Is this thing on?
Hello. It’s been ages, I know. Months. In fact, since I wrote my first ever blog years ago, this is the longest gap between posts I’ve ever had.
Which is a shame, really, because the time that’s passed between this blog dying and now has been the most exciting of my career.
Here’s a catch-up.
My contract on the BBC Internet Blog came to an end after a great six (or so) months. I really cannot stress enough my gratitude to my first boss, Nick Reynolds, who took a bit of a risk when taking me on.
A risk in the sense that I was unproven in the working world, I mean. Sure, I was a promising student: I left Lincoln with considerable momentum, heading to New Zealand buzzing with ideas, and returning from New Zealand buzzing with even more. But what couldn’t be judged was an ability to deliver day in, day out in a professional environment. Luckly, Nick took that chance with me, and I spent those six months getting used to networking, writing and – if you’ve ever worked at the BBC you’ll understand – fathoming out just how on earth the behemoth that is the British Broadcasting Corporation works.
I’m still getting used to it.
As my time on the Internet Blog was coming to an end, a colleague (thanks Holly!) suggested I try the World Service. She knew someone there who was, quote, “very nice”. She was. So nice, in fact, that she took me on for some freelance work. I joined the team at bbcworldservice.com, editing the frontpage and writing the odd bit as well.
After a few weeks I took as massive gamble: I moved to London. I didn’t have a full time job. I was hoping, maybe a little naively, that ‘the fear’ would get me by. I had a few freelance commissions lined up to go alongside my World Service work.
I moved in with Mike and Ellen in sunny Stratford. I’ve known Mike for a while now – we first met when I interviewed him for our student newspaper – he was the Students’ Union president – and have remained friends ever since. Without wanting to pat ourselves on the back too much, I don’t think our friendship ever got in the way of the journalism. In other words, The Linc had a go at Mike, and Mike had a go at The Linc. And then we’d have a pint. How it should be, no?
So anyway. A week into my new London life I was interviewed for a permanent job at the World Service as a Broadcast Journalist. My “very nice” boss offered me the job later that evening – a moment which was shared by many in Holborn tube station as I yelped with delight. I topped up my Oyster (how the rich live etc), rang my Dad to tell him the good news, and spoke to a very excited mother before scurrying home.
I spent the next day buying designer clobber at Canary Wharf, including a shirt from Ted Baker that feels like it’s been made with something from outer space.
I started my job the following Monday.
So here I am. My main tasks are to write articles based on the brilliant content produced by the World Service so that it can be published up on BBC News Online. It’s a strange hybrid of my previous freelance life and my limited staffer experience. Yes, I’m at the BBC, but I still have to ’sell’ my ideas to editors. Easier said than done, but I’m putting in steps to make it easier. It’s working so far.
In a few weeks I’m going back to Lincoln to take part in their annual guest panel. It’s a collection of ex-students who have, some way or another, carved their way into journalism. It’s a great way of spurring on existing students – having former Lincolners saying “I studied here! And now look!” is a real lift. With any luck I’ll have a similar effect.
Anyway. I hope to start blogging again now. I’m a little more settled in my job, and with my new position comes an opportunity to have, I hope, a valuable perspective on the media once again.