The Illawarra Mercury reporting team is bringing you a weekly series of behind-the-scenes stories, exclusive to our subscribers. Today, editor Julian O'Brien talks about our newsroom's hope to bring you some lighter moments to brighten your day.
A newsroom is like any environment in this COVID-impacted world.
We can become intensely focussed on the negative and all of the bad/dire news that is happening around us.
It's a challenging world for everyone. We are all looking for the opportunities for relief and a bit of light in our lives.
It's been a topic in our newsroom lately that we need to continue to look for opportunities to provide readers with some of the light among the shade. Some reads that will put a smile on your face or take you to a relaxing place.
While these stories might not be everyone's cup of tea or qualify as "hard news" a good edition of every newspaper, whether that be print or digital, should take readers through a range of emotions. Hopefully there are a variety of stories which challenge you, make you angry, make you cry and make you laugh.
One of those opportunities for a bit of levity this week arose when we decided to put our reporter Agron Latifi in the octagon against the Illawarra's very own UFC world champion Alex Volkanovski. Not an actual octagon of course, but a virtual one.
You see the UFC has just released its latest online and console computer game which is taking the world by storm and naturally Alex is featured in the game.
So we thought it would be a bit of fun to get Agron to fight Alex and video it. We had visions of Agron getting Alex to submit with a choke hold and being able to hold the UFC belt aloft as the new world (virtual) champ.
Alas, the art mimicked life and it was a bloodbath. You can see for yourself when the story goes live on our website this evening.
Another such moment this week was the opportunity for sports journalist Cameron Mee to interview local footballer Jake Kinzett who we think is the titleholder of the greatest mullet haircut in Australian sport. Again, you'll be able to see for yourself on the website.
Hopefully stories such as these, while not being "hard news", give you a bit of light relief in these challenging times. That's what we all long for right?
Stay safe and warm over this weekend.
You can read Agron and Cameron's stories in the weekend edition of the Mercury, or online as part of our subscriber-only content.Thank you for your support. If you enjoyed this, feel free to forward it to a friend.