Archive for August, 2008

MY GOODBYE COLUMN.

This is the column I wrote for my final week at the Saint City News, where I spent these last 4 months at as a summer student intern:

Goodbye St. Albert!

Actually, let’s back up. Hi, my name is Linda Hoang and I never formally introduced myself since starting at the Saint City News back in May.

I’m an Edmontonian journalism student going into my second year at Grant MacEwan College this fall, and for the past four months I have been the Saint City News’s summer student intern.

Up until my first day on the job back at the beginning of May, I had never stepped foot in St. Albert.

Sure I knew it was a city close to Edmonton and yes, I knew there was a trail leading to it by the North Edmonton movie theatre I frequent, but for the last 19 years prior to four months ago, I had never known this city.

And what a shame that was!

Every day for these last four months I have experienced so much of your wonderful city and spoken to so many of you wonderful St. Albertans, that a part of me wishes I could continue to experience it all every day once my internship is over (which it has now, as you read this).

Throughout my four-month journey here, I have met and spoken to a countless number of interesting people with unique backgrounds, special stories, and captivating words to share with me, words and stories I am proud to say that I then shared with the rest of St. Albert.

I wrote stories about remarkable non-profit organizations and what they were trying to do to make the city a better place (sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s true and these people with these organizations really were making a difference).

I wrote stories about the city’s new bylaws, school’s new programs and initiatives, and how province-wide rules affected St. Albertans.

I spoke to people who were raising money for good causes they genuinely believed in.

I spoke to incredibly talented young performers, writers, directors, set designers, and chefs.

My time with this paper gave me the opportunity to experience my first ever Rainmaker Rodeo, St. Albert International Children’s Festival, Outdoor Farmer’s Market, and Rock’n August Festival.

My time with this paper gave me the opportunity to learn that road systems that use names instead of numbers really isn’t that hard to understand and become familiar with after all (it also gave me the opportunity to make Google Maps and Directions my number one most visited website).

My time with this paper gave me the opportunity to see how inviting and willing to talk so many of you are (while at the time showing me how so many of you are rarely ever at your desk or by your phone when I call).

I thank you, St. Albertans, for welcoming me into your city with your open arms.

I thank you, St. Albertans, for letting me spend 120 days exploring your beautiful city from Riel Business Park to downtown Perron Street all the way out to the Sturgeon Valley Golf and Country Club.

I thank you, St. Albertans, for allowing me into your thoughts and letting me capture your words into published and ever-lasting stories that I am proud to clip out and display in my portfolio.

I am so honoured and happy to have been able to spend my summer here in this city.

This was an incredible opportunity that I will remember always.

I have big dreams and goals for myself, and in the future, when I am in that dream job I hope to be in, and someone asks me where I got my start, I will say, while bursting with pride and beaming with fond memories, that I started in the wonderful City of St. Albert.

To that end, I will reiterate my original words at the start of this column:

Goodbye St. Albert!

And thank you.

There is of course a number of things I didn’t mention.

The ups and the downs that I’ve written about on this blog.

But honestly, I have learned SO much.

This has been a truly incredible experience for me and I could not express how lucky I feel, how lucky I am, to have been given this opportunity. Even the work experience that follows at the end of 2nd year Journalism is only 6 weeks, not 4 months. I am so grateful that I was able to experience this– journalism, being a reporter, covering meetings, meeting new people, honing interview skills, dealing with deadlines, dealing with people not calling me back, dealing with how to manage my time, everything that I dealt with and that I encountered these last 4 months– I am so grateful that so glad that I did this. There were a lot of bad moments, near the beginning especially, worries I had, that have since been diffused.

I, from the beginning, have always wanted to go into the broadcast journalism route, but this experience in print journalism has been SO enlightening and I think has given me such breadth of knowledge and experience, and yet there is still so much more I hadn’t encountered this summer, and so much I need to work on and improve upon.

Basically, in the overall scheme of things,

I had fun. I learned a lot. It was a great experience. My co-workers were amazing.

And I had a great summer.

