Investigation On Train Derailment Continues... And Dew Tour

This week was a crazy blur and I’ll be surprised if I remember half of it…

The biggest challenge I’ve found so far is going from one internship to the other doing completely different things. Transferring from writing broadcast to writing for web has been interesting and I find sometimes it might take me a day to slip into a comfortable zone with my writing for each of them. Going from web to broadcast doesn’t seem to difficult, but going from short and to the point broadcast to witty web articles has been.

Sunday I got my real first taste of learning how not to be timid about touchy subjects. After it was announced that one woman was killed in the train derailment we thought it would be nice to talk to her family. Starting in the phone book another reporter and I called a few people with her last name that lived in Rockford. When this turned up no results, the photog and I left to find the houses that had no number connected to them. We drove to four different houses and were able to rule out a couple, but for two of the homes, no one was there. Even though we weren’t able to find any of the relatives of the woman (which no other media outlet seems to be able to either), I did come out of the trip learning a lot about the history of Rockford… thanks to Bill.

On our way back from the homes, we stopped at a performing arts center to get some video of a father’s day music celebration. When I came back I called the spokesman of CN to get a few more details on the assistance program they are setting up to help for the families affected by the derailment.

Next I digitized in the video for the musical performance, wrote the script for it and rewrote a script about a Malaysian kung fu expert broke his own record by piercing four coconuts with his right index finger in just 30 seconds.

Afterwards I did some beat calls, but almost like always found nothing new going on. With that, it was time to get ready for the 10 newcast… I started chatting with the anchor and sports anchor while they got ready and we talked about Oprah and how she had rented the Rockford airport to send out her entire staff to Spain. Our question for Oprah--- does she know she’s really human?

On Tuesday, I came into the station earlier than I normally would have to learn how the web works at WREX, but as soon as I walked in, one of the reporters asked if I could go out on assignment with them. I couldn’t decline, so I asked the guy who’s in control of the web and he was fine with it.

I headed out with the reporter and photog. Our first stop was to check out a street that a viewer had said the tracks had been washed out at. A huge gully had formed and as soon as it gets closer to the tracks, the train is likely to topple over as it goes past…

On our way to the site of the train derailment Bob, the reporter I was shadowing, gave me a bit of history of some streets we passed in Rockford. Did you know the police found some sex slaves upstairs in that club, chained up, only a few hours of heat during the day, no furniture in the rooms? Bob asked me. And another street was famous for homicides… I guess it wasn’t a surprise when we drove past that area later we saw two women getting into a physical fight, one woman hitting the other with a broomstick.

At the site of the train derailment I learned how to work my way past the cops… well that is if the hard cop decides to go on lunch break and another soft one comes back out. I finally got a close look up of the tracks and how they were progressing in their repairs. We got some good shots, talked to a man from the NTPS.

Next it was off to check out another area of tracks near the Kishwakee River that had been washed out as well. This time we ran into a man walking out of his sisters apartment where he has been working for a couple of weeks repainting for her. He said that sometimes, after it rains, it looks like the tracks turn into a river. Finding all these washed out areas, make it a little worrisome that nothing is being done to fix them.

Wednesday was back to Chicago! Not too much to say about this day, mostly just putting together slideshows and writing articles.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday was Dew Tour days. Thursday was the Dew Tour’s opening day. Only media, friends of the media, and bmx/event coordinators were allowed into the park. It was the preliminary’s for the bmxers to see who would continue on in the contest. When I first got to Grant Park I thought we were going to get a tour. Instead Kristin and I got our press passes and were free to walk around where ever we wanted. Talk about understanding exactly why people love press passes so much. I met a ton of the bikers, got some good shots and although it rained, had a lot of fun.

On Friday the contest continued. Took lots of pictures and met plenty of bikers.

The last day of the Dew Tour I went alone. This was probably the most exciting of the three days because I got the chance to meet some big time bmx riders. I also was granted the chance, with the media pass, to be right up close and personal with the riders when they received their awards. Before the awards, I stood in the media and family section of the park next to the ramp to take photos. I appreciated being able to get some good shots of when one of the bmxers fell and had to be taken away, only to come back later and hug one of his best friends who had just finished their run. Right there in the action.


