Journalism skills / Lessons learned

Lessons learned: Click save promptly!

By Annette Stevens.
Not every event makes the news, or even the front pages, despite it sometimes seeming like everything in the world that is happening, is exposed on newspaper’s front covers. I found this out last week and last month! Behold, the result of a bomb alert, and a WW2 unexploded bomb, last week, being found on the Dartford tunnel.
Last month’s bomb threats resulted in all crossings being shut until eleven at night.
I was stuck, in a gridlocked bridge, in an overheating car, occupied by a sleepy sister, and an annoyed father. What was I doing at the time? Without a pad and pen, I was furiously typing up notes about the situation, on a (gradually dying) Netbook. Within one hour, my article, written out of blood, sweat and tears, (okay maybe not any of those) was gone. My best article, gone.
What to do?
I’m not a technology genius. I know basic functions , but, although you can probably get unsaved documents back, I didn’t know how. And I still don’t know. Despite traffic reports constantly filtering  the radio, no major newspaper had it covered the next day. Even though the dartford tunnel is often the subject of scrutiny, no paper wanted to know.
And I had the story. And I didn’t save it , and my Netbook died.
And then last week happened.
An unexploded WW2 bomb had been found at Dartford. Again, with the same passengers, we were stuck there, and arrived home at nine, after a quick stop at the supermarket. We had been travelling from 4pm that afternoon. But this time, I had the contact numbers for some newspapers programmed into my phone.  And I pitched my piece, about having another tunnel, to The Essex Chronicle, over email. Yay! This time I got to pitch my piece.
Lesson learned; Click save promptly. Always have faith in your pitching, and keep notes for after!

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