Arrived London: Covering the Paralympic Games for Wikinews and Wikipedia
After a 6 hour flight delay out of Sydney due to late arriving connections and then mechanical difficulties, with a connection in Singapore and what was probably over 24 hours in the air, I arrived in London.
I’ve never done anything like this, and I suffer from low selfesteem in the “Being here and representing Wikimedia Australia and Wikinews feels a bit silly given the profile of both and that Wikipedia does not allow original research… feels a bit silly.”, I’ve just been really pleased. I talked to several people about expectations and what to do when I got here but still hhard to prepare. When I got off the plane at Heathrow, there were volunteers and others who helped get me through press accreditation, immigration and customs. There were people who helped me get the right train to downtown London. Once I got to Paddington Station, I was able to utilize the media transport to get a lift to my hotel. This really, really reduced stresss and have I mentioned how fantastic the volunteers were?
Once I got into London, I toddled off to the Media Centre, where I picked up my media packet, signed up for a tour of the village, used press centre computers to update Facebook and contact people via e-mail. It took a bus to get to the media centre from Strafford but this was easily done.
On the actual reporting front, while I was in the airport on the massive flight delay, news of thee passing of one of Australia’s early Paralympians was shared. All I had was news of his death and not much else at that point. Given the timeliness issues and my inability to write because of the transit issues, with just that news, I decided to write a story. This story was published while I was in flight, and subsequently more details have been made available to me. I am unsure how to handle that. The story can be found at 1964 Australian Paralympic medalist Trevor French dies.
I wanted to try to write one piece of Original Reporting a day, even outside the day the actual Games are being played. The first such piece was Papua New Guinea represented by two Paralympians in London. This story was written because I cleared customs and immigration and accreditation with them, and they gave me the team handbook. The delegation was keen to tell me about their successful competitor.
I have some pictures taken on my iPhone that I wanted to post to Wikinews for possible use on future Wikinews stories but those uploads have failed. Need to check in with Brian McNeil to find out why.
Now, I should really get back to sleep.