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August 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm Leave a comment

SUMMARY: a list of all the stories i wrote this summer

Here is a list of the stories I wrote this summer:

MAY 2008:
– LoSeCa
– Mock Collision
– Rollover
– Women’s Health Conference
– Festival Volunteers
– Gas & Transit
– RCMP
– Alice in Wonderland
– Bar Rules
– Crime Prevention Awards
– iLearn Centre Cyber School
– Seniors and Arts
– Story from News Brief
– Story from News Brief
– Taxi Driving Safety
15 Stories

JUNE 2008:
– IdleFree Bylaw
– Morinville Nickel Dump
– Nursing Shortage
– Paul Kane Skills
– Youth Justice
– Edmonton Soldier’s Death
– Parent’s Place Programs
– St. Albert High Africa School
– Car Purchases
– NAIT & GSACRD Agreement
– Sturgeon Recognition
– Carter Buchanan Great Kid Award
– Canada Day
13 Stories

JULY 2008:
(on vacation for a week)
– Bar Rules Part 2
– Optimist Club
– Pre-launch iPhone
– Youth Justice Grant
– Alberta’s Next Top Model
– Best of St. Albert
– iPhone Launch
– Special Education Changes
– Fairy Berry Festival
– Rotary Girls School in Africa
– Summer Drama Camp
11 Stories

AUGUST 2008:
(on vacation for a week)
– Bakery Food Prices
– Chrysalis
– Library Activity
– Rock’n August
– Fringe Snow Patrol
– Health Science Camp
– Back to School Technology
– Back to School Cell Phones
– Back to School Be Seen Reading
– Back to School GSCARD & SAPS
– Back to School Nutrition
– Fringe The Particulars
– Vietnamese ‘MOB’
– Soccer
– City Council RCMP
– City Council Servus Place
– Heritage Youth Researchers
– Listeriosis Outbreak
– Story from News Release
– Story from News Release
– St. Albert Protestant
– Update on Riel Park
– Goodbye Column
24 Stories

TOTAL: 63 STORIES

It would probably have been upwards of 70 stories had I not gone on two vacations though.

Still, 63, fantastic! Though to be sure, there are some of those stories I would not say are a reflection of my best work…however my portfolio is full of clippings and I have gained so much knowledge and experience, it’s been great.

Nothing more next week, this is it!

August 29, 2008 at 5:06 pm Leave a comment

SUMMARY: what i learned this week, Aug 25-29

Things I learned this week…

1. I do not want Sports to be my preferred beat in the future.

2. I do not want City Council to be my preferred beat in the future (though it is great that by attending a council meeting you are pretty much guaranteed a story or two!)

3. Bring gloves and have an extra jacket or sweater with you when you cover something outside because it can get FREEZING.

4. I can handle deadlines and pressure.

5. I think writing 8 stories in a 3-day period is something to be pretty proud of.

Nothing more next week, this is it!

August 29, 2008 at 4:50 pm Leave a comment

RECAP: my seventeenth week at a small newspaper

Monday August 25 to Friday August 29th:

So this is it, my last blog recap of my last week working at the place where I’ve spent the last 4 months.

This week was crazy!

The sports reporter went on vacation at the end of last week leaving all of his sports related duties to be picked up by the remaining reporter: me, the other news reporter, and the editor.

Sports!

I had never written a sports story in my life, and I really didn’t mind.

But this week I wrote my first sports story and… well it was an experience.

The game was soccer, my editor knew I had some interest / knowledge in soccer (as opposed to rugby or football or hockey, well I know some stuff about hockey I guess…) and decided to give me the women’s soccer game Wednesday night at 6:30.

First of all, getting to the game was a challenge unto itself. It was unbelievable how the street numbers made no sense! The game was in Edmonton and I know how to navigate Edmonton addresses, so I was shocked when I tried to turn on 142 St from Yellowhead Trail, only to be met with a winding road that led me back to Yellowhead Trail! What the heck?!

So I drove over to the next exit, which was St. Albert Road, which would roughly be I’d say 130-something Street, drove up to a main Avenue and turned LEFT, to go back to 142 St.

