RECAP: my fifteenth week at a small newspaper
And we’re back! Up to date! This is the recap for Monday August 11 – Friday August 15 and as I write this it’s Thursday, August 14! (Yes I’m going to write about Friday too because I can predict the future. Ha ha just kidding, I doubt much will happen on Friday so I’m omitting it from the blog)
I’m actually not sure if I want to go back to my old form of writing up the blogs (by day) because writing it by story experience, I think is funner (I know that’s not a word but I don’t care) to write, quicker to write, shorter for (the zero) readers to read, and… overall better? Yes, I think A Young Reporter will redesign her format of blogging and now recap based on stories as opposed to days! So long old format!
Though, this will still probably be long as this is the fresh and current week I’m actually in so events, dialogues, and such are still fresh in my mind.
This week I came into the story meeting on Monday worried because I had spent the last week on vacation and really NOT thinking about story ideas back in the Edmonton/St. Albert area (can you blame me?) It was actually funny when I said I only had one story idea, the sports reporter was like ‘You mean you WEREN’T thinking about story ideas on your vacation!!!!!!!!’ haha.
Anyway so I remembered a few weeks ago I had been notified via Facebook (Facebook is great for story ideas I have also come to realize!) that my friend had joined a Group called ‘Ask-The-8-Ball Productions’, curious, I clicked it and discovered that it was a theatre production company BASED OUT OF ST. ALBERT! Imagine my excitement. Turns out the production company was working on a show for the Fringe Festival (which kicks off today, Thursday, and runs till Aug. 24). Well obviously I couldn’t write a story about them a few weeks ago because the Fringe was still eons away back then, but on Monday when I remembered this discovery, I rushed back to the group and saw that they had created another group specifically for the purpose of advertising their play, and I had all of the contact names and information I needed right there!
I sent a message to the director of the show (via Facebook, hey that’s how you do it these days I’m telling you, journalism is changing), pitched the story and my editor said the production company had actually emailed me earlier wondering if we would be interested in writing about them, so my editor was originally going to do it but since I had all excitedly discovered them my own way and excitedly pitched the idea, he let me do take it and I could not have been more thrilled as I do want to be in the entertainment reporting/hosting/anchoring field one day, that is my ultimate goal, and thus far here I’ve only done one other entertainment-related story (which I had a lot of fun writing!) so getting the opportunity to do another entertainment/arts based story sent me into happy overdrive.
So since I’m already on a rampage about that, I’ll recount my experience with interviewing and writing this story.
MOST FUN INTERVIEW I’VE DONE TO DATE!
Bold statement, I know, but I had so much fun! I interviewed the four guys involved with the production, two actors, one writer, one director, and they were all hilarious! I could not stop laughing. And it felt completely natural.
Like, up until this point, I’ve been doing so much news that it was starting to make me kind of wary, like, so I will be doing news and these types of interviews for the rest of my life…? –kind of wary. It didn’t help that my journalism friend let me know she doesn’t want to be a journalist anymore. Then, though jokingly, I told my cousin teachers have the best summers ever, full two months off and all, and he said it’s not too late to be a teacher! Though we were joking, all of this stuff has kind of been floating around in my head, but then… this interview was like a turning point, or a sharp reminder anyway, that where I want to head towards, is definitely something I want to do!
It was a jolt back into my whole entertainment mindset. Yes I have been doing 98% all news stories, and I have to say 90% of it I have enjoyed doing, but none of these news stories I was ever really truly excited about, or that I ever walked away from my an interview beaming, but I walked away from this interview with these four performers—ecstatically.
And I think I did a really good job with the interview too, I didn’t say ‘um’ as much, my questions flowed into the next and their answers flowed into my next questions, I had to look down at my questions very minimally, and I laughed—a lot! Which, I’ll admit, listening back to the interview, my laugh is pretty prevalent and perhaps TOO laughy, but everyone else was laughing too and plus I think my laughter and overall friendly and comfortable composure worked in my favor to bring out great anecdotes and jokes from the four guys!
It really was a fun interview and I don’t know if they had as good a time as I did, or maybe they don’t think about it that way because they aren’t reporters, they just wanted to get the word out about their play and tell readers about themselves, but in my reporter mind I walked away from the entire half hour conversation glowing because I had a lot of fun and I think it showed in my writing too.
I definitely want to do entertainment.
Next topic of discussion! This week and next week’s paper has Back to School special editions. The editions themselves are all filled with stories from like a wire, but the publisher wanted to have a few local stories for them too so my editor tasked me with that job. There are two school boards in St. Albert and one of them was EXTREMELY good about talking to me and giving me great information, the other one… not so much. The superintendent like, refused to speak. I mean he didn’t refuse but he didn’t return my two messages and I tried to call about 6 times (don’t worry I spaced it out so I didn’t seem like a crazy person calling too much) and he didn’t pick up / was not there for either of the times, even though I KNOW he is not on vacation! Anyway, so I got enough information for about 4 stories but I only wrote 2 of them for this edition and I’ll be writing the other 2 for the next back to school edition. Nothing too exciting about these conversations except I learned that one of the school boards is looking into considering using cell phones as an educational tool! Which would be sweet.
The other story I was assigned was about a health sciences career camp going on this week that two St. Albertan teens attended. A very basic story, nothing too interesting, no real interesting twist to it. The girl I talked to was nice though, the media contact for the camp… he was like a student like me I’m pretty sure. I mean when i met him he didn’t look that much older than me, in my opinion. He didn’t give the best quotes but I was able to squeeze some out of him. Haha, overall it was a standard news story that really isn’t all that relevant or interesting but, it would still be considered news?
Anyway, I only stayed until about 7PM yesterday (Wednesday) so that wasn’t too bad either, and my co-workers and I are having pretty good conversations as of late, which is also good.
Now it’s Thursday and I’ve finished copyediting. I’ve got stories set for next week so I’m not worried about that, and I’m having lunch until the Thursday story meeting.
And that officially marks my all-caught-up-ness for this blog! Yay.
Only 2 more weeks of work here and then … what will happen to this place? Collect more dust? Or shall I revamp it … I think I may revamp it.