Posted by: Sara Valente3 AUG 2012
Offices, desks, computers, phones; these were the things that I thought of when Benedict Lam, PJ contributions editor, asked me to think about what I thought it would be like working at The Pharmaceutical Journal. I knew I would be learning how to write news and how news goes from Word documents to a printed journal yet I was pleasantly surprised to learn the finer details of what it means to be a journalist.
At first I thought that producing the PJ would involve several departments of writers, researchers, computer programmers and digital artists. In reality, all these skills can actually be performed by a team of people. It was impressive to see that, within a team, news could be researched, written, edited and uploaded online with a quick and well-practised process. It means that a person who is involved at the journal can enjoy all aspects of writing an article from researching and writing news to actually implementing it onto a page that will eventually be printed in the journal.
During my second week I had the opportunity to visit the staff involved with revising Martindale and the BNF. This included using similar skills to news writing as it required researching changes in drug information and using it to update the reference books. Martindale, I discovered, is arguably the most extensive resource for drugs and their formulations and was surprised to learn that it included drugs from a vast range of countries. I’m glad that I know this now as my fourth year project is upon me and I can use MedicinesComplete as a reference tool!
Over the past four weeks with the PJ I have learned a lot about publishing and practised the skill of news writing. The internship has given me great insight into how news is edited and the importance of contacting sources to verify facts. In addition, I have learned when to use ‘which’ and ‘that’ as well as the difference between ‘practise’ and ‘practice’!
I would like to thank all the staff at the PJ for making the internship a lot of fun and taking the time to teach me about work at the journal and also allowing me to have a go at writing some news myself! It showed me that there are many different career paths out there for pharmacy students.