Deranged Clown, Colossal Explosion…One Heck of a Week

Andy Dick dressed as a deranged bloody Ronald McDonald wielding a large plastic silver knife, a train derailment causing a colossal explosion turning the sky a vast ball of orange, receiving a hug from Johnny Depp (okay that had nothing to do with journalism, but had to throw it in there anyway ;) ), insane weather and another break down from Patti.

No one word could begin to describe this week. Maybe short of extreme-extreme, but far from just hunky-dory.

Monday: WMAQ. This day was all about learning video uploading, creating slideshows and digesting info about how the web reaches out to its audience.

To start I created a slideshow on Rod Blago on his performance in “Rod Blagovejich Superstar”.
Click here to see the slideshow on the left side of the page, first slideshow.

Next is when I learned about how to upload videos to the web. Something I’ve been wanting to learn since I first started.

Blogged an update about a missing girl:
Click here to read the update.

After a few other things, the other intern and I worked on a slide show about crazy internet hoaxes to put into a slide show. Click here to see the pretty tight slideshow on the left side of the page.
Click here to see the pretty tight slideshow on the left side of the page.

I feel like I also wrote at least one article this day, but I can’t recall which, and if so I forgot to put my byline in…

Tuesday: WMAQ. Intern meeting Wednesday. Learned about all the great sessions the interns will be having throughout our time here: tours of the station to take a look at the technical/digital of stations operations, learning about the news departments, and sales department.

My first article of the day required watching part of the show “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” and to recap Patti Blago becoming buddy-buddy with retired NBA player John Salley.

Although I kind of feel bad for Patti for being picked on so much, I can’t feel that bad when she put herself out there like that… especially on a dumb reality television show. Most people think it’s for charity, which is definitely great (although her charity of choice refused to take her money after her husband is previously accused of withholding money from them if the CEO didn’t donate money to his campaign), but it’s also her way of trying to support her family (refer back to last article I wrote about Patti and “Mr Mom”).
Click here to read “Patti Tells BFF How Feds ‘Squeeze People’”

To end the day, I sat in on a conference call with Lora about web stuff. More deets to come on this at a later date…

Wednesday: WMAQ. For the most part on Wednesday, I choose which stories I wanted to write. I did start out with a story they gave me about on this guy who organized to send pizzas to Iraq for the soldiers who can’t be here for the fourth of July. This pizza party will go down in the Guinness Book of World Records. Click here to read “Pizza (and beer) on a Plane” (Snakes on a plane anyone??)

Had to talk to the coordinator because I was a little surprised they were sending beer over there, because well troops aren’t allowed alcohol overseas.

Went to a Digital Media Meeting that covered some more about how our site is doing.

After the meeting, Kristin and I walked out to the plaza to enjoy free pizza and ice cream for the NBC tower tenets appreciation lunch. Yuummm, free food.

Updated our local leads blog about a teen riding on the handlebars of a bike who shot off a man’s ear on the southside:
Click here to read the blog entry.

Saw the news on the Chicago Tribune for my next article.
Click here to read “Eddie Bauer Files Chapter 11”.

Finished off the day with a story I found important. Supposedly, in Cook County, it’s really hard to get a breast cancer screening.
Click here to read “Taking Care of “The Girls” Not Easy in This Town”.

Thursday: WMAQ. Thursday was Andy Dick protest at Rock “N” Roll Micky D’s day. I rode into Chicago a little later than usual so I could get to the McDonalds a little earlier than 1, when the protest started. I first talked to the protest coordinator and he explained that Andy and the vice president of PETA would be showing up soon. He gave me a DVD of chicken’s being killed, which I have yet to watch, in fear of my response that might follow, aka vomiting. A few protestors had gathered and so Kristin, the other intern, and I stated taking pictures and asking questions. It was great to be out in the field again, actually doing the reporting. Not long after, while standing across the street taking pics, we saw a semi-huge crowd running behind a man (Andy) impersonating Ronald McDonald, but with a little bit of blood and a Joker-like grin painted on his face, carrying a big plastic knife (also wearing an electronic monitoring device on his ankle, noticed this as I kneeled down to take a picture. I suspect he is on probation.) Kristin and I took more picture of the protesters, Andy Dick, and the vice president, and interviewed them.

