Week in the life: Monday 24 May 2010

Arrived 9.30am (or maybe a little bit after!). My colleague Holly is away this week so I’m doing a few tasks first thing that she would normally do if she was working the early shift (9am).

Normally I’d work a 9.30-5.30 shift, but today I’m leaving a few hours early for a baby scan (exciting!). Not to worry though, it was a busy morning so plenty to write about.

  • Afghanistan casualties – We check the MOD site every morning for details of any new deaths, then add them to the casualty list we store in Google docs. This list is made available internally through the research dept intranet, and externally through the Datablog. There was one casualty over the weekend, so I added his name and details to the list of British casualties, and changed the number of UK deaths on the spreadsheet.
  • Afghanistan wounded – We update this as and when figures are released. I checked the MoD and DoD sites but no further figures have been released.
  • Afghanistan casualties worldwide – We keep a list on the intranet of the casualties suffered by other countries as well as the UK. Checked iCasualties, and updated the list on the intranet.
  • Cuts query for John Harris on Alastair Campbell – used Lexis Nexis to search for profiles/interviews, and a review of his previous diaries book, and emailed nine or ten articles.
  • Corrections – The Guardian prints corrections every day in the Corrections and Clarifications column, and we add them to the relevant articles on our internal text archive. Found today’s corrections in the archive library, then used the Corrections tool to add each correction to the article it is correcting.
  • Wrote up my notes from In Copy training last week – we’re going to start loading the From the archive column onto the website ourselves soon, as it’s been discontinued online (no one else has time or inclination to do it), so we’ve had training on how to do it from In Copy.
  • Uploaded Saturday’s From the archive article as a practice, and ironed out a few glitches with someone from ESD. We’re trying to settle on a uniform style that looks okay but also incorporates good SEO, and so it’s clear it’s an old article not breaking news.
  • From the archive for next week – We try to keep at least two weeks ahead of the From the archive column, which we send off every Thursday for subbing, but we’ve been busy lately so there are a few gaps to fill in. I checked our On this day calendar for ideas, saw that the driving test has been compulsory for 75 years and searched the digital archive for driving test stories around the first week of June 1935. Came up with a House of Commons proceedings report about road safety, not one of those gems you find sometimes but quite interesting anyway. Typed the text into the Google doc we use to compile future articles, edited it to 450 words and entered the details onto the Google calendar so colleagues know I’ve covered that date.
  • Sidebar for the newspaper – The home desk want a panel to go with the Dr Andrew Wakefield story tomorrow, detailing the history of the case, so I checked the wires and Lexis Nexis for previous stories, timelines and dates then wrote it through, with about ten bullet points on the original study, GMC investigations and other key dates.
  • Updating Aristotle – The Guardian’s database of MPs needs updating with the new shadow cabinet posts for Labour MPs, so I copied over the job titles from the Labour website and used the production software to amend each minister’s profile online. Harriet Harman is now officially the acting leader etc.
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