Sunday, October 01, 2006

Writing the News is Great ... and Not So Great

I have wanted to be a reporter since I was a little boy tying red towels around my neck and pretending to be Clark Kent. The idea of writing for a living, finding out the truth about the world and telling people about it, somehow clicks with me.

At my old school, though, there was no journalism department. So I decided that the next best thing, for the time being, would be to choose Political Science as my major. Luckily my current school, the University of San Francisco, there is a Media Studies department and a journalism minor. My first class in this department other than the introductory course is Journalism I: Reporting.

My first big assignment for my reporting class was a mock press conference. My teacher, Dr. Michael Robertson, came into class dressed in odd clothing and told us he was a sheriff retiring from his job due to problems with the city council and with voters.

The press conference was funny, but also very hectic. I didn’t have my computer set up that day, so I couldn’t record the audio. I had to rely solely on my notes. Luckily, I take very good notes, but even the quickest note taker misses things. Dr. Robertson was talking very fast, probably on purpose. It was good experience, though, because I am sure I will run into situations similar to this once I’m in the field.

The hardest part about writing a news story is finding the lead. I am used to writing essays, where I can take time building to my central points. With a news story, the most important information has to be right up front, and everything must be as concise as possible. This takes getting used to, although I am enjoying the mental exercise.

I was pleasantly surprised with my grade on the press conference assignment, although there are many areas that I still need to work on.

The biggest problem I have right now is finding the time to get everything done. As a student reporter, I not only have to deal with not being taken seriously by some of my sources, but also the normal time crunch that every student faces.

Still, I am getting closer and closer to my dream, so I just keep moving. I won’t get anywhere standing still.


At 3:50 PM, Blogger Ronan Jimson said...

Hi Michael, I want to introduce you to


Post a Comment

<< Home