The importance of being Journist: making contacts

Posted: March 24, 2011 by connerscl in General
Tags: , , , , , ,

Clare Conway

One of the pitfalls of modern-day journalism is the sheer size of it. Online readers are a demanding bunch. They expect the latest news with pictures, videos and constant smatterings of live updates. They want bitesize and summarised. And if you can’t deliver you’ve lost them. How can one journalist meet their needs? Well alone you can’t.

Okay, so you can capture a moment – if you’re lucky and you’re in the right place when a piece of news unfolds – armed, of course, with a video phone (I’m waiting on a replacement). Or a FlipCam. And a handy bit of WiFi on which to upload your content. But things happen all the time. Cats get stuck up trees and corner shops get raided. This is why a network of contacts is crucial.

I’ve been making friends with everyone. (So social.) My local shopkeeper and his teenage brother are on the list. They’re a handy source of local gossip. An illegal midnight rave unfolded in one of the abandoned factories nearby. The shopkeeper gave me the news and I went down there to check it out. Stylish East London revellers with huge hair hung around lethargically by the entrance. Inside it was packed. A DJ was spinning headache-inducing music and the crowds were nodding their heads with trendy disaffection. It was hardly show-stopping stuff. And according to the shopkeeper, raves are commonplace.

At a stretch it was news: they were flouting the smoking ban at the very least. (A hot bed of criminal activity, I’ll tell you.) Next time I might hear more. Maybe a cat will get stuck on a roof, or I’ll catch a graffiti artist mid-Banksy stencil. (I live East.) My dreadful mobile phone wasn’t up to filming at the party – my real one had been stolen and I was waiting on a replacement – but I give you someone else’s footage of an illegal London rave, completed with riot vans. Enjoy.

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