When we got back to the station I called McDonalds to get their perspective on the whole situation, we put together the article, and created the slideshow.
Click here to check all that out in the article title "Andy Dick Not Lovin 'McCruelty'"

Friday: WREX. I didn’t quite expect the excitement that I got Friday. When I first got to the station I helped out by cutting a VO/SOT about the Rockford Sharefest and finished writing the script. Then I cut some cut some file video from a previous package about teen jail inmates and alternative programs.

All the while, the storms began brewing again outside, which would cause for craziness in the control one once the show started. Tornado warnings and flood warnings had been spotty throughout the day. I think during this newscast was the most I had learned so far about what the jobs of directors, producers, and the audio are. The director was extremely nice about letting me know what was going on and what he had to do. After the newscast (which was moved around due to the weather) I stayed in the control room to watch the action of cut-ins for the severe weather. I was able to sum it all up in one tweet: taraeg says crazy weather calls for crazy control room during newscast and continuous cut-ins during commercials.
Most definitely.

Around 8:00, another round of excitement and chaos started. “Train derailment” came over the scanner as I was writing a health story.

I feel that it’s always worth checking something that comes over the scanner that sounds remotely important. It’s better to get somewhere and find out it’s nothing than to have missed something huge.

So I climbed into the back of the livetruck with the reporter and weatherman, who was there to drive us to the scene. While driving on the highway we could see the smoke from about 12 miles away. The weather man, of course, told us that he was sure that clouds would not be that low on a day like this. We tried going down a certain road, but it had been flooded from all the rain. So we had to find an alternate route, and though it didn’t get us the best video, it was almost the best we could do without bottoming out the live truck.

When we got to a street corner, where we would set up, we first talked to a man who had been out near the train tracks and he told us what he saw. The photog then met up with us so the weatherman could get back to the station.

The photog was busy setting up the truck and asked if I could shot for him. Not really knowing how to shoot with a DVC pro I asked where the three main things were: the record button, the focus, and the zoom. I taped for a little bit for shots they would use during Saturday’s package on the fire.

We learned that a Canadian National train hauling 176 cars, 74 tankers with ethanol, 12 of the cars with ethanol had derailed causing a huge explosion. Over 26 units called in, 600 homes evacuated, and multiple injuries (we learned about the one death in the morning).

During the six hour night while we were there, I was a portable mic stand, holding the mic while the fire chief talked with us, helped set up the shots, and did various things to help out. Because all the other stations were out there, and there was a lot of standing around, I got to know some other people very well.

About halfway through the night, Bill said he was heading back to the station for a minute and asked if I wanted to go back so I didn’t have to be out there all night. I knew it wouldn’t have been a full experience if I hadn’t stayed the whole night… so I declined to going back to the station to go home. We ended up leaving the scene around 2 a.m., knowing we probably weren’t going get any new information until morning.

Saturday: WREX. After my late night Friday, I didn’t get into the station until the afternoon. As soon as I got there, I headed back out to the train derailment site where there was supposed to be a press conference held. This time, after having a little trouble getting past the police, I finally got to see the scene up close. They kept telling us the press conference would be held at different times and finally all the reporters/photogs there decided to get SOT’s from authorities they found and video instead of waiting for the conference at 8. I ran the tapes that Bill shot back to the station quickly, thinking I would head back out to the Rockford Airport to see Oprah sending out five jets full of her staff. But apparently this bit of information was not supposed to get out to the public or media. Oprah had rented out the airport and the security was tight, so there wasn’t really anything to shoot.

So instead I stayed at the station, cut the VO about a fundraiser Vintage baseball game and wrote a story on a NY man who is accused of dressing up as his dead mother to collect her social security and rent subsides.

Bill came back and asked if I would like to come out with him to a benefit dance for a man who fell in China severely injuring himself and who was still trying to pay off his $160,000 worth of medical bills.

