WJI Blog Day 12: Pavement stomping reporting

May 25, 2017

By Hayley Schoeppler

Boyce College 

Imagine you’re trapped over a zoo enclosure.  A boa constrictor threatens you on one side.  A jaguar prowls along your other side.  Meanwhile a shark circles in water underneath you.  What in the world does this have to do with World Journalism Institute?  

Well, it was a fellow student’s nightmare last night.  She related the dream to us this morning, and we all decided it was symbolic of our existence.  The boa constrictor represents our designated area (feature writing, in my case), the jaguar is the videography project, and the shark is our photo slideshow —still clamoring to be done . . . or at least, mine is. 

Pavement stomping reporting and journalism are in full swing.  This morning my feature writing team hit the road early.  We met at 8 am, with a gameplan.  Two other feature writers joined our ride into town.  (They were catching a one-way ride to a funeral home in pursuit of a story.  —Now there’s an interesting sentence for you.)

Once in town, we fanned out to do interviews.  I decided to walk the block, paying attention to details.  We’ve been learning so much in classes.  It’s both exciting and overwhelming to be out on the street, pursuing a story.  (What if I forget one of the important things I shouldn’t forget?  What if I fail to recall one of the 9 tips of good reporting, or was it the 6 interviewing tips . . . or am I just forgetting everything?!)

As it was, I decided to go into a community health center.  On our game plan, the center was a small possibility with one potential event.  But, why not stop by in person and verify that event?  It turned out wonderfully.  The center will probably be a highlight of my story.  Also, the event information we had was incorrect.  If I hadn’t stopped by, I would have been late for the event.  If I’d been late for the event, I would have missed talking to students who will be faces in my story. 

I love how God provides —even when a metaphorical zoo of deadlines is circling.  

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