Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Freelance Journalist

I have been thrown into the deep end... In a world that I know nothing about.
Chantelle, my co-worker, was stopped in town the other afternoon and a lady called Abigail asked her if she would ever be interested in writing for their up and coming newspaper. Chantelle laughed in their faces, "Me?! A writer?" she giggled, then she thought for a second and remembered me. "I do have a friend though, who loves writing, you should give her a call," she gave over my contact number and I waited a couple of days before an SMS arrived through on my phone, telling me that I have an interview.
At first I thought it would be a breeze, but closer to the time my heart began to thump and my hands trembled from my nerves. I suddenly realized that this could be a fundamental part of my life, giving me experience in the workforce that I hope to end up in. I realized that if I messed this interview up, I could potentially lose my dream forever.

I arrived at the interview, surrounded by crowds of other people, all applying for the same position it would seem. I had yet to learn that there were thousands of positions being offered, depending on the candidates strengths and interests.
We were sent into the interview room in bulk, all gathered around a table, trying to pull ourselves together and come forward as a confident individual perfect for their business.

As many of you know, I am one of the least racist people you could find, so I say this in the most harmless and innocent way possible: I was the only white person applying to work with these people. The only fairer skinned person I came across was the CEO of the company. This intimidated me as I wondered just how prestigious this place could be, how far it would get me; and a million other things ran through my mind that made me doubt whether I was right for this job.

The interviewers asked us many of the usual questions you would get in any normal interview... What were our strengths and weaknesses? Why do you think you would be a good person to work for us? They then added in a question that I believe we were all least expecting... How do we think the economy is South Africa is?
Again being the only white person - this question was a struggle for me, having eyes of different races melting through my skin (or at least that is what it felt like). I was always the first in the group that had to answer the questions, so I fed off of no one else's confidence and wisdom. It was petrifying, but I ploughed through and the newspaper would like me to become a freelance journalist with them.
I need to hand in a piece of writing, showing my writing potential, by Thursday. They said that it could be based on anything. A make-believe article, a story, anything... I doubt that they would be interested in my little romance novels I have stored on my PC.
What do you write to impress a newspaper that has given you no lead on the sort of thing they are interested in reading from you?

I have reached a plateau in my writing. Better put... I am stumped.

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Jade