Time to catch up on the posts from last week.
Had a general assignment shift on Labor Day last week. Yes, the news doesn’t stop on Labor Day. As expected however, it was a very slow day with many things being closed. So about midday we were sent out to Columbia area parks to see what people were up to.
This presented a new challenge. Walking up to complete strangers and asking them what they were doing that day. I did a little bit of this the previous day so I was a bit more comfortable with the idea. Anyways, about five of us ended up with this article. Also had the opportunity to compile an article with all the information on Labor Day.
The big story of the week for me was finally publishing the advance article on the National Day of Service and the United Methodist Church. I had the opportunity to work with a partner on this article, which was a significant help. This article required compiling a plethora of facts and double and triple checking those facts. Since it was an advance article, we wanted to make sure all the information was absolutely correct.
One of the challenges behind the day of service article was finding out who was doing what. The mall and church both had good publicity behind the event so it was easy to gather information on their respective events. However, I’m sure there was other small events going on by other residents, but this presented significant challenges. How could I find this out? Who can I talk to that might know? I spent the week calling various organizations such as the Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, etc. but to no avail. I think the next step I should have taken was to get in touch with the community outreach team. They could have sent out a tweet or something that could have presented me with new information.
Finally, on Thursday I was given a tip there would be flags placed on the quad. This was a rather short article and simply outlined the events. However, the challenge behind the story was gathering the facts and confirming them ASAP. I had to find the contact info and get in touch with the sources quickly. This was a new challenge, but I handled it relatively well and turned the story in about two hours.
In terms of the overall experience, I have tremendously surprised myself. 3 weeks ago I don’t think you could have told me I would already have about 2-3 articles a week and developed beginning relationships with sources. The rewarding thing about the process is that I see the results the same day. I see the work I’m doing it’s quite rewarding.