Journalists recall their standout stories of 2017

Journalist Lauren Green with artist Rod Spicer.
Journalist Lauren Green with artist Rod Spicer.

Journalist Lauren Green was in her element with this story.

What is it about this story that sticks in your mind:

I loved the chance to go behind the scenes and see how things are done.

Rod was so generous with his time and welcomed us so warmly. At the end of the day, an art studio is an artist’s personal space so it is a real privilege to be invited in, shown around and get to talk about what goes into their work.

It was also the first of the Studio Spaces series (a collaboration with the Manning Regional Art Gallery) so our photographer Scott Calvin and I were feeling our way, so to speak, on how these visits and the subsequent published content would work.

What were the challenges in writing this story:

In the end it was knowing what information to include and how to put it together - there was so much good stuff! The Studio Spaces stories are a bit different to the usual news story we write every day.

Read Lauren’s story and watch the video here:

The stories in the series are more longform and in-depth and we have a gallery of photos and a short video created by Scott Calvin to go with it. It takes a bit longer and more thought to put together the presentation of the content and that can be a challenge to fit into the fast-paced newsroom environment. As it was also the first in the series I knew it would set the tone for the whole series so there was that to consider as well.

What kind of stories do you love to tell:

This is me in my element. Writing about the arts (which is a personal interest of mine) and people is my favourite thing. I enjoy spending time talking to people about the things they are passionate about and sharing that with the wider community.

Rod Spicer in his gallery in Tinonee.

Rod Spicer in his gallery in Tinonee.

Is there anything you would do differently with this story:

I’m pretty happy with how it all came together. We were unsure going into the interview how things were going to go because I hadn’t spoken to Rod before, but I like to keep things fairly relaxed when doing these kinds of stories and that really worked in our favour.

We talked about Rod’s work, his space, creativity as a whole - all sorts of things. When it comes to what I learned, it was the importance of time management and prioritising the time to work on the story. Days in the newsroom are never the same and you can’t really know what is going to happen. It can be tricky to plan your day because things can change quite quickly.

Anything else you would like to say about this story:

The Studio Spaces series is a collaboration with the Manning Regional Art Gallery that will culminate in an art exhibition that opens in April next year.

Scott and I have been visiting a large number of artists over the year and the content we produce will be included. It is an exciting project and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of bringing an exhibition to the gallery - nothing I’ve ever done before.

Lauren Green is a journalist with the Manning River Times.  If you have a story for her email lauren.green@fairfaxmedia.com.au