Australia

A day in the life of national news blogger Broede Carmody

Broede Carmody has led our national news live blog since May last year. Here he gives us some insight into a typical day manning one of the most popular features on our homepages.

Thursday, September 22, 7.56am I arrive at the office. Normally, I’m in the newsroom by 6am (yes, you read that correctly). But today, because of the national day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, we’ve decided to crank up the national blog a little later than usual. You’d think I’d be grateful for the sleep-in, but, if anything, I’m a little frazzled. By the time I’m at my desk, the major interviews on the ABC’s RN Breakfast are done and dusted and Foreign Minister Penny Wong is speaking to reporters outside the United Nations building in New York.

“It’s a little unsettling when there’s a lull, but something always happens”: national news blogger Broede Carmody.Credit:Simon Schluter

8.00am I quickly read The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald (the websites and the physical versions), keeping an eye out for stories that our papers and websites have broken exclusively. I’m also hunting for federal politics and state news that will travel. I then start writing. As the blog’s regulars will know, every day starts with a snappy greeting post that also serves as a morning news wrap. The idea is to get readers acquainted with what they might have missed the night before or overnight. It also covers the big stories of the day and what they can expect to happen as the day unfolds. This morning, I lead with what people can expect from the Queen’s memorial in Canberra. I also make sure to include some state news of national interest and also catch people up on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial mobilisation of his country’s military reservists – a topic that’ll help carry the blog through the morning.

8.31am I hit the blog’s big red “publish” button (there is no big red button, but there might as well be, psychologically speaking). No matter how many times you proofread your own copy, there is always the fear of making a typo.

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8.32am Look up from my desk. Spot AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan speaking to ABC News Breakfast. Breaking news reporter Caroline Schelle starts writing a blog post for me. The Hawthorn Football Club scandal is the big sports story of the day, even if it’s the story’s second day in the news cycle, and we want to keep readers up-to-date on more than just politics.

8.33am I check our wire services for a post on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to the UN General Assembly. Dress the post up with a map of Ukraine before and after the recent counteroffensive from our talented graphic design team.

8.50am I start editing Caroline’s copy and then send it to our lawyers for legal approval.

9.05am While I wait for the lawyer to get back to me, North America correspondent Farrah Tomazin sends some lines from Penny Wong’s New York press conference.

9.20am The lawyer says the Hawthorn blog post is fine to publish. I hit the big red button!

9.43am Shadow foreign affairs minister Simon Birmingham holds a press conference. I grab some quotes from the TV, focusing on what’s fresh (urging the Albanese government to act on Ukraine’s latest request for military assistance).

10am Federal bureau chief Michelle Griffin sends me some lines on what readers can expect from the Queen’s memorial service. Straight into the blog. A portion of readers will no doubt be sick of this coverage, but the prime minister, opposition leader and governor-general will all be at the service and it’s important we cover it.

11am The memorial service kicks off with a minute’s silence. As a newsroom, we’ve made the call not to blog every tiny detail of the service. Instead, we focus on the most significant comments from Anthony Albanese, Peter Dutton and David Hurley.

12pm The service wraps up. Rachel Clun, who, on a regular day, will be filing copy relating to the economy, has sent through some lovely colour from outside Parliament House where crowds have gathered to watch the memorial service on large screens.

1pm I circle back to some comments Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney made earlier in the day about how, from her perspective, paying tribute to the Queen aligns with sorry business. The next hour is a little quiet. I take this opportunity to eat some lunch. As you can imagine, grabbing a coffee or a sandwich is often dictated by the news cycle.

2pm Just as I was getting a little nervous about the pace of the blog, Optus releases a statement advising that customer information has been compromised due to a cyber attack. It’s a little unsettling when there’s a lull, but something always happens. The earthquake that was felt across Victoria and parts of southern NSW on this same day last year comes to mind today.

3.04pm There is an anti-monarchy protest in Melbourne. Reporter Jackson Graham has received some comments from Indigenous Australians unhappy with the national day of mourning. I whip up a post to provide a different perspective to Linda Burney’s earlier comments.

4pm I publish the final post for the day and sign-off. Normally, I’d hand the reins to the afternoon blogger. But today, it’s just me. I close my laptop and step out into the last few hours of Melbourne sun, ready to do it all again bright and early Monday morning.

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