This week, I really tried to work on writing articles that were a little more complex and difficult than just simply covering a fun, visual event.
I do usually gravitate towards covering stories like Igala Day and Shred Fest, and it’s just because I’m really attracted to visually attractive things that can best be portrayed through photo or video. What can I say, I’m a visual-kinda girl.
Before this reporting class, I never considered myself a writer. I would try to avoid writing as much as possible. The extent to which I have had to write stories are photo gallery descriptions and captions. I was really nervous going into this class, and I still am. Something has changed though. After these past few weeks, I have gained more confidence in being able to write complex stories and be able to write about things that aren’t so superficial in a sense.
I have been trying to work on more stories that aren't photo or video driven and more information focused, but not much has come my way yet. I have a project that will hopefully come out really well with an African multilingual service that can tie into the African community that is growing in Columbia and how our city is really trying to make them feel safe and like home here.
Both stories I have written — one about a man who was arrested and one about Honeywell continuing its formal collaboration with MU (articles linked) — weren’t visually driven, and even though they were pretty straightforward, I tried to dig deeper to get more information that wasn’t just on the surface. I tried to make them more informative stories with information that the public wouldn’t normally find by themselves, but I don’t think I necessarily accomplished that.
Overall, this week has been a good week. I can’t believe that it’s already week four. I have really noticed that my anxiety about this class has drastically gone down, and I actually feel like I belong in the newsroom with all my amazing peers. It has been nice to know my fellow reporters. I used to be so intimidated by them and their amazing writing skills, but they really make me feel like I’m a good writer too.
The editing process has also taught a lot about writing. Even though I learn more about organization, my writing still lacks creativity. My interviewing skills have also improved, or so I think they have. I didn’t think I was a good interviewer in general, but I think that I have become better and understanding what I need to ask and how I am going to get the answers I am looking for. Although I still need to work more on it, I’m not as afraid to talk to people as much anymore.
For the arrested suspect story, I wasn’t really that afraid to contact the PIO and talk to him about the situation because I was pretty prepared on what I needed to ask him and what I wanted to write about for the story. Although it was just a short write up, I wanted to get a little more information that readers couldn’t find for themselves online.
For the Honeywell story, I probably talked to like five different people who always forwarded me to someone else, and some sources weren’t very helpful, but it was actually kind of fun trying to track down the right people to talk to about this story. Although one of my sources didn’t get back to me in time, I think the story still turned out better than if I just stuck with the news release and talked to just one two other people. It also really helped when I asked my editor, Scott, what questions I should be asking because it got me to think about how I want to organize my story.