Over the past year of practicum, I have found a few strengths and always room for improvement.
There are many aspects of journalism that I’m good at doing. I have learned to write for newspaper, record for radio and read for TV. Really, it has been a very successful year in finding what I am good at for the future. What I would really like to do for the future would be to have more experience in TV Broadcasting. It interests me and learning more about it would be a great addition to my resume.
One strength that I have found while in practicum is being flexible. Working with people and working with their schedules is stressful, but being flexible as a journalist helps to remain on time with your deadline and have a successful interview.
A weakness that I find in myself is remaining on deadline. Having 16 credits, 2 part-time jobs, and an internship this past semester is difficult to juggle. Fridays come up pretty fast after a busy week working on other classes and things. It is something to improve on for the future.
This past semester, I ran into many more difficulties with stories than I had the previous semester. I experienced a wide variety of people and opinion, but the story that I was most intrigued in was that of the disaster in Japan and covering students and faculty who were affected by it here on campus.
I began the story differently than I had before. I contacted many people to find Japanese students and to get their contact information. I ran across a Satomi Ito, adviser to the International Student Association, and she gave me what I needed. She talked to all of the Japanese students for me to ask if any of the students families were harmed. Thankfully, she informed me that they weren’t but that some of them were willing to talk to me about their families experience with the earthquake.
Overall, it was a very eye opening story for me to cover where it put me in a vulnerable place to ask difficult questions. It was interesting to inform students that the earthquake has impacted many students and faculty, not just the Japanese population that we have here on campus.
One quote that I got from Satomi Shinde, professor of education, summed up everything that my story was about and what the world was thinking after the earthquake. “Watching the videos on the Internet and seeing the images of the tsunami bury whole towns is like watching a horror movie,” Shinde said.
It has not only been a difficult semester for me, but also a very busy semester for news. Working for the Student Voice has been an experience, since I once worked in Radio Broadcasting. It is a whole different ball game. I’ve learned many things while covering our campus for the Voice.
First, I’ve learned that time is everything. There was only one week in between story assignments forcing me to keep a calendar and schedule interviews right away. Even for as busy as I was this semester, it usually came out the right way if I scheduled it right.
Email is awesome. When all else fails, use email. I’ve learned that the hard way. People are busy, so they will cancel interviews. Email or a phone call is the next best thing.
Finally, when there is something important going on somewhere on campus, be there as a reporter. There have been things that have not been covered this past semester due to poor communication. Twitter works well to give breaking news to everyone and also events that are going on that should be covered.
It has been a pleasure though to learn new things about the newspaper business and working on a deadline. I can now look to the future and know what to expect when stepping into the uneasy world of journalism.
Below I’ve attached my resume and also the link to my portfolio.
As a part of one of my stories, I followed Professor of Microbiology Purnendu Vasavada to the Microbiology Symposium. He was very excited that I was writing a story about this, which included many different people from all around the world talking about current issues in food microbiology and concerns about food borne pathogens.
There were a few excellent speakers there talking about current issues in food companies, including Larry Cohen from Kraft Foods. He explained the process of companies dealing with recalls on food items.
As the semester comes to an end, I realize that in journalism you have to give detail to everything and the little things especially.
With every story that I had finished, I felt somewhat accomplished for all of my work.
I loved the feeling of putting together a story on a deadline, checking everything to make sure my story flowed and was almost flawless, and then hearing it all come together right on the campus radio made it that much sweeter. The way the class was set up felt just like the real world and with that, this practicum class gave me the courage to seek a job in journalism that much more.
I had sent a few thank you cards to my sources that helped me out throughout the semester also and I got pleasant feedback from all of them. Even for how busy and rushed I felt at times, it all seems worth it now in the end when you get back such positive feedback.
I hope next semester as a print practicum student that I surpass all expectations and make it just as memorable as I did as a broadcast practicum student.
My last story that I covered was about the current state of illegal drugs on our campus. The number of consumers of these drugs is not high compared to other schools, but the campus still enforces a strict code of conduct to penalize a student if they are caught with any illegal substances on campus.
After talking with Kristie Feist, the Assistant Director for Residence Life-Community Development and Education, she explained that there is a process for each student to go through in order to pay off their time with illegal substances, but the overall goal of this process is to educate.
For my last assignment, I was complaining about the fact that my source was never available to have an interview. They were just much too busy, or what I thought, ignoring me.
To my pleasant surprise, this source was well worth the short time that I got to interview them. They were happy to talk to me, gave me plenty of quotes that I wanted to base all of my story on, and they gave me excellent feedback from the story itself.
To say the least, this source has been the best person I have talked to all semester. Not to say I didn’t have good experiences with all of the others, but this source made it incredibly easy for me to talk to them and made it seem like we would talk about this subject for hours and still not get enough information about it.
I know in the future, I will go with questions that are similar to this source because I know it will be well worth my time and well worth the knowledge gained from talking with this source.
There was no research needed to find my source for my current story involving drug abuse on campus; it was clearly provided about two weeks ago when I got my assignment. The problem was the timing.
I had formally sent an email to meet with this source at any time she was available before our short Thanksgiving hiatus. She responded back that there would be absolutely no time from Monday-Wednesday before break. I responded back that Monday or Tuesday after break would work just fine at any time. She once again emailed me back and said that the only time this week would be Thursday at 10 am. I had to agree.
To back myself, I emailed her the day I got my assignment to get a jump start at my information since there is nothing listed on our campus website. This was two and a half weeks ago, and that was not enough time.
Sorry for the rant. I am now accepting this assignment as a challenge and will work quickly and efficiently on my story for tomorrow afternoon.