His sister had organized “Prom 2009- Back to the Future” for her boyfriend of two years because he had never been to prom, and thought it would be a great benefit for her brother as well. It was interesting to talk to his sister, his dad, and finally the man (it was the first time he was able to make it to a benefit of his). I watched as Bill asked the man a few tough questions and it gave me a little insight on how to ask these types of questions to people who are on camera. I’ve had to do it many times for print, but never for the camera.

We ran back to the station, Bill cut the VO/SOT, and then we headed into watch the 10 newscast! A few minor problems during the newscast: before the B-block the anchor’s mic went out and she didn’t know she was on air, and the monitors also stopped working a minute before the newscast, so we had rearrange the sports guy to the wx wall and had to take out the BTS shots for the anchor.

From a producer and director standpoint I’m sure the newscast seemed horrible, but for the people watching at home I’m sure they didn’t notice the few mistakes. It was quite the way to wrap up a great week!

Video of the week:

The biggest news of the week is no doubt everything going on in Iran. For the video of the week, it's not from a newscast, but it's something that might hit you hard. Raw footage from near the protests. If you've been following along in the news, check this video out (it has blood in it, so don't watch it if you can't handle blood):


Off The Ground and Running At WREX

The rest of my second week of interning proved to be an exciting one.

Wednesday began my first day at WREX. When I got there, the news director introduced me to those working in the station and I hung out with the producer of the noon newscast. Because the station is so short staffed, almost like every station in the country right now, everyone in the newsroom is doing multiple jobs. So the producer of this show was also the morning show anchor.

As I discussed this with one of the anchors/producers there, I’m in love with the concept of not only one-man-bands, but having reporters knowing how to produce, direct, or any other job they may be asked to do.

I’m always yearning for more knowledge about everything journalism and being able to switch between these tasks keeps life exciting.

After the noon show the station had its monthly meeting--- glad to have come on that day! It gave me insight on how this particular station runs. Oh and I found out something that I probably should have known. Reporters and anchors have a clothes budget! In recent events, my bank account has suffered a nice downfall from the cost of business outfits for these internships. Now future clothes buying doesn’t look so dim. I’m sure if my bank account had a face it would be smiling. (The owner of the account sure was!)

For the most part I hung around the five, six, and ten anchor for the rest of the day. I watched as he went through the stories from the wires and NBC to pull out the best ones. During the newscast meeting, I watched how they agreed upon and choose what national stories to put into the newscast for the day. Once we got down to cutting video for the newscast, he showed me the basics of editing a VO/SOT, teases, and using all the different systems. Amid the five and the six, I watched the excitement from the control room as all their hard work was put together.

After the six I was given my first ever---ever, ever--- VO to write. The story had been in the show earlier, I just had to freshen it up and rewrite it for the ten.

Later that night, Sprinkler dude (aka Brandon, aka best friend, aka boyfriend) showed up in the parking lot of the station, as part of a detour on his way to West Virginia. (haha dumb GPS believed him) I took a day off of WMAQ and WREX to spend two amazing days with him. (If there is one piece of advice I have heard many-a-times from professional journalists, and will hold onto, it is to always make time for your loved ones.)

Back to reality on Saturday. When I got to WREX, the anchor of the six and ten gave me a quick once-over of how to import video, cut, and transfer a VO/SOT. I was given a tape of an event the photog had attended earlier. From there I edited my first VO/SOT about the Rockford Chapter of Daughters of American Revolution hosting a Flag Day event.

While writing the VO, one of the photogs/reporters (Bill) told me he was going out and I could come along if I wanted. I quickly finished the script and we headed over to CherryVale Mall where four Chicago Bears players would be doing a signing for GQ sports.

GQ hosted a media session before the signing for us, WIFR (CBS 12), and WTVO (FOX/ABC 17). The two other reporters were friends with Bill and while waiting for the very late players, after having to stare at the large pile of food on the table (we were allowed to have some though), a pretty unique discussion on nasty potatoes chips and how much snacks cost in each of our stations vending machines came up.

