Monday, October 25, 2010

Breaking (into) news

[At 2.15 pm today]

I just got home from an interview at a famous local newspaper publisher awhile ago, and am still recovering from the experience. No, it wasn't a nasty encounter, but nevertheless, interviews demand a lot more ardour than usual and have the tendency to deplete your energy level at rather alarming rates.

As expected, I was required to sit for a test which lasted for an hour. Writing was definitely one of the skills that was being evaluated (after all, I was applying to become one of their journalists), along with some general knowledge on the business world (in line with the kind of publications which I would potentially write for). 

The interview that followed immediately afterwards was with two of their editors, and much to my relief, it was quite an informal chat and not one that was too intimidating (although the longer it went on, the more I felt increasingly restless, especially at the point where one of them says to me, "It's a bit intimidating, isn't it?" What an adverse psychological effect that produces).

The outlook of a career as a journalist certainly is quite different from what I'm used to. Having done freelance stints for a considerable stretch of time, the flexibility it offers is quite lovely (although the earnings are meagre and cannot really sustain you) and somewhat hard to give up. 

Another thing, writing for periodicals such as magazines poses other kinds of demands on you. For one thing, you are often afforded longer periods of time for the entire research and writing process, and perhaps landed with a bigger word count. Topics may vary widely, and more often than not, you're blind as a bat with regards to knowledge and foresight about the subject matter at the first instance when you're just starting work on a particular assignment.

From my current viewpoint, journalism appears to be a more specialised field, and you basically write stuff within a given turf. I suppose in that sense you can speak in greater length and depth about what you write on, and growing experience would dictate that your commentary is valid and your opinions well founded.

I'm not sure which side of the fence I will end up on yet, but hey, I can do features. And I've done press releases before. And blog posts. And citations. And whatever-else-you-want-to-throw-at-me. If it's about the text, name the topic and I'll flourish you with an article. Well, at least that's how I hope I come across. Hmm.

At the back of my mind now is that blog post I need to revise for that boss I freelance for. And the house chores I haven't done. Being without a job doesn't necessarily mean you're actually free. There is really so much to do. In fact, even if I were to just concentrate on finishing my house chores alone, I think there'd be enough to keep me occupied for quite some time. (Only finance-wise I'd be suffering and soon become a pauper, more or less).

Ah, I'm rambling. I guess I should stop here until the next time when I have something more productive to say. 

Good day everyone.