IT WENT FROM ST. ALBERT ROAD TO 149TH STREET TO 156TH STREET! There was no 142 street turn in or sign, anywhere!

WHAT?!

So I had to swing around, drive back the main avenue, found a 142 St that had a Left Turn, and finally made it to the field – BUT HONESTLY THE ROAD SYSTEM MADE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. How was there a 142 St at Yellowhead, but then the 142 street from the other avenue was a gazillion blocks East of the Yellowhead 142?! STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.

Sorry, that was long and I guess an unnecessary rant but, needless to say I was panicked because I was scared I wouldn’t be able to find the field or that I would miss the start of the game or something along the lines of failure.

I didn’t though, I got there 15 minutes before the game started (largely due to my leaving early to ensure that in case traffic and WRONG street signs delayed me) and talked to the team’s coach, asking him if I could ask him a few questions after the game and look at the game sheet (to get the player’s names).

A summary of my experience watching/covering a soccer game.

It’s not very fun.

Even though I don’t have an interest in sports, if I’m at a sports game strictly for entertainment purposes with friends or something, I’ll have fun watching the game. Covering a sports game for work? It was, well, work.

I had to keep track of what time it was, making note of the time whenever someone scored or did a move that might be worth a mention in the story.

I had to make sure to see what the number was on everyone’s backs who scored or tried to score or made notable moves.

I had to constantly keep watch and make notes and then juggle trying to take decent pictures (I didn’t end up getting anything worthy for the paper anyway) and then making sure I knew which player was in the picture (there was one picture I took where I had no idea who the player was) and all of those, along with the fact that the weather decided to choose that night to be windy and extremely cold, made the whole experience not to my liking at all.

I mean it was definitely an experience, but I wouldn’t be able to cover sports as my preferred beat (remember entertainment is my preferred beat!)

The idea of going from game to game, jotting down notes and times and looking to see who is doing what and if there’s a penalty and why and so much more of that— no interest!

I got back to the office at about 8:40 PM ish and immediately started writing. I finished at about 9:20 and left at about 9:30 which was a half hour earlier than I was expecting to leave.

All in all it was an experience.

I experienced true deadline writing for the first time as Wednesday nights are when we lay out the pages and Thursday we go to press so I HAD to write the story that night.

And I experienced what it was like to cover a sports game.

I am not necessarily proud of the story I wrote. There was little “color” in it and all I really did was be very chronological. ‘In the 5th minute bla bla, then in the 40th minute bla bla, but by the 75th minute, bla bla’

I know I’m supposed to write a sports story this year for school, so I’m glad I did at least have this experience to look back on when the time comes. Then again before we do the sports story we’ll be given notes about how to write a sports story and things like that, which should make the process easier. I basically just threw myself into the chronological thing because I figured that made the most sense.

The other news reporter told me for my first sports story it wasn’t that bad, and she advised me to use one of the coach’s comments up high next time, which I probably should have known to do because you always want a quote up high and for some reason I didn’t use one until near the end for this story. Sports writing nerves got to me I suppose!

But yeah, overall, it was a good experience even though I didn’t like it, I learned a lot, and I’m able to say I dabbled into the Sports Beat!

Another beat that I dabbled into this week was City Council!

My editor wanted me to get to try everything at the paper, which technically I guess I have now… I’ve done news, I’ve done a MOB (Business report), I’ve done arts and entertainment, I did Sports, and the last beat would be city council! Check, check, check, check!
Again with sports, the city council beat is not something I would want to be cover. But at least it was warm inside the council chambers.

The meeting started at 4:00 and ended at 8:30!

I know, long.

And boring.

But it was interesting to see how council worked. By worked I mean, how everyone has to talk ‘through’ the mayor. For instance, If a councillor had a question for the person presenting, he’d say ‘Through you mayor, * asks the question* ‘ and then the person presenting had to reply by saying ‘Through you mayor, * answers the question * ‘ or ‘ Yes mayor * answers the question * ‘ even though the mayor didn’t ask the question. And they said ‘Thank you mayor ‘ a lot. It was REALLY formal. I mean I had sat in on a council meeting for school last year, and they used the same type of formalities, but I had kind of forgotten. Also at this meeting I got to sit in the little press area, which was neat.