Finally when the players showed up Dusty Dvoracek and Israel Idonije gladly talked to us, but Tommie Harris was advised by Lovie Smith to go on a media hiatus after injuring his knee. Kevin Payne was just shy, and it was obvious by the extremely shy smile he gave me when I held the door for him as we left the conference room.

We followed them to the long line outside of GQ, and despite feeling like the paparazzi, it was pretty fun.

Next it was off to Barnes and Noble to cover a story about the Rockford Symphony Orchestra raising money by doing a book fair there. We ran into some hassles and it took way longer than it should have, but I learned something important… once something is shot, by law we are allowed to use it, even if we’re told we can’t. I can’t wait to take Communications Law next semester!

When I got back to the station, I uploaded the video to the Barnes and Noble Story, wrote the script, and Bill showed me how to do a BBO.

Throughout my day with Bill I learned a lot. I don’t think I have ever not learned one thing from shadowing someone.

After my second week of interning (and nearing the end of my third) I can definitely say that the experience of internships are priceless. I know that much of the stuff I take away from them I cannot not learn anywhere else. The Mizzou Method- a hands on approach- is the way to go!

For now… this third week has possibly been one of the craziest and I can’t wait to write about it.

Video of the Week

During the week of June 7-13, I saw limited coverage on N. Korea preparing for missile tests. Since I am eminently late with this entry (not surprising!) the news has moved on without out me. Now it's being written that N. Korea will possibly be launching a long-range ballistic missile toward Hawaii in July or towards the West Coast in three years. First talks started with N. Korea and the grave threats they pose to Asia with their missile and nuclear threats. The video below describes more about the situation:

To read more about the threats to Hawaii and the East Coast click on the links below:



On a lighter subject, if you haven't seen the video of Obama being distracted by a pesky fly during an interview be sure to check this video out! (better yet, if you can find the video that was shown on the Tonight Show... well tonight... it was hilarious!):

(resorting to youtube while I figure out how to embed videos from places like CNN.com):


Even Bacon Requires Research

On Monday, when I was asked to write a story about Baconfest, a festival for bacon in Chicago, I thought “yuum Baaacon…”. After collecting the facts about Baconfest and writing everything but the lead, I had to come up with an unboring (I’m making that a word) lead that didn’t just consist of the main facts about the event.

As I stared at the Word document mind-numbingly, brain blank, it finally occurred to me… I might just have to do some research on the bacon lovers of America to curse away my writers-block.

What I found was almost shocking… if you would like to know how obsessed some people are with bacon
click here to read “Bacon Get Its Day”.

After a little bit of research, I no longer had the urge for a slice of bacon. I ended my article, “Pencil in some time around Christmas for the angioplasty” ... anangioplasty certainly didn’t sound so pleasing to me… I researched a few more funky festivals to add to the article, but were eventually stripped to shorten it. Can you believe they have a world pillow fighting championship in Kenwood, California? (more of an unusual competition than a festival) Players knock their opponents off a giant wooden pole into a pool of slimy mud with a pillow. Another wacky festival is the humugus fungus fest… Crystal Falls, Michigan holds this festival every year to celebrate the largest mushroom in the world. It spans 38 acres and weighs 100 tons. A good reason to celebrate I suppose…

An educational lesson came out of all this. Not only did I learn that people take the time to get a bacon tattoo done, but I learned that even something as simple as bacon can require research. I feel that even if it’s only a short article that has to be written, it can only be as good as the research the writer takes times to get. Or in the case of reporting, the amount of facts they gather from sources. Enough about bacon.

When I walked into the newsroom of WMAQ on Monday I ran into my friend, anchor and reporter, Dick Johnson. I have spoken to him over email and he has helped me to get the internship that I have there, but I haven’t seen him since my senior year of high school when I first toured WMAQ. I met Dick at the NISPA/JEA National Journalism Convention hosted in Chicago my junior year. (Also where I met ABC 7’s Kevin Roy who convinced me to go to Mizzou). He recognized me and I had hoped, four years later, this wasn’t a bad thing.

Flashback to the past…

Dick and I my junior year… back when I liked my hair curly… ewww. I was clearly exhausted that day.

