Megan McGinnis is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is pursuing a major in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Political Science.
Megan is from Chesterfield, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. She started in journalism by writing for her high school's newspaper.
Some of her hobbies include exercising, reading, watching sports, and traveling.
After graduation, Megan would like to pursue a career as a sports reporter/anchor or attend law school.
She started at MDN in January 2011.
I can't believe I only have one day left at the Capitol, the whole experience went by really fast. Last week was not near as exciting as I thought it was going to be, I guess everything fun happens on Tuesday and Thursday. On Monday, I did not have a story. I cannot remember the last time that has happened, oh well at least I got to go home early. On Wednesday, I went to the House in the morning and the afternoon. They passed the voter id bill, so I ended up writing a story about that. I cannot wait for this week to be over. One more day at Jeff City, two more finals and I'm done................ until Monday the 16th when I start summer school. Anyway it will be nice to have one weekend when I don't have to worry about homework.
On Wednesday, I immediately went to the House when I arrived. They discussed pay day loans and the dog breeder law. Both were fairly important so I ended up writing a story on each of them. The dog breeding story was pretty interesting, the vote was close so you can tell a lot of people feel strongly about the issue. Well there are still three more weeks of hard work to do, but I am really looking forward to going home for Easter next weekend and then summer break.
As of today there are seven more days until I will be reunited with my favorite food, french fries. I decided to give them up for lent and it has been really tough.
Before I could leave to enjoy my break there was one thing left I had to do, finish my feature. Writing it was really not that bad, i was a little intimidated at first that it had to be four minutes long. But once I started writing and pumping out what I needed to say, I realized I probably had enough information and sound bites to write a ten minute piece. I was thrilled that I found a central compelling character, in a mom who's daughter had been previously overweight. Overall, I think it turned out pretty well. Looking back on it, I which I would have found a doctor to ad a more professional opinion to the causes and consequences of childhood obesity.
I love Columbia, but I think it was time for scenery. Now if only the weather would cooperate, it is snowing....................again.
On Monday I had to do something scary, write a print story. I was terrified when I was told I was going yo have to write a print story. I wrote for the newspaper in high school and I did not like it, which is why I am going into broadcast. Looking back on it, it really was not that bad. Luckily for me I got a topic I knew a lot about, HB 213 the late term abortion bill. This was the fourth story I wrote on this bill. The coolest part was that my story actually got into the Missourian, who would have ever thought I would actually have a story published in a real newspaper?
Wednesday was a very stressful day, I went to the Senate for two hours and nothing happened so we had to find a new story. I ended up doing a story about protesters who were at the Capitol to speak against the possible repeal of Proposition B. The story was rather bland and boring, but I found out how bad I am with technology. I could not figure out how to get the marantz to charge and it kept on dying whenever I tried to interview people, it was terrible and I only got one decent soundbite. I really wish I had a thumb for technology, it would cause me so many less problems in life.
On Wednesday I went to the House, and they held an extended debate on HB 213. The bill would almost ban all late term abortions, except in medical emergencies. I am quite familiar with this bill, this is the third story I have written on it. The best part of the day was I got to leave at 4:45, that's a new record. Unfortunately I just got to go home earlier and study for two midterms on Thursday.
My enterprise story is about childhood obesity. I called and e-mail a lot of people asking for interviews, however most of them will not answer me back. So far I have had two interviews. One was with the physical education director if Columbia Public School's, and the other was with their nutrition director.
On Wednesday I did an interesting story about student athletes and concussions. It was a little strange because they were hearing three separate, but related, bills at the same time.
I learned a lot of new and interesting information about concussions. I never knew what a devastating impact just a head injury or two could have on a child's life.
On Wednesday I covered the hearing on the bill to ban red light cameras. The hearing was really interesting and there were some people who were really passionate about the subject. However, both sides of the argument had witnesses who contradicted each other. Some proponents of the bill said that camera lights have no effect on traffic accidents but some opponents testified that they did. Also there were lawyers for one side saying the cameras are constitutional and then a lawyer would come up and say they are not constitutional. The hearing was super long, but it must have been really important because there were lots of press people there. It is going to be interesting to see what happens with this bill, both sides had very compelling arguments.
On Wednesday I attended an executive session of the House Health Care Policy Committee. They were voting on HB 213, which would basically ban all late term abortions except in medical emergencies. The Committee passed the bill by a vote of nine to one. I was kind of happy that the vote was not unanimous, it gave me something more to write about. After the session ended I had my first technological disaster of the day. I went up to interview the Representative who voted against the bill, and apparently I had the mic plugged into the wrong hole so we got no audio. It was so embarrassing to have go find her in her office and get her quote again. I learned the ever important lesson of making sure your equipment is functioning before you try to record something.
I think I am getting more comfortable with interviewing people as well. At first it was really tough for me to go up to strangers and ask them questions. Everyone I have talked to so far has been really nice.
I also came to the realization this week that I know next to nothing about state government. Last night I read a packet about covering the legislator, after reading the packet I realized so many things I should have said to make my stories better. Hopefully I can take the knowledge I learned in the packet and apply in to my work next week.
Overall, it was a pretty good week, I mean how could it be bad it was 70 degrees outside. However, I was disappointed about the story I wrote on Monday. Looking back at it, I think I missed the point and why the story is newsworthy. I will try to take what I learned this week and write way better stories next week.
On Monday, I did a story which was supposed to be about salt shortages in Missouri. I went over to MoDOT offices and I talked to their spokesman about the potential shortages. I was really nervous to do the interview, but he was really nice and helpful. I found out that the state of Missouri actually has plenty of snow for the remainder of the winter season. The actual writing and producing of the story did not go nearly as quickly as the interview. It took siting in the newsroom all day to realize just how bad I am at technology. I am so lucky that there are so many helpful people in the newsroom to help me out with the computers and radio equipment. Finally, around six on Monday I completed my first radio story.
Wednesday went smoother and much faster. I wrote a radio story on House Bill 213. I went to a health care committee hearing on this bill two weeks ago and they did not discuss it. The bill would aim to end almost all late term abortions. I did not really have a clue how big of a deal this bill was until I walked into the hearing. The room was packed and there were reporters from various TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers. I thought it was interesting how lopsided the testimonies on the bill were. There were four or five people who testified in favor of the bill, and only one who opposed it.
The writing and producing of the radio piece went much smoother this time. The only problem I ran into is that the bill was a little confusing, I think at first I didn't quite understand what the bill was changing. I got everything done much quicker, but I still need to learn more.
I learned a lot this week, about producing radio stories and state government.
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