Yesterday’s KOMU shift was my first “real” newsroom experience, as the previous Missourian shift was working on a special project, and Newsy didn’t have strict deadline and it had no original reporting part.

I first shadowed a reporter who was covering the story about elementary school students’ jazz class, which was part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move plan. As the jazz was only held on Thursday, she already got most of her job done, and only need an interview with a lady from the Columbia Public Schools today. After the interview, we went to the Benton Elementary School to see if we can take any relevant picture, but, the school had no class today!

Going back to the newsroom with only three pictures of the outside look of the school building, I started looking for another reporter to shadow. I asked the director for opinion and he pointed Jeff for me. Everything was not going so well with Jeff that day. His original story pitch was killed, and he had nothing to report on, so he kept practicing making up the whole afternoon until he was told to cover a special meeting at Moberly about the recent failed Mambek project. It was a short notice, so when we set off, the meeting which was being held 30-minute-drive away has already started. “The news will never wait for you,” Jeff said.

It was an endless and extremely straight highway, and I saw some Amish houses on the side of the road.

We rushed there, and found the council members were having a closed session. So I walked around and started talking with the citizens who attended the meeting.

Citizens and media are waiting in the lobby of the Moberly City Hall during the closed session.

Then, the council members went out and made a short statement that they will have further discussion and the final decision will be out by Nov. 1. And none of them was willing to answer any question. It was not ideal because Jeff finally got only the footage of the statement, a citizen who showed concern, and some b-rolls of the downtown. But it was the worst, at least we finally were able to get there before everybody left.

 

Outside the City Hall, Jeff is talking with a Moberly policeman.

Sunset on the way back

We went back to the newsroom, and Jeff started exporting the footage and working on the web story as well. I started to write captions for my photos and picked three of them showing different aspects of the event, with one wide shot, wide medium shot of the council members and one medium shot of one Moberly citizen. And they were posted to the facebook page and the website before our story was on air, and got 6 people like them by the time I got off the work. That’s social media’s speed!

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