Another thing about the council meeting was that the acoustics in the council chamber is terrible! My recorder still worked but it was really echo-ey and some words would be lost in the … I don’t even know, the sound of the air? Whatever it was, it was loud and so the other news reporter, who I went with, told me to take down notes because you can’t depend on a recorder in there.

I did take down notes and that confirmed to me that 1) my writing is SO messy when I’m frantically trying to write, 2) I can’t write as fast as they speak, and 3) if I had my laptop I would be able to type the notes and I know for sure that 1) the writing wouldn’t be messy on a laptop, and 2) I KNOW I can type as fast as people speak so that would not be a problem.

The other council reporter from the other paper brings his laptop and he was typing while I glanced over occasionally in a yearning manner.

All in all, again it was not a fun experience but it was a good experience and I’m glad I did it. I ended up writing 2 council stories out of it, which I think turned out pretty decent.

In total this week, I wrote 8 stories! 8! My all-time high. Technically I wrote 10 but 2 of them were just re-writes of news releases that didn’t have any extra work (calling up people for further statements, etc) because my editor just wanted extra stuff in case we were short stories for the week.

So yeah, 8 stories. It was a great week for experience, I have to say.

Got the story idea, came up with questions, made phone calls, interviewed, transcribed interviews, wrote the story. That was the routine. I mean that’s always the routine but this week there were no breaks in between (minus lunchtime!) When I was waiting for someone to call me back, I was transcribing different interviews or writing another story.

In my mind I felt like this is how it would be if I worked at a daily paper.

I also found this week that my phone calls got a lot more comfortable.

I’m still doing the um’s which I really can’t seem to stop doing because it just sounds so rude when I don’t add a Um-break in between question/answers!

The other news reporter doesn’t say um and she let me listen to her recording for an interview with the mayor this week and listening to it, it just sounds awkward! Well maybe it was just her, because while she didn’t say Um, she didn’t go right into the next question either, she let a very noticeable pause occur in between conversation, like ‘this is the end of the mayor’s sentence’ * . . . . p . . . a . . . . u . . . .s . . . . e . . . . * then she’d ask her question. I have seen interviews before, obviously where there are no uses of ‘Um’ in between question/answers and it doesn’t seem awkward in the cases I’m thinking of. I remember watching CNN when I was in the States for vacation this summer and the interviewers always went into the next question as soon as the person was done talking, so I think it was just the reporter’s long pause that made it weird…

Overall I’ve concluded that with the transitioning:
1 – saying um sounds friendlier and more natural while you’re actually DOING the interview, but listening back to the interview, the um sounds unprofessional.

2 – not saying um but having too long of a pause in between the answer to the next question also sounds unprofessional because it’s like you forgot what you were going to say or it’s just this dead space of quiet awkward air.

And therefore the preferred method of transitioning is:

Do not say um—do not take a long pause or break after someone answers the question before you go into your next question—do not use a filler word—rather, JUST GO INTO YOUR NEXT QUESTION!

But I’ve found that it also depends on their answer.

A certain answer can easily constitute an immediate new question with no pause or no um in between, but that really depends on the answer.

A: “We did it for years”— Q: “Was it hard?”
A: “I decided not to go”—Q: “Why?”

See, no ums or pause necessary.

I guess that applies then when it’s all still related to the same question.

It gets hard to not um or pause when the person’s answered your question and you have another question that is completely unrelated to what they just finished saying.

I guess in that case you’d try to organize your questions so that there is a flow, but I mean it’s not like you can predict what they’re going to answer with. They could answer with something completely unexpected and even if you had organized your questions to be flowing, their unexpected answer that you were not anticipating would probably make you say ‘Oh, um, – into next question ‘.

ACTUALLY, now that I’ve written this, I realize I don’t just say ‘um’ exclusively. As I wrote in prior blogs, I say ‘Great’ a lot too.

