By Bill Webb
Thursday lunch time, its pouring with rain and I am on a bus to Poole. Today is the start of The Big Issue online journalism course, the first 1 held outside of London. I am feeling quite excited if a little apprehensive, as this will be my first time in a learning environment for over 30 years.
I arrived early as I always do, soon everybody else arrives 6 of us plus course leaders and mentors. all of who’s names I will know by the end of the course. So firstly its complete registration forms and some health and safety i.e. where to run to if the place bursts into flames, then its introduction time.
This is not a case of Hi I am Bill oh no. We are split into pairs and have to find out a little about our partners and then introduce them. I am paired with Tom who introduces me well.
Now its time for our first speaker Ann Loose a lecturer from the communication and media department at Bournemouth University she introduces us to what I feel will become our mantra the 5 W and H (who,what,when,why,where and how). We worked in the same pairs and then storyboarded our pieces she also explained how a news desk works.
I leave feeling enthusiastic about the rest of the course, but wonder if I did the right thing in agreeing to write this piece about the first 2 days.
Friday dawns, take Chloe for a walk and think about what I am going to write. Sit on for an hour and put down my thoughts about the previous day, feel ok about it. Again I am first to arrive that’s me always early. A chance to ask Tobias have I got to write about day 1 or week 1 he confirms week 1 oh and by the way what is a blog so he shows me some, thanks mate.
So the morning starts and it is NIBs (news in brief), we are all given a different press release and told to reduce it to 50-70 words I managed to get mine down to 75 and now its lunch.
After a sandwich coffee and a fag it’s our introduction to photo journalism. Rob shows us a series of photos from MSN and gives us a brief description of what it’s about and then tells us to write the news the news story. I think that we all get some of the facts if not all of them
Friday evening at home and start to write about the last 2 days but hit a bit of a block so decide to look at what others have written oh dear mine is virtually the same as the previous 1st week of the course. Oh well start again and just hope that people enjoy reading it. It’s now Sunday night in the morning I have to sell the Big Issue. Who knows maybe 1 day I will be writing for it!