face.

We went home for a quick breather, and my favourite part is when we use our card to a room as when you insert it in the door it makes a little buzzing sound that sounds like the door is burping. Then went straight back out again for dinner at a really sweet little Italian called Caio Bella that was basically underground – Bekki’s first time in a restaurant! The windows at the top of the restaurant showed the pavement, so I won’t be walking past in a skirt anymore. The food was nice and brought to us quickly and, again, cheap! We both had two courses each (and I couldn’t finish all my main dinner, which never happens, so they weren’t shy in portions) and it was all only £8.95 with drinks excluded! Thinking about it, we’re doing really well on the not-spending-all-our-money front.

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We’re back at the hotel now still trying to drag out the great day seeing as I’m missing my prom at home which, although kinda sucks, doesn’t feel too bad as I’m out in a new city meeting incredible people and working at the UKs top newspaper – yeah, not too bad at all.


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