A: “I spent years traveling back and forth, city to city”—Q: “That’s great, um * goes into next question * “

That’s actually a better picture of what most of my conversation transitions sound like, I think.

If whatever they said is not something you can say ‘that’s great’ to, I think I tended to say ‘Oh really? Um * goes into next question * ‘ or ‘Oh I see … um * goes into next question ‘

For some reason I really need those filler words before I can continue.

I think this whole issue could be more easily solved if I watched more TV interviews. I haven’t in a long time, which is bad considering I want to be on TV. I will get to it.

But another thing to note is the EDITING that occurs for a lot of interview or statement snippets used on radio or on TV.

Who is to say the interviewer didn’t use ‘um’ or ‘that’s great’ or ‘oh really’ before asking the next question? In cases where they only show snippets, they don’t show the interviewer’s question they just show the person’s answer and even if I say um or oh I see that’s great, pre-next question, that doesn’t affect the person’s response!

OKAY I completely veered way off topic, well sort of.

I’m just going to say I will work on my transitioning. This entire experience has really shown me how my interview skills were, how they currently are now, and what I’d like them to be in the future, so I’m glad that I learned about my intense need to say a filler in between questions and answers because now I can really try and focus to improve on this.

I had to scroll back up to see how I got into the um’s and it was because I said that my interviews on the phone have gotten a lot more comfortable.

They have! I think the messages I left on voicemails this week came off pretty professional and polished-sounding.

And throughout this entire summer, before I called someone, I’d have typed up a little ‘Hi my name is Linda and I’m with the Saint City News. I’m just calling because bla bla bla ‘ and so I would read off of that to start off my interview (I’m really good at reading off sentences, proud to say!) –but this week I ditched a couple of those pre-written introduction sentences and just winged it, and it was smoooooth!

That’s another thing I need to work on, while I think I’m awesome at reading off words (I was tested before, reading a story off a teleprompter and I did great), when I don’t have words to read off of, my mind kind of loses track and the question or sentence I end up saying isn’t as succinct or as professional as it should be… so I need to work on just winging it in a polished way.

Another story I wrote this week was about the Listeriosis outbreak that’s going on in Canada right now. It ended up being on the first page (well 3rd page but that is the first page once you flip the paper open)!

I thought participating restaurants wouldn’t want to talk because they’d send me to Head Office but there were 2 Mr. Sub’s in town that were independently owned and they talked to me and I could not have been more grateful.

Also with doing the listeriosis story, I was allowed to participate in a phone-in conference with the federal public health officials! I didn’t ask any questions but just being involved in a phone-in conference and hearing federal stuff first-hand, was a great experience.

This is just a list of stories I wrote this week so I remember whenever I decide I want to reminisce:

– city council RCMP story
– city council Servus Place story
– listeriosis outbreak story
– heritage youth researchers story
– st. albert protestant story
– update on riel park story
– soccer sports story
– my goodbye column
– rewrites of two news releases

So far I’ve talked about my council experience, soccer experience, listeriosis experience … the other stories I didn’t really encounter anything truly memorable so I will now talk about my goodbye column!

I got to write a goodbye column for this week’s paper. I should have been able to write a hello column when I first started but I was never informed of it until the sports guy told me the last intern wrote a hello column, lol.

Anyways, so my goodbye column was really fun to write because it was just me, writing. First person. My opinion. It was like writing a blog!

I will post my goodbye column in a separate post after I finish this blog.

Maybe I will edit it later and include a snapshot of what the column looks like in the paper!

Other than that, I think I’ve gone on pretty long now considering my ‘streets ‘ and ‘ums’ rants, so I will wrap this up.

I think I will do the whole philosophical overall knowledge and experience and what not wrap-up in the blog post where I post my goodbye column though, so to conclude strictly for THIS WEEK…

It was a busy, busy, very busy week.
I stayed late on Monday, I stayed late on Wednesday.
I covered two different beats I hadn’t done yet.
I always had something to do (which is a HUGE jump from the beginning of my time here when I had to draw out everything I did in order to fill the time!)

And it was probably the best week in terms of real-life reporting and deadline pressures.

