Heading for the middle of week three of the postgraduate diploma. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been such a short time as so much information has been packed in. In between assignments there’s been the protracted house move to contend with and long distance motherly duties (poorly executed).
Along with the techie stuff – blogging (obviously), aggregators, tweeting, search engines – there’s been public administration, law, on-line journalism and the nuts and bolts of magazine work.
I hit a comma crisis last week and have been shaken to the core of my being by the bad habits I’ve picked up over the years – over exposure to too much bureaucratic report-writing.
In the last couple of weeks I have learned that:
- A basic house survey won’t expose dodgy wiring, dubious plumbing and damp hiding behind large lumps of furniture.
- Journalism is changing at an alarming rate and trying to keep up with the challenges of the Internet and citizen journalism.
- Audience intelligence can push the print and broadcast media in funny directions – as much to please advertisers and tick boxes as to deliver high quality goods.
- Weekly train tickets rarely work at the barriers after a couple of days
- The law can offer a refuge to the less scrupulous journalists but..
- Ethical standards are crucial for maintaining self-regulation
- 60% Jamaican rum, taken in pursuit of a good story, is not a good thing for brain function the next day
- I need to unlearn my approach to grammar and stop panicking and trust my instincts more when it comes to subbing.
- A deadline is a deadline and not to put my eggs in one basket for a good source quote (too late for Alt: Cardiff)
- I can’t attempt to be funny before my third cup of coffee, so punning intros need caffeine (too late, the word play flooded my mind, all too late).
- That a child’s x-box habit can’t be managed by remote control from a distance of 90 miles
- The 1972 Local Government Reform Act gave rise to gerrymandering and unhappiness.
- I must take a plenty-pack of camera batteries with me when trying to get the right shot for a story or rely on my mobile.
- News aggregators save valuable internet searching time (but are a rather soulless way of accumulating information).
- There’s no substitute for a book or a magazine for pleasurable reading
- The magazine racks have their own subtle class system – more labyrinthine than any Austen novel
- I must overcome my aversion to Twitter and see it as another tool in the box
- It isn’t really touch-typing if I’m sneaking a look at the keyboard
- Blogging can feel like sending a message in a bottle out to sea.