Six months in as a trainee reporter

Monday will mark six months since I started as a trainee reporter on the Bracknell Forest Standard and I still love it. This week has been a particularly good week..the week before was hard as I had ten days off and felt massively behind when I got back. But this week things are back on track, and even though the nights are darker and colder, everything is very positive.

This week I joined the Reading Post’s 60 second news rota which means now and then I will be writing and reading out the lunchtime headlines online. Here’s what my first attempt looked like (well it took four takes actually!)

Also, we had some pretty good news for Bracknell this week. Regeneration of the town centre has been a hot topic for way longer than my six months and on Wednesday top cinema chain Cineworld signed on the dotted line and agreed a 25-year lease as part of a shopping complex in the town. That story can be found here.

My favourite human interest story this week has to be one about a community cafe facing an 1,000% rent increase, and being given two weeks notice. I popped down to Pinewood Cafe for the morning on Monday and chatted with Pauline and Andy about how they will have to close if they are forced to pay this. They are lovely, welcoming people and make a superb cup of tea. Read about it here.

After I’d spent some time at Pinewood, I whizzed over to Waitrose, Bracknell, where they have an amazing and innovative new energy system, where the whole store is powered just by burning locally sourced woodchips. I had a tour and met some very clever people who designed it all. The video I took while I was there will be on getbracknell next week.

I do love getting out and about and also for this week’s paper went to the opening of Victim Support a week ago to see Princess Anne open their new Bracknell office. She is incredibly down-to-earth and made time to speak to every person there. Here’s a video I filmed while I was there. All I can say is, thank goodness for editing as my voice always sounds silly when I interview people.

Something today reminded me how as a reporter you should follow every lead no matter how small…a simple car crash turned out to be a pregnant bride-to-be and her fiance on the way to their wedding today. Thankfully through the wonder of Twitter I know they are OK and I hope we can get a photo of them getting married tomorrow, in next week’s paper.

In other news, my role as news editor for ThisFestivalFeeling.com is winding down a bit and I will be moving to a staff writer position next festival season. Instead, I am taking on the role of music editor for our sister site kettlemag.com. I am looking forward to plenty of gig and album reviews and trying to think of creative things to write about.

Oh and one more thing I spotted this AMAZING opportunity for any student wanting to break into magazine journalism. You can basically get printed in LOADED magazine while you study!

Have a lovely weekend, I am working so hopefully something interesting will happen. 🙂

Two months in as a trainee reporter
June 11, 2012, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Journalism | Tags: , , ,

There was a time when I posted every day on my blog but I realise two months has passed since I posted last. Since I have entered the whirlwind world of reporting and spent spare evenings chasing fire engines and sitting through long council meetings, the blog has somewhat taken a backseat.

But I stumbled across some more childhood letters which I know people enjoy so watch out for more of those coming up soon.

My first two months have been brilliant – I love my job and I love being a reporter. No day is the same and the job entails learning new things every day.

Here are some snippets of what I have been up to since I started.

This is a story that started with a tweet..no bird pun intended.


It’s great how just one call following up a simple tweet can unveil a really interesting story that results in a happy ending: http://www.getbracknell.co.uk/news/s/2112768_raven_found_after_escaping_during_metallica_video_shoot

I am going to include this one because my cousin, Catherine Barnes, who is a journalist who inspired me to take on this line of work, loves the top line.


Here’s the coverage of my first time a body has been found in suspicious circumstances, there’s a few more articles on Get Bracknell if you search on the site:


And a court case that proved pretty interesting:


This was quite an intriguing find in some council minutes


as was this: http://www.getbracknell.co.uk/news/s/2114504_50000_bid_for_just_400_council_homes

And I have done a couple of features/videos too:




Oh and a Lenny Henry interview:


Ok that’s probably enough for now!