I’d also like to add that it is Friday as I write this, my last day here, and the staff have put together a lunch at noon as I way to send me off—so sweet!

Linda

August 29, 2008 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

SUMMARY: what i learned this week, Aug 18-22

Things I learned this week…

1. I really do enjoy interviewing & writing entertainment-related stories more than newsers.

2. I think I’ve reduced my Um’s a little bit but my ‘Great’ and ‘Let’s see’ still needs to be worked on.

3. Being Vietnamese paid off for a story.

4. My days are spent pretty productively now.

5. I really don’t want to cover sports.

More next week…

August 22, 2008 at 7:27 pm Leave a comment

RECAP: my sixteenth week at a small newspaper

August 18 – 22 2008

Hello blog visitors! (Turns out I do have blog visitors who aren’t just related to me after all, shocked I was when I made this discovery!) Continuing with the blog recap format I picked up last week (writing by newspaper story instead of by day), let’s just get right into it shall we…

This week I did 5 stories, three of them were pretty small stories for another edition of the paper’s Back to School pullout, one of them was another artsy-entertainment-related story (YAY!) about a set designer/stage manager, and the other was a glorified business ad (the paper calls them MOB – More on Business – Reporters where they basically pick a business in the city each week, do a quick interview with the owner, and then write up a story that basically advertises that business – for free!

Let’s start with the two most interesting (obviously not the back to school stuff even though I guess these last 2 back to school pullouts & my contributions towards them would qualify me in saying ‘I did a Back to School beat’) – the glorified business advertisement!

Vietnamese MOB (when I first wrote this out on the sheet where we write down what stories we are doing for the week, I laughed because it sounded like a Vietnamese gang unit, haha). For the past several weeks I’ve been making a point to eat out of the office at least once per week and it just so happens that the only eat-out place I crave is Vietnamese noodle soup. I got back from my outing last week and the reporters/editor for the first time asked me where I went so I told them I went to a Vietnamese restaurant that I’ve been going to once every week. My editor, who usually writes the MOB reports, furrowed his eyebrows deep in thought and finally said ‘They’ve been around for awhile haven’t they?’ (criteria for a business to make it into a MOB report – be established) to which I responded ‘I think so’ (I really didn’t know considering I’ve only just ever been in St. Albert for the first time in the last 19 years that it’s been a 30 minute drive away from me— 4 months ago). Anyway so my editor said ‘Maybe we could do a MOB on them’ and I was like ‘Oo that’d be fun!’ and then he said ‘Do you want to do it?’ and I said ‘Oh! Okay yeah!’ … lol so that is how I ended up taking over the MOB report for this week’s issue.

Now it’s probably good that I was the one to interview & write this particular MOB because the owners of the restaurant, as I predicted they would be –stereotypically-speaking & with knowledge from past experience dealing with older Vietnamese people – were pretty unresponsive and/or gave pretty dull quotes and very little information. The only reason I was able to gather enough information to fill the MOB report space was because a) I ended up switching from interviewing the owner in English to interviewing her in Vietnamese where she was much more responsive (but still not by much) and b) I have a lot of background and understanding with Vietnamese noodle soup and food so I was able to describe and write from my own (I would go as far as saying expertise) knowledge.

The article turned out good though. The restaurant’s Vietnamese name translated into English means ‘sunshine’ so the whole story had a sunny…radiant…sunshine…positive motif going on, which was fun to do. Since the owners don’t live in the city (they too live in Edmonton and only drive here to work), I don’t know if they’ll be able to get a copy of the paper but I intend to bring one over there to them when I go for my final meal there next week (as next week is my final week working in St. Albert!)

