Free Bill! By Michaela Twite

As a trainee reporter on the local paper, it had been drilled in to me how important it was to be the one who got the 'splash' story - the front-page main story. Every week I was competing against my two colleagues for the 'splash', and for us back then, it was like competing for Olympic gold.

As the deadline for the week's 'splash' approached, I'd decided to go in to town to see if I could get any leads on an amazing story. After 45 minutes of fruitless walking about, I came across an empty shop.

And there was my story. 'In your face colleagues! Ha!'

I rushed back to the office to see one of my colleagues tapping away at her (excuse for a) computer. 'In your face, Witch' I thought, as I prepared to shame her with my reporting skills.

"Helen, you will not believe this. Some bloke called Bill Stickers is being chased by a gang of people who've put posters up in his empty shop window saying 'Bill Stickers will be prosecuted'. It's like there's a vigilante gang after him! I could stop Bill Stickers being murdered, if I find him!"

If you don't know how this pans out then I love you for being an innocent like me who thought Bill Stickers wasn't actually the act of illegally sticking up posters on walls and shops.

If you did know then all I can say is, I was a late developer. In the intelligent stakes. If you still don't get it, don't become a journalist.

For weeks after I came in to work to 'Free Bill' 'Bill is innocent' and 'Don't jail Bill' posters taped on my desk...


in London, United Kingdom

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