Posted 05/05/2010: My feature is really coming together now! I am really happy about the progress that I have made, and all of the changes I have seen my drafts go through...It has definitely been a challenge to keep this piece short and succinct, but I am getting better at it each week! Hopefully my end result showcases the effort I put into it.
Phew! The Senate has been going at it for several hours now hankering out several different bills; some of which included legislation that would affect education funding. Today the Senate voted in agreement with the House on a higher educational tuition freeze proposed by Governor Nixon. Although not yet solidified, the Senate also voted in favor of a bill which would give funding back to the Career Ladders program for teachers. During the Senate I had many a cup of hot chocolate, and definitely felt the effects later on, as I had to run to the restroom in a rush! I also worked on my feature piece today, and interviewed my human interest aspect of the story (which is definitely the largest part.) I think I did pretty well today! (Although I am leaving significantly later than I had hoped.)
Today was definitely a hectic day in the newsroom. I had several things I was working on at the same time, including my feature piece, helping slightly with the MODOT story, and writing a story on the budget meeting that occurred today in the House. I feel like I continue to learn alot while I am here, and I hope that I continue to improve, and don't get worse at anything! I feel like I am just now really getting the hang of using the marantzes, properly using the phones here, and not getting lost in the huge hallways of this building. I have definitely discovered that getting interviews from, and speaking with Representatives (both in the House and the Senate) takes a certain knack, and I hope that I develop that more as time goes on. I would say that today has been one of the more stressful of the weeks that I have been here, but its when things are the most stressful that you learn the most!
Today I have learned so much AGAIN! I went to the House meeting today, where I heard the discussion on two different bills: one that concerned healthcare, and another that concerned the substance K2, which has the same affects as marijuana, but is not illegal for consumption. Just sitting in some of these meetings, I feel as if I just sat down on google and read several articles on whatever topic is being discussed. It is hard to describe the amount of information that I absorb while I am there, and it is most definitely a learning experience. I enjoyed myself once again, and I even wrote 3 wraps for my story tonight! Today has been another good one....
I went to the meeting, took alot of notes, taped some of the meeting, and headed back to the office to try to piece together a story. As I went over the meeting topics in my head, I couldn't come up with a clear idea for a story pitch, and was unsure about what direction I should take. After arriving in the office, I ended up speaking with Phill, who said that from what he heard from several other reporters, there wasn't much of a story that could come out of the meeting proceedings.
Although it was definitely disappointing to have gone to the meeting and not gathered enough material to piece a story, I learned a very clear lesson: There isn't always a story there just because you want one. WE as journalists cannot "create" news.
Wow! What a day....I really had so much fun today, and I am really really looking forward to next week! When I first got here, and heard I only had 1/2 hour until my first senate meeting, I felt like a kid lost in the mall with no idea where to go....BUT with the help of Theo and Rebecca, they helped me figure out what I needed to do!
My first hearing was with the Senate Educational Committee, who was discussing a bill proposed to allow open-enrollment for students in public schools in Missouri. It was definitely an interesting experience, and I got to hear alot of very strong opinions on both sides. What I find most interesting, is that amongst all the debate over whether to approve or deny this bill, both sides agreed on the need to improve public schools in the state. I am anxiously awaiting news on how the voting for the bill goes.
After I came back from the meeting and taking notes, I had to come in and write my story, edit and insert soundbites, record, and submit my story to KMOX. I just made it sound like a really simple process in that one sentence, but there was a whole lot of learning that I had to do with this part of the game. Everyone at the office has been great today, and I really feel like they are here to help me become a great journalist! Out of the whole compiling/editing process, y favorite part was most definitely recording myself, editing the piece and listening to it. It sounded just like stories I hear on the radio all the time! Weird.
I had so much fun today, I almost forgot how hungry I was! Key word being almost. Right now, I only have one more thing to do, get to wait for Sara to finish her story, and then we are outta here. Its so crazy to me that I have been here 6 hours and it felt like 2!
Whirlwind of a day to say the least....