I’ve been reassigned again. I’m now stuck cropping photos to match the dimensions that the website has been designed with so that when all the photos are imported, the pixels don’t stretch or shrink accordingly. This was fun at first. A change of scene since I’d be using photoshop instead of word. Over a thousand photos later and its starting to loose its charm.
I’ve been able to pry a few questions, which has been helpful. Since Nick Martin has been whisked off to lots of meetings, Tory has been doing stuff that sound extremely complicated in terms of ad networking and marketing, I’ve been left to natter with Keri who has been more than happy to help me in my efforts of conducting a case study. She knows the business inside out and suggested the topic in the first place. I’ve been researching how the magazine conducts ethical journalistic practice without ‘burning bridges’ in the face of a reclusive and exclusive industry.
In short, you can’t. There are plenty of reasons why though. Its sort of similar to the ‘Journalism of Attachment’ concept in the sense that you can either report what you see and stay alive, or go deeper and risk getting shot. Of course in this industry it’s not quite so blunt, but still, the principals are the same, expect without the choice of life and death. Read the essay if you’re actually interested.
Keri Fuller is from Zimbabwe. You can’t tell from her accent as went to university in Scotland after attending an English speaking school in Africa. She’s the digital editor. She is the one responsible for contacting me and getting me involved in the first and as far as I can tell, is the only person in the office who works with words.
I’d like to think that we get on really well, she’s a good laugh and I definitely feel welcomed. Her son pops in every now then – a proper rebel! He’s 12 and is a lot more mature than I’ll ever be.
Keri studied Publishing, I think it was at St. Andrews, although she might have said Edinburgh or Glasgow, they all sound the same.
Looking at Tony Harris – the CEO and publisher, who, to put it delicately, has a ‘healthy’ frame that suggests he eats well, and a good tan. Along with his accent that suggests he went to Eton and a demeanour that implies he might now own it allows me to speculate that he’s loaded. Note to self – get into publishing.
My eyes are now probably permanently damaged. I never get to see daylight. I get up at half past six in the fair morn, go underground on the tubes, and then surface to Wimbledon where I scurry with the rest of the mob pretending to be in a rush. London is not healthy. It also costs bomb!
Pretty annoyed as we’re still paying tuition fees for this term and all we seem to be getting out of it is realistically just over £1000 for the marking of one essay. Pretty lame!
Ran into some guy whose name I can’t remember, all I know is that he’s at Falmouth Uni too. He used to live with Hattie Warren in her flat in the first year. We recognised each other, tried to have a conversation, but then remembered we’re in London so we’re not allowed to talk to anyone except Police.
Such is life as a student.
I’ve been reassigned. Nick has pointed out that it is probably too difficult to source information on brokers since they all seem a little edgy. Their businesses are led solely by their reputations as their image and identity is all they have. They can’t afford some nubile intern sniffing around (my words not his) so he suggested I could be put to better use researching the shipyards that build these gargantuan vessels.
This is much more interesting. The information is actually accessible. It doesn’t require me to send polite emails asking when they were founded, the information is there, on the screen ready for me to tear up, eradicate empty adjectives, and disseminate into useful information. This much more journalistic. I feel like I know what I’m doing here.
Some websites and sources are easier to disseminate that others though. Just like the Brokers, shipyards are also proud establishments and have reputations to maintain. Some their information is hidden so that I had to trawl through local tax records to find out when some yards began production. Not all that easy. Interesting though, I hope I can say the same thing when I get lower down the list…
Nick Martin is actually the ‘digital director’ a role that seems hugely diverse as he seems to be the most sought after man in the whole building, maybe even London. His phone never stops ringing and he seems to be the one who’s asked for help on anything and everything. Come to think of it, when I arrive and when I leave he’s still there. Sometimes when I arrive he’s still wearing similar/ the same clothes as he was the day before. I can only assume that he’s lying about his home in Guildford and actually he lives under the desk in a sleeping bag, using the new iPad 2 boxes as pillows.
I’ve been told off today, I had to be “reeled in.” I was allowed to use the email system to contact brokers in order to find out specific information. It turns out that some of the information I was asking for was highly sensitive like; ‘how many yachts did your brokerage sell last year?’ To be fair, for the smaller companies that might be a little embarrassing, but for the giants like Edmiston, Fraser, CNI and the like, I can’t image that sort of stuff to be a problem. It knocked me down a few pegs, clearly I have a long way to go.
The Boat International office is on the 3rd floor of the Auto Trader building. Inside there around 30 or 40 staff. Most of these are sales people, working in advertising or events. The actual journalism only occurs with about five or six staff. To be honest, all I can see is Keri Fuller working away on itineraries and a sister publication called ‘Best of the Best.’ She’s literally putting together a whole magazine by herself. The other people seem to keep the rest of the cogs turning. Building the websites, sending the internal newsletters, selling advertising spaces, photo sourcing – everything other than writing. Working in a magazine has nothing to do with journalism.
I’ve been tasked with compiling a directory for the new website, due to launch sometime in May. I’ve been given a list of the brokers that they have listed on their site and I’m dredging through literally hundreds of brokerage websites, each one of them saying the same thing, “Synonymous with excellence,” or “the history of yachting.” So much crap. It’s made me realise that actually, lots of businesses are like this. All brand and no action!
At the same time, it’s pretty interesting. I’ve identified the more successful superyacht brokers and I’d definitely be up for a career selling some of these beasts. Imagine the commission if you were responsible for selling a yacht with nine figures. Can’t be a bad way to make a living surely, not even having to build the yacht, just being the guy who sells it. That’s a clever, gatekeeper type role in the superyacht world. That’s where the money is. I’d quite like to wedge my foot in that door…