Believe it or not, I didn’t know I was so horrified by the very idea of dailies (Publications come out at 6p.m. on the stories reported on that day….Its maddening!) unless I woke up at 2 a.m. last night and kept staring at my cellphone. I thought I would manage to remain quite chilled out until that incident happened. I didn’t understand why that happened. But, yes. It did. This was what I was going to do in the future and I realized it late. Like, in the night when I freaked out.
I woke up at 5 a.m. to bathe and get ready (*considering the number of people in my room and I had to go to the event*). So, couldn’t take risk of waking up later than 5.30 a.m. Because i was writing my magazine article last night, I couldn’t do a research on the event I was assigned to attend to. (Though there wasn’t any information available on the internet, I did a Google search on it). I came to the lab and checked the way to Kidwai Institute of Oncology because that was where the event was happening. I had no clue what the event was all about, who all will be present at the event.(except for Police commissioner being the chief guest).
Took an auto to the wrong place. Got to know the address through a motorcyclist when we stopped in the traffic. (foolish…I know). I took an auto rickshaw to Kidwai institute. Finally, we made it.
It wasn’t easy. None of them at the institute knew about the seminar. Had a hard time finding if there was any seminar being held at all. finally, spoke to the Social welfare Officer and she told us about Children’s day being celebrated at the children’s ward at the institute. they were all cancer affected kids between the ages 0 to 14. During the event, I found “actual journalists” (because we are trainee journalists) doing no work at all. (not kidding) I was surprised. I thought they knew everything about it. But, all they did was to take the press release from the organizers of the event and have snacks. (No offense) But, that was what was happening, except for one TV journalist struggling to get everyone’s byte or SOT (Sound on tape).
I’m not praising myself,but, I found myself probing many people – cancer patients (kids), their parents, Director and medical director of Cryo-Save (European stem cells bank), Social Welfare Officer, Head of Department of Children’s ward, Police commissioner (Shankar Bidri) and other sources present at the event.
We were always told to report and get extra information than the obvious (in this case, more info on the event, except for the press release that was prepared a day before). I did my best to talk to every single person I found and thought was important for my report.
And, I realised that I did better than others (not boasting, but true). I was feeling good about covering an event that was chaotic, where finding sources of information was quite difficult because BIG people leave the place as soon as the event is done. But, I somehow managed.
After the event, I went to cafe coffee day, nearby and thanks to the ambience ( *Never felt so thankful*) because I was able to type out the event’s report. 20 minutes 520 words (which was later edited by my sub-editor to 460 words)! BINGO! Never knew my pace was good until today. I was happy. not because of the pace at which I wrote my report but, got another story out of the event and wrote about 400 words there. So, 1 hour and almost both the stories done. Wow!!!
But, couldn’t find a cyber cafe anywhere in the proximity to mail my story to my coordinator. Till 2 p.m. I was looking out for one. But, found none. thanks to my friend’s net on Phone. And then, I sent my stories. Done.
Was relieved. And, at the end of the day, I did my best to survive this phase, though there was madness in the newsroom. I did it.
I realized that I like the dailies 🙂 It is fun (only if your stories work). I was fortunate enough that way. And, yes, I SURVIVED IT. (*feels so better and this keeps me going for the next beat) :):)