Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father’s Day, fellow blog readers! Aka, pretty just much my dad, lol.
In honor of this momentous occasion, I am going to answer all of the questions my dad asked that I’ve been holding off on! Love you, Dad!
At the Associated Press, there are 11 reporters covering all of the UK, Ireland, and part of Iceland. In our office, there are a series of desks where the ‘real’ reporters sit, and the interns sit at these cubicle-like desks. So, yes, I have a desk…but what I really have is a phone and a computer and a notebook. Which is all I need.
We have a window, but all we see is the tow-truck that parks outside of it. It flashes yellow lights, which is annoying.
I usually write down the notes from my interviews in a handwriting that is bad even by my standards. Then I transcribe all of the quotes onto a computer and craft my story from there. I do a lot more reporting than writing.
After I finish something, I send it to the editor Danica, who rips it apart and hands it back to me in pieces. (Which, honestly, is the best part!) If I had a nickel for every time I heard the phrase “This story is not quite there”, I could afford to live here…
Once the story IS there, it is passed on to the copy-editing desk, who gives it another read through, before it is published on the wire. Two versions are published, an American one and an international one. They are edited by different people.
Stories longer than 250 words get a byline (aka get my name on it). Otherwise, it is just chalked up to the AP. Many papers don’t publish the writer’s name, and just put AP anyway. You have to have a byline, though, if you have anonymity in your story.
I do get phone numbers for ‘famous’, hard-to-get people, which is fun. But they don’t always call you back. Case in point: Yoko Ono. (see previous entries).
They have free tea and coffee, but there is a sandwich shop around the corner that sells Dr. Pepper…so clearly that’s where I go. Plus, I can get a ham, avocado, and mozzarella panini for cheap and the guys there call me ‘Bella’. So that’s my usual lunch hangout.
The tube stop is a 2 minute walk from my flat and a 1 minute walk from work. I take the Picadilly line from Earls Court to Holborn, then switch to Chancery Lane. At night, there are always musicians playing in the tube. That is my absolute favorite part about this city.
I don’t often use my umbrella. I kinda like rain…
I don’t talk funny, but it is more common for me to slip into a British accent than into a Texas accent. People keep asking if I’m from South Africa.
There is a sports desk, so I doubt I could get in to Chelsea matches…but the sports guys might let me in. That’s a good idea, dad!
I don’t have a press pass yet, our machine is broken. But I usually call people, so I don’t need one for that. I really want one though!
Its easy to stay safe, especially when you live in South Kensington. It’s very posh in this area. Mace is actually considered a firearm here and is illegal.
Well, that’s two long long entries today, I hope that makes up for the lull!
Happy Father’s Day!

1 comment:

TDT said...

I guess, most importantly and above all else, even in the world class city of London, that if Dr Pepper is readily available, you've got it made !!!