We were set what was called “the ticking clock” assignment, monitoring a virtual breaking news story, writing a draft as each new piece of information is released. As the story was initially introduced and the class began the first draft, the clicking of keys simultaneously echoed around the room. It felt like a real news room.
With the story being about a tube train stuck in a tunnel, my usual positive outlook lead me to question in the press conference simulation whether this was a terrorist attack… My bleak outlook lead me to prematurely predict the next story update… a phone call from a terrorist group. Seven drafts later, the final update to the story was given to us and we had half an hour to complete the final story as it would be written.
By the end of it, probably most of us had banging headaches. Despite this though, I did really enjoy it. The buzz of a newsroom, the noise as thirty people type simultaneously and the sense of achievement from the final piece.