I spent the week of the 24th-28th September shadowing Matt O'Donoghue (for half of it at least) at Granada Reports. Here's what I learned and what I got up to!
Did I mention, it rained?
Set out really early only to find that all possible routes to get to Manchester from good ol' Chorley were at a complete standstill. I tend to only drive their at a leisurely pace to the chill factore!
I finally arrived in the Granada car park at around 9:15. (I'd been aiming to get there for 8:30...not good being late on your first day!) Matt was there to greet me, armed with an ITV brolly and the knowledge of pushing me up mountains!
Thrown in at the deep end, we waddled our way over to Court to watch the Dale Cregan case.
I set off all of the security scanners, couldn't get my chair into the press area in court, so had to sit in what looked like the public gallery.
It was very interesting to see things from a press point of view, not as a girl suing the NHS. My previous experiences with the British Judiciary system, for a while, left me with quite a bad attitude towards the press. During the knitty-gritty part of my trial that dealt with "who's fault it was" i learned that too much press coverage and digging can have an affect upon the entire case. So now I was looking at things from the eyes of an apprentice, 2 years ago I would have glared at. But perspectives change, and the perspective I now carry was confirmed and given confidence with what followed.
In that short space of time I spent in court, I discovered the legal issue of "contempt of court" which, as a journalist, leads to you ending up in court again, only in front a jury! I also experienced how good broadcast journalists respect this legal issue and the snowball effect it had upon this story and the entire day...
We headed back over to Granada, jeans and chair quite contently soaked. I got my pass from the front desk that allowed me to access pretty much everywhere, then we headed up the newsroom.
Apple macs everywhere.
Apparently I looked shell shocked, but in all honesty I was just extremely intrigued by it all, a.k.a nosy.
A natural skill I've learnt is key in journalism.
Why wasn't my Nanna ever one then?
With pretty much nothing to report apart from the bare, boring facts of dates, times and appearances. Matt was concerned of what had already been published by the Granada and ITV news websites, knowing that anything close to contempt of court, put his entire career on the line. It also, however meant he had little to report and was at a complete loss of what to fill the what "should" be the main story for Granada Reports with.
Not to worry though!
After introducing me to the newsroom staff (though this happened continuously throughout the week) Matt introduced me to the editing software and how he puts a story together. I was quite impressed. As a kid I used to love editing (this probably wasn't legal) Doctor who music videos (i know!) and other bits and bobs and had no idea that as a reporter...you still had to do all of this!
Then a bit of an odd-shaped bomb shell hit.
Matt found out he was presenting Granada Reports as Rob Smith was ill.
Not the most amazing news for Matt who had to rush home and grab his foundation...but pretty cool for me, to take a look at how presenting works!
I watched the lunchtime bulletin in the gallery which was coo-ol!
Always wanted to go in a gallery...you know ever since being a kid watching "behind-the-scenes" on CBBC.
Shadowing did feel a little like stalking...
I watched Lucy and Matt rehearse in the studio and was surprised by how all cameras are remote controlled (so old school in my brain!) then went up to the gallery for the exciting bit...Granada Reports!
When you're at home, you take so many aspects of the news for granted...after last week, I really don't and look at EVERYTHING really closely. From camera angles, to supers. They all are created and add up to make a product at 6pm that people round the north west rely on and enjoy.
And that on my first day, is what I found really satisfying.
You go in at 8:30am (hopefully) with a few rough ideas but no real idea of what your day is going to be like...you find your way, get there, do your story and by 6:30pm you've got a product.
The next day is the same...but because of that, the next day is never the same!
So i tottled off home, excited, telling my Mum, Dad and Angus (fluffly white thing we call our dog) about everything I'd seen and done, while Matt had to stay behind and do the late-night bulletin.
A long, eventful day for Matt to say the least.
It certainly raised a few eyebrows!
(No joke intended to offend any broadcast journalist's eyebrows...honest!)
...more to come...