The other interesting story I did this week was about a girl named Chiharu Ono and her involvement in this year’s Fringe Festival. Chiharu is a set designer/stage manager/ production major at the National Theatre School in Montreal but she is originally from St. Albert. 3 of her friends along with herself came back to the Edmonton/St. Albert area this summer to put on a show for the Fringe Festival (which sadly despite making plans to attend this year, I won’t be attending). My interview with her was, as my interview with last week’s Fringe involvees, FUN! It really was. Honestly I have so much more fun talking to people about stage and acting and music and stuff than I do talking to people about new school funding initiatives…

Anyways, so I guess that’s all I really have to say about my interview and writing the story for her. It wasn’t hard, it was fun, I enjoyed the process. I also liked the way I started my story too. I really do like the softer story-telling-like leads as opposed to the straightforward hard news who what where when why in-one-sentence leads.

Finally, with the last 3 stories I did, I’m not sure there’s anything really I can go into that would be interesting. I did a story on one of the school district’s summer reading contests. I did a story on hot lunches and nutrition in schools. And I did a story on one school district’s upcoming 50th anniversary & another one’s 3-year-education plans. Most of the interviews for these stories took place the week prior so doing 5 stories this week didn’t really feel like much of a workload as I had a lot of these 3 back to school stories pretty much completed last week.

Other moments to point out from this week:

The sports reporter officially goes on vacation today, Friday Aug 22. Normally he covers ALL of the sports games that occur in town. 7 days a week if there’s a game he goes to it. So since he was leaving for vacation today, he wrote up a list of all the games that would be occurring in the city during his time away, and he gave it to my editor on Thursday.

There was a lot.

Keep in mind I have no interest in sports and I have a very prominent fear that if I try and attend a sports game and write about it, I will a) not know the sports terminology and b) not know the players names I’m writing about.

So when the sports reporter’s list listed several games Thursday night, Saturday and Sunday, I could feel myself inching back in my chair trying to make them forget I was there so they wouldn’t say, ‘ Linda go cover this rugby game even though you’ve never seen a rugby game in your life ‘ (unless you count that episode of Friends where Ross tries to prove to Emily that he’s tough by playing rugby with Emily’s old boyfriend, LOL).

My inching back or cowering or whatever I did worked though because the editor divided up the sports events between himself & the other news reporter, leaving me out of it. Apparently there are 3 sports games on Wednesday night too, which will be extremely difficult since Wednesday nights are when we lay out the pages…

SO I’m not too sure how my final week at the paper will be.

On Monday I’m going to be tagging along with the other news reporter to cover a city council meeting. I get to write a goodbye column for next week too (finally! a column!) and I am thinking if everyone (and by everyone I mean just the editor & the other news reporter because without the sports guy that literally is the entire reporting team) is running around trying to attend and write sports stories then I will just offer to pick up more of the news stories slack! Hopefully that works. Because I don’t have any ideas for any new news stories that I could write and honestly, my last & final week, I don’t care if I don’t have any news ideas.

For my goodbye column that I’m writing for the paper next week, I think I will also copy & paste it on next week’s blog entry too because I think that’ll be a good final summary about my time working at this paper, and also a nice summary for my blog – which at this point I’m not sure if I’ll continue blogging on once school starts. I guess there is no reason why I couldn’t continue blogging about my school assignments and things I’m learning and encountering in my 2nd year at Journalism school – the aptly named A Young Reporter’s Life would still very much make sense, but we’ll see how it goes.

Until next week! 🙂

Linda

August 22, 2008 at 7:22 pm Leave a comment

SUMMARY: what i learned this week, Aug 11-15

Things I learned this week…

1. I really want to do entertainment reporting, anchoring, interviewing.

2. I might need to tone down my laugh in case it’s too loud and obnoxious.

3. If someone won’t return my calls, how am I supposed to show their side of the story? Sheesh.

4. My days aren’t boring anymore, I’ve learned to fill my time pretty productively.

5. Having a good conversation with co-workers helps the office atmosphere.

6. My editor really is too nice to have let me go on a second vacation this summer.

7. I enjoy interviews about arts and entertainment more than those related to news.

8. I still need to reduce my ‘Um’s’ before going into the next question.

9. I did a good job at remembering questions and coming up with related questions on the spot this week for my entertainment interview but I still need to work on smoother question transitions.

10. I say ‘Great’ and ‘Let’s see’ between questions too much, need to work on that.

More next week…

August 14, 2008 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment

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