The Struggle is real

Since my brain is basically dead and I can’t form full paragraphs, this is a list of my thoughts about today and my GA shift.

1. Whoa the newsroom was slow. You know it’s a bad day when Allie is praying for something weird to happen so we have a story.,

2. Everyone in the newsroom felt like yelling today. Why was that a thing

3. Liz bought me coffee today. That was cool and also thank you.

4. The barista asked if I wanted an extra shot for free because I looked so tired. Womp

5. I did a life story and the guy was really nice. I always appreciate when people are nice when I’m just trying to do my job.

6. Writing nut grafs is hard. 30 minutes later and I’m still staring at my screen

7. I really hate the chairs in the newsroom. Could you be an more uncomfortable?

8. Liz doesn’t think I’m dumb. Whooooo

9. Fingers crossed I didn’t get a parking ticket.

10. Last GA shift!!!!!

But why is the rum gone?

Yesterday on GA, Elise and I managed to write a lede that incorporated Jack Sparrow and it was awesome. That fact aside, I’m actually very happy with how the story turned out. It was about how the local winery is launching a craft distillate brand that features a variety of rum, vodka and gin.

Les Bourgeois winery, Jonny Ver Planck distillery launch craft rum – Columbia Missourian

I really enjoyed doing this story because I was able to learn about a process that I knew nothing about and talk to people who are passionate about it. I think this story is closer to the kinds of things I hope to be doing once I graduate. I found it funny that yesterday that everyone else had painfully serious stories to complete and I was sitting in the story learning about how rum is made. It’s the weirdest and also greatest thing about journalism.

 

Boston Strong

I had the honor last week of talking to a 2013 Boston Marathon survivor, Bill Washington. At 67, he’s run 10 marathons. At 21, I can barely complete a mile so that in itself is amazing to me. But he also finished at 4:05 and the bomb went off 4 minutes later. He was lucky enough not to survive any injuries but was never less impacted by his proximity to such a horrible tragedy. And despite this, he ran again this morning at the 2014 Boston Marathon, which is also his last.

His story is inspiring and he was an absolute joy to talk to. I’m very honored that I was given the opportunity to write this story and I wish everyone who ran the marathon today the very best.

 

Columbia Boston Marathon survivor runs again

 

Image

Bill Washington running in last year’s Boston Marathon

Living the Life

Today was my GA shift and I spent most of my day making phone calls trying to get updated information on a former Columbia councilwoman, Almeta Crayton. She’s currently in the hospital due to heart complications and getting up to date information proved to be a bit of challenge.

UPDATE- Former councilwoman Almeta Crayton hospitalized in serious condition

With this story, I ran into the problem of sources that were completely overwhelmed by media outlets and therefore totally shutting down in terms of response. This is one of the many problems that reporters in Columbia face because it is such an over-saturated news market.

Thankfully, I did get in contact with one of her close friends who payed me a compliment that carried me threw the rest of this long day. He told me (after talking to many reporters that morning) that I was the most notable and he would be sure and call me first if he received any new information. I’m not really sure how I achieved “most notable” but I will definitely take the compliment.

A thought also struck me today that I’ve become increasingly comfortable with cold-calling people for interviews. Whether I’m actually good at the interview or not, I’m not totally sure. But I think back to my multimedia/news/bootcamp days and laugh at how scared I was to find sources. If I would have just gotten up the nerve to pick up the phone and call someone, I may have gotten way better stories and projects out of it.

I’m thankful that this experience has taught me this valuable skill because I know it will be incredibly useful in my future career. Today I really felt like I was living the life of a reporter

Clinkle: The sound of money

Another story of mine was published on Monday which is exciting. I’m still getting used to the process of editing where the story you wrote and the story that’s published are barely the same.

Most of the article is mine but the beginning is different which totally threw me. I’m not upset about it per say, but I did have to question if it was in fact my article because they changed my lead. Not a big deal at all because I’m horrible at them anyway but it’s just weird to read. It is all part of the process and I totally respect that but it’s odd.

Regardless, it is still a good article and I’m glad I was given the chance to write it. When I originally pitched the idea on GA, my editor liked it then didn’t then passed it along to beat editor. Somehow it managed to form into a story after a lot of debate but I’m proud that I was able to write it.

Happy reading!

New banking app targets Columbia’s college students

Learning New Things

Today I wrote a story about TB and the shortage of skin tests nationwide and in Columbia, For me, this was a topic that I a.) knew absolutely nothing about and b.) would probably otherwise never write about unless I was on GA.

But I did learn a whole lot of new things about TB and TB tests, which was actually pretty interesting. Granted it took a lot of digging through CDC mumbo-jumbo to get there but story accomplished!

Shortage causes suspension of TB skin tests at Boone County clinic

And like my grandma used to tell me, learn something new every day and that I have

On a side note, today was the first GA shift I didn’t get a parking ticket. It’s really the little things

Rookie Mistake

Today was my first GA reporting shift and I walked into the newsroom with the horrible mixed feeling of excitement and nerves– mostly nerves.

It started off fine, with me being sent to look at the police blotter. Pretty standard stuff and somehow I managed to screw it up. Not in a you’ll-fail-and-never-become-a-journalist-way but in a how-could-you-be-so-careless-way.

After looking over the media book about a thousand times and taking notes, I came back to the newsroom with what I thought was a story, a shooting at a local park. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the report was misfiled as happening on the 27th when it actually happened on the 21st. I was so concerned with taking notes on arrests that didn’t matter, that I had completely disregarded this hugely important fact.

Thankfully, I wanted to accuracy check the name of the reporting officer at the scene and returned to the police station to discover my mistake. I’m somewhere between kicking myself for being so stupid and being incredibly grateful that I went back to check before I published a completely inaccurate story.

Just picked another story on Twitter about a school lockdown so at least I’m not totally embarrassed AND without a story. I am very sure that I will never be making that mistake and I’m glad I can make them here rather than at my real job.