This November I sampled life at a different local newspaper, spending one week at The Daily Echo in Southampton.

My time there was completely different to my time at The News: more competitive, more fast-paced.

The Echo has 3-6 students on work experience with them every week, and I immediately realised I would have to work harder to make myself noticed. The style of The Echo is significantly more tabloid than The News too; there is much less space for articles, with only around 6 or 7 main news articles included each daily issue, and many more features included instead.

On the second day, stories I heard about the News Editor did not do much to dampen my fears of him as exactly the type of old-school editor I’d heard about in films etc – apparently he went through three keyboards in one day after throwing them in anger!

The other workies and I were mostly left to our own devices, something hardly surprising at all – the newsroom is a high-pressured environment and everyone there had their own roles and responsibilities to worry about. However I enjoyed writing, recording  and editing the papers’s ’60 Second News Bulletin’ to be put online in the mornings.

Whilst I was there I was given the standard press-release article write ups and similiar, but was keen to prove myself as capable for something more. On the third day, luck was on my side as it had emerged early that morning that the student arrested for throwing the fire extinguisher from the roof of Millbank was from Southampton. I immediately asked to accompany a reporter sent down to the local college to find out more.

Speaking to students outside Brockenhurst college, I tried to use my age as an advantage to chat to some of the students, finding out what subjects the suspect had studied, where he had worked, what he was like at college. I found out as much information as the other reporter and genuinely loved the rush of wanting to investigate the story more.

However, The Echo could still not find a picture of he accussed student at all, surprised that the A-Level student did not have a facebook account.

Hearing the editor and reporters’ problem throughout the day, I set about trying to find a picture, and I did!

Admittedly, I can really only thank my facebook stalking skills for this, but nonetheless I succeeded where everyone else in the newsroom had not. (It turned out the student had a third surname he used on facebook.)

I literally almost burst when the ever-so-scary News Editor personally thanked me several times and said well done. Turns out he was not that bad at all.

The article can be found here.

I also managed to write a page lead concerning the ongoing NUS referendum at Southampton University.

Attending the murder trial at Winchester Crown Court of a man accussed of stabbing his fiance and baby daughter was also a very interesting and useful experience, although quite a heavy day as I’m sure you can imagine.

Another added bonus was taking the opportunity to get to grips more firmly with video editing. (This took me a fair couple of hours!)

Overall, I found the Echo much more difficult to make a good impression; I’m sure they’re very used to having workies in and out every day, and it was very much left up to me to get involved at much as I could.

However, this made it even better when I DID manage to get an article printed, or when the Editor complimented me at the end of the week. It was fast-paced and competitive, but journalism is meant to be, and my time did nothing less than further my hunger to work in media and the news.