I’ve found that news gathering can be tricky, thrilling and, most importantly, fun. Getting all of the information and the correct information can define your writing. An efficient article or piece of news should leave the readers with no questions. I drive my writing off of asking the tough questions, getting plenty of sources and going out of my way to put my best work forward.
Being a part of the media program was truly unique in the weeks leading up to Vista's annual "Wish Week" put on by Student Leadership and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Since our Wish Kid's wish was to be famous, I got the opportunity to be her paparazzi. In preparation for an all-inclusive newsmagazine I dedicated to Wish Week, I got to meet Gabby, the Wish Kid, one-on-one. It was the most rewarding and remarkable experience I could have imagined.
I learned a lot about news gathering during that experience. I learned that getting a story that no one else is willing to do is worth it every time. After driving an hour to Gabby's apartment, I got talking with Gabby in an interview that lasted at least 45 minutes. I interviewed her parents and they spoke beautifully. I learned that asking the tough questions about things such as childhood cancer can be difficult to just dive right into. It made my article emotional, compelling and a real insight into what Gabby's life and diagnosis is like.
I learned about approaching difficult interviewing situations, asking the right kind of questions, using freedom of speech to share the stories of others and to stop at nothing to get the best story possible. The article was published on a two spread feature in our programs all-inclusive Wish Week newsmagazine. It is uploaded on the writing tab of my portfolio.
Below is an attached photo of Gabby when I met her and did a post-interview photoshoot.
As I have stated before, my time at the national convention in Indianapolis in the fall of 2016 was truly inspirational. It was exciting to get out in front of the camera at a political rally. The anger and climactic emotions were encouraging. I learned a lot about news gathering throughout the process. My friends and I had to approach strangers and ask them questions that would get them talking and take impactful photos. The most rewarding part was when my friends and I had to put together our gathered content on a deadline. It was intriging to be in a real life newsworthy event and have a deadline. I gained a lot of confidence after I was thrown in front of a camera with a microphone and several strangers.
On a smaller scale, my first run-in with news gathering was at a staff barbecue hosted by my adviser, Newt. Annually we kick off the year with good food and an interviewing scavenger hunt. At that event, I learned how to get the confidence to approach strangers about interviews, record and write interviews at a fast pace and to work on a deadline.
Below is an attached photo of the scavenger hunt from my first year attending.
I had the opportunity to speak at a panel for the Denver Press Club. It was a unique version of news gathering. I got to share my thoughts on school safety, gun violence as well as how our media programs are covering the "heavy" issues such as school shootings. After having shooting threats at my school a few years ago, I thought sharing my opinnon was vital. While I spoke my mind, it was insightful to learn from other students and how their publications are covering things. The most impactful portion was creating a relationship with Heather Martin and Zach Cartaya, Columbine school shooting survivors. At that event I learned the importance of speaking up for your beliefs and the significance of hearing from other high school media programs. Below is the audio clip of the panel.
Attending the Capitol Hill Press Conference was a very professional experience for me. After learning the ins and outs of the Denver Post, several staff members and I proceeded to the State Capitol to hear about issues that are affecting students in Colorado. One of the major arguments was why Colorado switched their state-mandated test for Juniors from the ACT to the SAT. Many of the students questioned why our education was geared towards us taking the ACT up until that current school year, then expected to take a different test. The answer simply came down to money. It was exciting to be in the State Capitol, gather news from professionals and concerned students. The all-day event made me thrilled to pursue a career in reporting.
I recently had the opportunity to take photos for the US Women's Sled Hockey team. After driving about an hour to photograph the team, I didn't know what to expect. I am extremely happy I went, it was an amazing experience. The disabled women ranged from 14-40 years old and their resiliency was inspiring. They are using my photos to promote their website and social media accounts before they head to the Olympics. It was one of the best news gathering experiences I have done and a privilege to photograph such a distinguished team.