This week I started at News Online in a different BBC building. Apart from the fact that my nice BBC swipe card doesn't seem to work here, and I have to keep getting temporary badges every day, it is going really well.
I sat down at one desk on the first day (it is all rotas and hot-desking here, one part of working life that I'm glad we mainly avoid in academia!) and was immediately handed a story to work on. Then another one. And another one. I also found some pretty pictures (it's nice to use pictures!) and two of my stories went out yesterday. Can you tell I was VERY EXCITED?
Coral reef story
Stone age funeral feast story
These were very much time zone stories - I had to get on to the Australians on the coral reef story immediately before they went to bed (and I ended up begging one for pictures as he was getting home after an evening out) and then wait for the East Coast US researcher to get to work before calling her.
It's a lot more immediate in this part of the BBC, though it's not necessarily a case of getting things out the minute we get a press release - stories can be embargoed for up to a week, giving us plenty of time to call people up. Also, even if we are a little late on a story, if it doesn't get picked up by a lot of other outlets, it doesn't matter if we get it a few days late as we will be first.
And if something is really big news, and then a paper comes out, everyone will remember it. Personally, I am not that bothered by free kicks, but I gather that a lot of people are quite keen on that sport where men run up and down in shorts and try not to touch the ball - so a mathematical formula for a free kick that took place in 1997 is new enough to make the top story as I'm writing this.
I'm just waiting for someone to get off the phone so I can publish two more stories which had an embargo time of 5pm here, however - I finished them about 4.45 but we can't put them out yet then, so sometimes the time is pretty precise.