Oh that word. It’s so important.
Something John said during orientation may actually be one of my biggest takeaways from this course. Journalists must report, report, report and, if the reporting is done well, the writing will do itself.
This has already proved true. I’ve spent little time actually writing during this course. Much of my time is spent doing background research, making phone calls, and waiting for people to answer phone calls.
The most recent example of this was with yesterday’s vehicle fire story involving the garbage truck. After calling the fire department’s public information officer during my general assignment desk shift, I went to work and shifted my focus to something else. About a half hour later, the PIO called me prepared to give me as much information as I wanted.
After giving me the basics of the fire, I asked him about some things we heard reported on the scanner earlier in the day. Was the vehicle actually run by natural gas? Who owned the vehicle? Were there any environmental concerns? How were those concerns being addressed? These extra questions were what really interested me as they were what set this fire apart from every other vehicle fire.
I then relayed this information to my classmate who was on the GA desk at the time, and went about my day. The reporting essentially wrote this news brief.
I also spent my entire day today reporting as I prepare for the election stories. Even though I didn’t type one word into a story, I feel like I had a productive day of research.
Tomorrow I will keep reporting so that, when it is time to write, I can create the best stories possible.