The major and minor fair was one of my favorite stories to cover for campus media this semester. While my other stories focused more on technology and computer services, and contained more behind the scenes work, this story gave me the chance to go out and talk to students and faculty members on campus.
While at the major and minor fair, I talked to two faculty members at the Communicative Disorders booth. I also spoke with two students who I witnessed talking to these faculty members.
I found it interesting that the first student that I talked to did not want to talk in an interview and when she finally agreed to talk to me, she did not want to give me her name. She gave me some good sound bites that I could have used in my story, but I couldn’t use them because there was no attribution or identity of the source.
I also enjoyed this story because of the surrounding atmosphere. I was able to capture some natural sound of people talking at the fair, which added flavor to this story. I felt as though my other stories were bland regarding sound, so this story added more color and allowed listeners to put themselves at the fair.
From this story, I learned that I should not be discouraged if a source is unwilling to participate or provide all of the information that I need for the story. Eventually I looked around and found everything that I needed.
While I have heard many times from many different people that journalism is a “dying industry,” I believe that there will always be a need for media and journalists. Even in our expanding world full of technology and social networking, people will forever have the enthusiasm to know what is going on in their world around them.
The people need public figures that they can trust and these figures, being journalists, will relay information to the people. I don’t think that it matters how the information is relayed; whether it is through radio, television, magazines, newspapers or the Internet, that need for news will always be prevalent.
The belief behind this field of work is to inform the people, and to act as a watchdog on the government. Being a double major in journalism and political science, I find the watchdog aspect of this definition interesting and motivating. In my mind, the media acts as a watchdog, not only for government, but for everything going on in the world. The media brings us what we need to know and brings us to the action when we cannot always be there.
Personally, my dream job is Jeff Zeleny’s job, the New York Times Political Correspondent who came to speak to both political science and journalism students last semester. While my role in journalism or political science may never be as big and intriguing as Zeleny’s role, I hope to do a similar job where I can use skills from both fields.
This semester, being my final semester in college, has been both chaotic and eventful through its entirety. Working as a reporter for WRFW was an intriguing learning experience. In this position, I learned a significant amount of useful information regarding coverage of the campus community.
First, I learned that sources are sometimes difficult to work with and may not be helpful in providing useful information. In journalism, as in any other field of work, some people will be disrespectful, hostile and rude. I learned to recognize the mistakes that I made on my end, attempt to fix them, and handle the criticism properly and respectfully.
Because of this incident, I now have a better understanding of proper e-mail etiquette and how to cooperate with people who may be difficult to cooperate with in an interview setting.
Second, I learned that it is crucial to obtain different perspectives and opinions of various people on campus. It is simply not enough to talk to a professional, such as a professor, regarding the topic; it is also necessary to talk to students or anyone who may be impacted directly by the story. My specific stories occasionally involved the Department of Technology Services, so it was important to talk to students and contain their views into my stories.
It was a delight to report and be an anchor for WRFW this semester. While covering the campus community, I learned many useful skills that I will carry with me into the field of journalism.