Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Writing about Public Safety Might be Hazardous to your Health

My latest story is a piece on public safety at my university. For the story, I attended a school senate meeting where Public Safety Director Dan Lawson gave a speech and answered questions about the issue. He gave a very interesting talk about school safety, and went into a variety of topics ranging from self-defense classes to disaster preparedness.

Although Lawson and the Senate tried very hard to make it sound like the meeting was fairly routine, I think that recent incidents on the student shuttle and the attempted rape earlier last month probably had something to do with Lawson coming to the meeting at this particular time. In any event, the news that the school is working on completely restructuring the security system is very interesting, so I used that in conjunction with the recent safety related events as my lead.

I was able to take very detailed notes because I had my computer with me. I also had the opportunity to record the entire event, although I really only used the recording to make sure I had my quotes right. The notes were so detailed that I was able to go right to the places in the recording where I thought the best quotes would be, so I did not have to transcribe the entire recording. I hate transcribing, so that was a nice change of pace.

I was also able to use my story and my notes to help Alia al Sharif with her story on the same topic for USF TV. I also did some editing for the piece based on my knowledge of where the best quotes were. I am really enjoying working for the TV station, because it gives me experience in another medium that I may eventually use in my journalism career. I would like to be able to do multimedia journalism online, so learning how to use Final Cut Pro has been invaluable.

I have not yet received a grade for the story, so I am not sure how I did. I hope that my lead was a good one. Lawson had a lot of interesting things to say, but he went off in many different directions. Picking just one to focus on was a difficult task. It was a very good experience, though. I liked being able to pool my resources with my classmates.


At 7:48 PM, Blogger ....J.Michael Robertson said...

A multimedia experience. Excellent.


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