The offline journalist

erstellt am: 07.08.2011 | von: Alexander Winkler | Kategorie(n): Blog, English

I’m sorry for breaking my promise. I really planned to give daily updates from Gisborne – on our stories, the city, maybe even the weather. But I simply couldn’t go online as easily as I had hoped.

Don’t get me wrong – Gisborne has internet. It might be a the city at the end of the world (they are proud of being the city to greet the sun first every day), but that doesn’t make it any less modern. Nonetheless, my provider’s cell phone coverage ended just past Auckland’s suburb of Bombay, and the Gisborne Herald only provided us with one old laptop with a really slow 3G internet stick that we had to share.

However, our motel did have broadband wifi. But the signal wasn’t strong enough to supply our apartment. And even though I did go outside every morning to check emails with my phone, I couldn’t be bothered to blog from the middle of the driveway.

But I have to admit that most of the times, I quite enjoyed not having internet. I mean for every bigger essay that I had to write for uni, I usually went offline for one or two weeks to simply focus on the work. And working offline as a journalist – without email, search engines, online council minutes – had a certain appeal.

And a lot of the times, the work went quite well. Using a real map, looking up people and organisations in the phone book and using the phone rather than email. And obviously for me, no online dictionary. It’s fun to overcome internet habits every once in a while. At least to the point where sources dictate you the use of the internet.

For example, one spokesperson for the Gisborne Council would only answer questions by email. Other organisation representatives needed questions emailed to have them approved by superiors, before being interviewed. And then there is all the information that people offer to send by email. So even though I wanted to stay offline, there was simply no way.

However, I call myself an online journalist. But by watching the whole team I realised you don’t have to be an online journalist, to be put off by an offline newsroom.

So what about my field trip experience? It was awesome. Being in a city so similar in size to my hometown in Germany, yet so different. I learned about puppies’ being vaccinated against parvovirus, the most important facts of a logging ship, privacy issues in forestry alcohol and drug abuse and catholic schools in New Zealand. We got three front page stories, two features, one recipe and lots of smaller stories printed.

We definitely had a pretty good time!

I heard rumors the Gisborne Herald might be hiring an online editor. I don’t think the job would be interesting enough to abort my Master’s studies. But spending some more time in Gisborne doesn’t sound too bad an idea after all.

Gisborne Day 1

erstellt am: 01.08.2011 | von: Alexander Winkler | Kategorie(n): Blog, English

It is my third time out of Auckland – before, I had only been to the Bay of Islands and Wellington. I took the plane to the latter but this time we are taking on a road trip to Gisborne where I and five other students are working for the Gisborne Herald.


Another adventurous semester has begun

erstellt am: 30.07.2011 | von: Alexander Winkler | Kategorie(n): Blog, English

Back from the internship, uni already grabs most of my attention. The first two weeks have been mostly about producing story ideas and shorthand. Tomorrow I will leave for a field trip to Gisborne, where I will work for the local newspaper, the Gisborne Herald, together with 5 other students from our journalism course.


Two internships to compare

erstellt am: 19.07.2011 | von: Alexander Winkler | Kategorie(n): Blog, English

Two countries, two broadcasters, two internships – one intern: me. Two work experiences that could probably not be more different. Nonetheless, the comparison of the two opens room for conclusion. Both internships were mandatory for my studies. vs Radio New Zealand News. (more…)

Windy as Wellington

erstellt am: 16.07.2011 | von: Alexander Winkler | Kategorie(n): Blog, English

It’s the furthest I got out of Auckland so far and the closest to the South Island since I’ve come to New Zealand: Wellington. Even though I am spending my time mostly interning at Radio New Zealand, I’m fitting in as much sightseeing as possible.


Finally: an update!

erstellt am: 14.07.2011 | von: Alexander Winkler | Kategorie(n): Blog, English

So it’s been a while since I’ve blogged last but lots of things have happened. I guess a little much to wrap all of them up in a short intro but here are the major things: (more…)

I’ve had enough!

erstellt am: 18.04.2011 | von: Alexander Winkler | Kategorie(n): Blog, English

No singing, no drumming, no piano; not even a decent set of speakers or the possibility to listen to some music out loud. What is this life? (more…)

Mid-semester break

erstellt am: 16.04.2011 | von: Alexander Winkler | Kategorie(n): Blog, English

Finally: Easter break! The last weeks were even more busy compared to what I had to do for my courses than before. Two weeks, four tests, two assignments and one paper due. And of course the weekly stories. (more…)

Of hens, jobs and vox pops

erstellt am: 03.04.2011 | von: Alexander Winkler | Kategorie(n): Blog, English, Slideshow

It is a vicious circle: in the one hand I don’t have the time to blog, on the other there is just more and more to tell and blogging takes longer if I don’t frequently write something. (more…)