Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Blast From the Past

When I spoke to a family friend over coffee earlier this morning, I uncovered an untold secret she had been keeping.

Peggy has been one of my auntie's closest friends for as long as I can remember, and we got chatting when I told her I was studying a degree in journalism.

Canadian born Peggy grew up in Vancouver, and aged fifteen left school during World War II to work in a busy newsroom in the city.

"Of course it was all done on typewriters then" she recalls, "The tapping of the keys is something that will always remain synonymous with that newsroom in my mind."  

A far cry from today's papers, hers was churning out five a day, one in the morning, several throughout the day and a final edition in the evening.

As a copy writer her job involved supplying the reporters with paper when they needed it, taking copy to the editor, and generally running around.

"I was a slim size 8 back then!" she jokes.

After working her way up and learning the ropes Peggy became a reporter for the paper. She still remembers her first headline story.

"There was an armed robbery at a local jewelers that was down the road from the newsroom. I managed to get the phone number of one of the customers caught up in the incident meaning I could do a phone interview and get some great quotes before the police even got to the scene!" she tells me.

Peggy tells me about her favorite parts of the job which surprisingly happen to be surrounding the celebrity interest of the industry.

"There was the same obsessive celebrity culture then that there is now. I remember always being incredibly excited to see where all the heart throbs of the era had been on their yachts."

"It was an exciting job and fast paced." She says.

Shame I wasn't training to be a reporter back then!

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