Senior year during my visit....

And why I think Dick is a such a great guy...

My two hopes are: Dick just has a really good memory and maybe only sort of recognized me and I hope to be able to shadow Dick a few times this summer.

When I started my day, I was asked to write an article about a women whose tires were slashed and the word “Nazi” scratched into the trunk of her car. It was nice to get something serious to write about. I love crime stories as well. Click here to read “Woman finds “Nazi” etched into Cadillac”.

On Tuesday, one of the web editors sent me a list of stories that she felt would be interesting to write about and I had the option to choose whichever ones I wanted to write about.

I decided to start off with a story about a domestic violence shelter that is going to be closed if the partial budget is passed by state Legislature. It would cut their funds in half, making it impossible to keep their services going. They held a protest outside the shelter last week.

It’s something I felt was important that wasn’t getting much exposure. I’m all about writing on issues that have a large impact on people’s lives. That is news right?

Click here to read “Shelter That Saves Lives Fights For Its Own”.

A story was written in the Chicago Tribune that I decided to rewrite about as well…
Click here to read “Brides to Keep Running at Filene’s".

Lastly, I pumped out one more story for the day. How a Lincoln document ended up in Hawaii back when it was a kingdom fascinated me. Though it was extremely hard to localize it, even if Honest Abe is from Illinois, I did the best I could.

Click here to read “Lincoln Document Baffles Nation”.

I also gathered the contact information for about thirty boutiques in Chicago.
The other intern who starts this week and I will be going out and writing about them. We will be taking some still pics and videos for the Web site, and getting the stores favorite fab five outfits of the season or something of that sort.

Well, not to cut this short (haha like this has been short), but I must be up a few hours to get ready for another day in Chicago. Expect the second half of my week at WREX and video of the week to be posted in a few days!


Stepping into the world of journalism

As my first week of interning has come to an end, I decided it would be the perfect time to finally start writing in this blog.

I first started a blog in eighth grade and it slowly faded towards the beginning of college, and now looking back, it’s fun to laugh at all the trivial things in high school that were blown out of proportion. This blog though, will serve a very different purpose: A looking glass into anything and everything journalistic. My love for journalism began in high school, and though I may have been sidetracked by other dreams (being a bagpiper didn’t quite work out, and you can scratch rapper off the list), I always knew I wanted to be a journalist.

In this blog, I hope to take you on my journey through the crazy world of journalism and give you a chance to relive all the enlightening experiences I may encounter.

Monday began my first day at WMAQ in Chicago. Sunday night I tossed and turned worrying about, well what would be logical to worry about before your first internship? Okay, I didn’t worry about the internship itself, but more that I was going to catch the wrong bus or get off at the wrong stop. You can’t have an internship without being there right? I didn’t want to be some country girl lost in the middle of the city crying my eyes out.

Despite my worries I made it there just fine, even 45 minutes early. The first thing I learned was there wasn’t much room for love of a Mizzou student in Chicago. Lora, the Director of Integrated Media and my boss for this summer, introduced me to the others in the newsroom.

“Guess what she is?” Lora asked an unnamed subject. “A Mizzou Tiger!”

“What, you couldn’t get into Northwestern?” he responded jokingly, the entire newsroom bursted into laughter. A warm welcome, one that I hoped I would be remembered for. (Side note: I never did apply to Northwestern. My heart was set on Mizzou the first time I saw it.) Everybody I have met though has been sweet and has made me felt accepted as one of them.

After setting up everything that needed to be set up, email, different accounts, and having to call India to fix login problems, I was given my first story to write. It was a light story, a good way for me to practice the “blog meets article” style used on www.nbcchicago.com. Click here to read my first article: “Free Concerts In The Park All Summer Long”.

The next morning Lora wanted me to be in the newsroom by 8:30 to attend a meeting. Everything was running smoothing until once in Chicago, I realized the bus I had taken the day before was not running until 8:30.

Thus, I boarded another bus, called up my handy-dandy, always available boyfriend who adores public transportation/is good at it and asked where to get off. From there I experienced a nice long walk through the rain and wind. I missed the marketing meeting, but attended the next meeting with another web editor.

