EmilyBlog – In the heart of the action

By Emily Ridlington, Sports Media Canada Special Correspondent and International Olympic Committee Young Reporter.

Emily at work

Singapore – After the press conference ended, all I hear are the sounds of fingers tapping on keyboards and the clicking of (computer) mice in the main press centre. The smell of coffee lingers in the area. I’m the laughing stock of the newsroom as I don’t drink coffee but that’s beside the point.

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge spoke to journalists from all over the world in downtown Singapore. Rogge, the godfather of sport, kicked off the Youth Olympic Games. The main press centre is about an hour shuttle bus ride from the Olympic Village so this has to be taken into consideration when considering transit times and logistics for shooting especially television.

Sitting next to me is a journalist from France who I was talking to in French and a photo journalist from Brazil who I attempted to speak Spanish with. Like the professional media coming from all around the world to cover the event, the 29 Young Reporters are from each of the five continents. My colleagues are from such countries as Senegal, Mauritius, Qatar, Palau, Latvia and Israel.

Myself and others are pounding away trying to file our stories and load our photos by deadline. Sitting in a sea of journalists in a large hall, you have to find a spot and get in the zone.

Writing the story

Forget what everyone else is doing, you have to focus on your own affairs. Everyone has their own style and routine and their own idiosyncrasies. I am no exception to this rule. While many may find this a stressful environment to work in, I find this is where I thrive. There is something exhilarating about it that drives you to push harder and write the best article you can. Whether it is the atmosphere or the sense of urgency that drives you, there are important lessons to be learned here when working in such a situation.

I am of the mindset that as stressful as the job is you have to have fun at some point during the work day to let off some steam. This morning on the way to the press centre, Raitis from Latvia, Luke from Australia, Iluia from Ukraine and myself all burst into singing Christmas carols for no apparent reason. We were all quite tired still suffering from some serious jetlag and it came to the point of over exhaustion crossing into hysteria. You have to laugh otherwise these high stress situations could take their toll.

It’s about 2 p.m. in the afternoon and the room has emptied because the scoop is they just brought snacks out in the media lounge. What has been confirmed time and time again and certainly at this event is that journalists flock in large numbers when there is food to be had.

Time for a 10 minute lunch break and then back to work for me.