Support mounts for 'Day in the Life of British Journalism' - Press Gazette

Support mounts for 'Day in the Life of British Journalism'

Wide support is being received for Press Gazette’s ground-breaking project News-Day: A Day in the Life of British Journalism.

News-Day – which follows a 24-hour news cycle starting at 8am on Wednesday, 8 February – has the backing of the Society of Editors, the British Society of Magazine Editors and the National Association of Press Agencies. They are encouraging their members, including hundreds of top journalists, to take part.

Journalists offering to participate so far include:

  • Foreign correspondents in Afghanistan and other global hotspots, as well as in China, America, Africa and Australia
  • Weekly and evening newspaper editors and staff
  • TV and radio presenters
  • Crime reporters
  • National newspaper journalists of all ranks
  • Science and health correspondents
  • News agencies
  • National magazine editors
  • Radio reporters across Britain
  • True-life freelance writers
  • Sports reporters
  • Photographers.

The idea behind News-Day is for journalists working on all platforms, and across all subject areas, to send Press Gazette a snapshot of their day.

The intention is to build up a unique picture of what British journalists do on a typical day.

Ten-time BSME award winner John Dale, who is managing News-Day as a Press Gazette contributing editor, said: “The project is unprecedented anywhere in the world. It’s really taken off. This is our chance to redress the bad image created recently at Leveson.

“Ninety-nine per cent of journalists are dedicated to performing a vital public service which nourishes our society and our culture. We can show how we work and why Britain must take great pride in its journalistic industry, and both treasure and preserve press freedom.

“It will give the big picture, across all segments, right across the country. It will provide insights and increase understanding. I hope the result will be useful to ourselves, the public at large – and to Lord Justice Leveson.”

Here’s John Dale’s description of what to do if you want to participate in News-Day:

To participate, just send us a summary – 100-500 words, or whatever you wish – describing what you did during the 24 hours starting 6am Wednesday February 8: your news jobs, stories, features, photos, mishaps, interviews, events, meetings, humour, even an office party. Our article will be a 24-hour narrative so please give timings, following this format:

06:25 Bacon butty at desk. Police calls. House fire, Hunslet. Rush off. Neighbour rescues family…(More here)

11:07 Late at press conference, Leeds police hq. Man’s body in canal. Accident or murder?….(More here)

12:24 Coffee with councillor about new shopping centre plan. Fobbed off. Send email. Waiting for reply…(More here)

12:36 Call woman about breast surgery disaster…(More here)

02:45 Confront local MP on doorstep. Ask him about new shops plan. He talks jobs instead. Woman shouts at him and I follow him to car. Like council leader, he fobs me off…(More here)

03:15 Crown Court. Photograph grandmother acquitted on shopping fraud…(More here)

06:00 Fashion and cosmetics promotion…(More here)

09.10 Agree splash headline. Flying pizza decapitates mayor…Celebrate in office pub…(More here)

Okay, no one’s going to be that busy! But your team might be. You might break a world exclusive or have a quiet day (we still want to hear) Include colour and emotion. Rushed breakfasts. Watery coffee. Lunch at desk. Lunch with contact in greasy spoon/posh restaurant. The perils of alcohol. Quotes. Being married to the job. Story spiked – misery! Story splashed – ecstasy!

We will thread your contribution into a third-person narrative. If there is an illustrative photograph – preferably of you doing your job – please email that too.

We also want to hear from overseas journalists supplying British news media, whether you’re a paparazzi in Hollywood or a war reporter in Helmand or a correspondent in Chengdu.

Press Gazette will publish its News-Day special report in the March issue, with coverage also appearing online. It will give an unprecedented insight into the role and the dimensions of the news industry across Britain and Ireland, how we really work, how we enrich our society and culture, and how we make a huge difference to the lives of every man, woman and child, on an hour-by-hour basis.

It will be entertaining, enlightening and intriguing and, at this time when journalism is under profound scrutiny, point to answers to the questions being raised at Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry. But we are not doing it for him. We are doing it for ourselves out of the pride we take in doing the greatest job in the world.

24 hours, one million stories: A Day In The Life Of British Journalism will be an unashamed celebration. It will also promote you and your organisation among your many peers who will be participating alongside you. Instead of reporting the news, you can star in it. Don’t miss out.

Please mark Wednesday 8 February in your diary. Tell your colleagues.

Email your contributions (as soon as possible after the date) to