Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Being a journalist.

Wondering if people wanted to know what it is like to be a journalist? Thought I'd tell you about a visit to the police HQ in Enderby today which sums up what it is like.

To put this into context, every day for the last three weeks I have done a page lead on the key issues in the county and European elections. I was invited to meet the police officer in charge of dealing with electoral fraud on June 4.

Now, of course a week or so ago some of the most senior councillors at County Hall were referred to him for alleged dirty tricks relating to a pre-election deal to get a rival candidate to stand down.

So I meet this officer, we talk through the most common forms of fraud, what police will be looking for, what the public should be looking for. Good story.

Interview ends, so I ask about the case at County Hall. It's my job after all and he was not surprised that I asked.

Here's what happened:

Me: I know one case has been referred to you from County Hall. Can you tell me anything?
Officer: I thought you would ask, I can't say anything at all.
Me: Ok, well I got an update last week saying no arrests, is there any update now?
Officer: You have to go through the press office Martin.
Me: Have you been involved.
Officer: Yes i'm involved.
Me: Well, won't the press office just come back to you anyway?
Officer: Yes.
Me: So you could just tell me if there any update now.
Officer: You have to speak to the press office (looks into distance)

So I head back to work, a bit grumpy, and call the press office. Five minutes later I get a call back after they spoke to him. And I'm told there's no update.

This is what it is like to be a journalist.

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