Column: Perils of journalism

Cartoon: Nic and the incontinent baby penguin, by Jack Knight @knightTcreations


There are many perils to being a journalist ranging from caffeine addiction to being weed on by baby penguins (a story for another time).

But one thing is for sure – very few of the the more dramatic aspects of your life go unmarked – because frankly, they are copy.

And you can’t ignore a good story in a world where copy is King and Queen.

If something dramatic happens to a normal person, a journalist may write about if, that is true.

But if you are a journalist yourself, and you still have the use of your hands after said incident, you write it yourself.

As a result I have written news and features stories on a number of incidents in my life.

These range from being one of the first people in Lancashire to get a speeding ticket from a fixed camera.

Complete with a unflattering pic of me under said delightful device, of course.

Then there was a time I was involved in the rescue of a child from a pond outside a pub.

That made a front page splash (no pun intended).

When I found myself stranded in sunny Spain after volcanic ash clouds spread over Europe, leaving airlines grounded and travellers desperately seeking a way back home, I took the more sensible approach and laid out on my lounger.

As I gazed at the, frankly, ash free skies, the text came in on my mobile.

Eight hundred words plus a sidebar please and can you take a picture? Sigh, no rest for the wicked.

I actually got off lightly when, after a trip to Austria skiing, my plane got struck by lightning and had to make an emergency landing at the nearest airport with damage to the wing.

Instead of actually writing this, I was interviewed by own news staff. But I still had to take pictures. obviously.

Of course, I am a journalist, and obviously really don’t mind writing a story.

But my near-death experience really took the nut-free bread roll.

After suffering anaphylactic shock -two features and four sidebars later I’m exhausted.

This column appeared in the Lancaster Guardian. Click HERE