This meeting, the morning buzz meeting, I was picked on a little more for being from Mizzou. “Did you know Chase Daniels? What is he up to these days?” one asked me. I also received an apology from the unnamed subject, while others who hadn’t been there asked him to repeat what he had said.

During the day I worked on a slideshow about Patti Blagojevich’s trials on the reality show “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” (mostly her journey down the Costa Rican river). Click here to see the slideshow, lower left of the page.

I also had the honor of writing about one of the best restrooms right here in Chicago. Click here to read “Toilet Talk: Drake Hotel Makes List”.

Wednesday night I dreamed I interviewed Obama and had to write about it. That’s when I knew I was officially engulfed in the news world for the summer.

On Thursday, I had to be into the station at 10. That morning I didn’t have to wake up until six, but at 5:40 my mom walks into the room and asks why I’m not up yet. Being completely asleep and out of it, I bolt up thinking I have to leave at six to catch my train. I ran around the house trying to get ready in 20 minutes. Must straighten my hair. In a rush, I accidentally clamp my 400 degree iron onto my ear…. twice. I rip the tags off of some newly bought clothes that I’m not sure I really like yet and run back into the bathroom to finish getting ready. That’s when I notice the clock, 5:55, stop and think. Walking out into the kitchen I yell out, “Now I know why my alarm never went off. I didn’t have to be up until 6!” With a stinging brown burnt ear, I calmly get ready for the day.

That morning I attended another meeting that really gave me a lot of insight into how the web works and how it reaches out to its viewers. During the meeting, we mostly spoke about something that I won't be able to talk about until a very much later date.

Later that day I worked on my style for the Web site by writing about Rod Blago’s appearance on Larry King the night before. Though it was heavily edited, I am slowly catching onto the style that isn’t just strict, down to the core, facts.Click here to read “Blago: Patti Eating Tarantula “An Act of Love”.

Because I received the pictures I needed, I also was able to post the story I had been working on Tuesday about two women in Florida who started a trend for the unemployed. Click here to read “No Job? Wear It On Your Sleeve” and to view the slideshow.

On Friday morning, I met with the news director from WREX in Rockford. This time I did get a little lost finding the station, but the best thing about television stations in the middle of nowhere is you can just follow the large towers. Down the road from WREX, I ran into WTVO first, but continued onto the next large tower.

Next week I start my internship at WREX. My duties will include editing, writing, shadowing reporters, working for the web and all around learning about how this industry works. By the end, if my abilities suffice, I will have the opportunity to cut packages and do some reporting.

So a look back at a couple of lessons I learned this week:

Monday: Calm down on getting to places. It’s easier to ride public transportation in the city than I thought. Nothing to lose a night’s sleep over. Also don’t bother to mention I go to Mizzou, unless I’m ready to face the consequences.

Wednesday: Set two alarms, don’t be lazy about it. I’m lucky this time it only cost me a burnt ear, next time I might not be so lucky…

More lessons to come…

"Video of the Week"

Each week I would like to sign off with a “video of the week” that I feel has been a significant event for the week, is something definitely worth looking at, is interesting or just down right funny.

This week I couldn’t pass up posting this video. I’m sure everybody has already seen it, but it’s worth having to look back at and remember in a few years. It’s the video that appeared on The O’Rielly Factor, Countdown With Keith Olbermann, ABC World News and on stations/radio stations all over the country this week.

While at my meeting on Friday with the news director, she asked what kind of classes I have taken. I told her some basic journalism classes, but most of my experience I have received has been at KOMU. She started to laugh and said, "I don't know if you have seen it, but somebody sent me a link this morning of a reporter from your station getting sprayed on his live-shot." My whole face turned red and I had to explain what my relation was to him…

A few minutes after this liveshot took place, I received a text saying, “You’ll never believe what happened this morning!” On my train ride in, I heard all about it. I don’t need to re-explain it though. Take a look:

Wet KOMU 8 Live Shot from KOMU News on Vimeo.

Copyright © Tara Grimes
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