Work Experience at Scarborough News

Over the course of two days work experience at Scarborough News I was able to see how a local news room is run, what goes into the production of the weekly papers.

During this time I was also able to see what happens during a visit form a government minister and Lord.

Scarborough News is owned by Johnston Press. It was also my local paper growing up, at the time a nightly paper.

There are several publications that are produced from the one office. The two primary papers are The Scarborough News and Bridlington Free Press, there is also Whitby Gazette ( there is a small office in Whitby, but final edition is produced in Scarborough), Malton and Pickering Mercury and Pocklington Post.

The morning of the first day was spent being introduced to the small team.

There is a dedicated team of two who work the East Yorkshire papers, this has recently become just one publication the Bridlington Free Press, one reporter for the Whitby Gazette, and a small team specialising in sport. There are another small team of approx 8 people to  report on the other areas which include Filey and all the villages. Within that team of 6 are 2 community reporters and 2 editors (they report events as well).

The most shocking thing is there is only one photographer to cover the entire region, he has to rely on the use of free lance photographers, the public and planning for large events.

Thursdays is also deadline day for the Whitby Gazette as it is published every Friday. This was interesting to watch as it really became a full team event. The dedicated Whitby journalist was not the only one involved, the community journalists, the editors and the entertainment lady were all writing up content.

One thing I had explained was the way in which copy for The Scarborough News is used across all the publications. The front pages are local to the specific area then it goes onto general material.

My first job was to scour the up and coming events across the region and write up NIBs these are used as fillers within the paper. I was told to find a selection of events for each of the areas including Filey, Whitby and Malton and Pickering. I was also asked to highlight the most interesting events as a base for a what not to miss over the next 6 months kind of feature where 1 event a month is picked for each location. The only thing to be mindful of was the larger events which would  be covered by the dedicated entertainment pull out.

The afternoon was completely different. Secretary of State Justine Greening was officially opening Scarborough University Technical College. She was accompanied by former Education Minster Lord Kenneth Baker. I was asked to go along to the opening, this allowed me to see what happens at such a big event without the pressure.

The running order we were given on arrival changed almost every 10 mins. It was great to be able to speak to the press team and get a grasp of what happens, and how they got to where they are.

The experience of seeing such a high profile figure up close was fascinating.

When it was time for the interview everything was prepared and in place. I observed the interview. There was only time for three questions to be asked in a time frame of 5 minutes.

Once the interview was complete it was a quick dash back to the office for the story to be written for online readers.

The following day I was asked to sit in and take notes for an interview with a gentleman who runs the local Children’s University. It was fascinating to see the difference between the two interviews. This was very relaxed, there was a definite structure but felt more free flowing. The interview lasted about 30 mins.

It was agreed that the photographer would arrange to take several shots of the children who attend, however as they are all minors permission must be gained from all the parents.

The job of writing the story was left to me. It was a feature news piece.

My next assignment was a book review.

The author was the Arch Bishop Of York who’s book contained short stories including two Scarborough residents.

I was tasked to read the book then give an overview of the book with focus on the local people.

The rest of the time was spent shadowing the editor prepare copy layout for submitted stories.

I was told at time my stories will be printed, however the timescale is unclear. The paper is only weekly therefore, news stories take president as space is limited.

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