Elham Al Dhaheri, a trainee reporter, talks about her adventures in The National newsroom.

I conducted my first interview this week, with a local bakery owner. At the end, I found myself with a one-hour recording. I started to write it down, and man I was in trouble.

Three minutes of the interview took 1,000 words. I knew right away that I had made a mistake. Thanks to one of my colleagues, I got a tip to never go over 15 minutes. She said that would give me more than enough information at the end. Obviously, I am new to this and such mistakes are easy to learn from.

Part of my programme involves shadowing reporters who have experience and are used to the The National’s system. So far, I have shadowed two reporters, who have taught me a lot. My writing style has always been wordy. I am currently in the News department, though, which does not approve of this kind of writing. I am learning simple yet very important tricks of how to write the perfect news article.

I also learned that I need to be more persistent when it comes to contacting sources. Many people tell you that they will call you back, but they never do. As a reporter with deadlines, I should be more insistent and always have a substitute source I can turn to for my story.


Published: December 30, 2014 04:00 AM