Week Three At WNDU

From storm damage to more storms, and frustrated Indiana toll road drivers to court cases, week three was no less exciting than weeks one and two.

On Monday, thousands throughout Michiana were still were without power from Friday's storm. Workers from Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio were working to fix power lines and restore power to many who hadn’t seen electricity in three days. After this week and the line of storms we’ve been seeing, I realized just how many storm damage stories can be done. This was one of them.

Before our first interview, we went down the street from the station to where a man was having a large tree taken off his house. It had been on his house all weekend as he struggled to get a permit to have equipment on the street to remove it. Since the government offices were closed over the weekend, he wasn’t able to get one until Monday. At his home, we spoke to the company removing the tree.

Next we headed to Indiana and Michigan Power to talk with a spokesperson from American Electric Power. She informed us of where the power was out, how the workers go about restoring power, and how they decide on who to restore the power to first. She also gave us the location of where workers would be restoring power so we could get some broll.

Before heading to that area, we spoke with an engineer from the county’s engineering department about the permit situation. Then it was back to the broll. In Harters Heights in South Bend, we shot video of workers working on the power lines. To make the story more humanistic we were able to get the family who lived in a nearby house to talk with us. It was funny to hear the four kids who lived there speaking about their view of their lives without power. They had been out that morning watching the workers and even described them as their “superheroes.”

Click here to read “Power still out for thousands three days after storm.”

Tuesday proved to be a busy day. It started out with a drive out to the location where a body had been found Monday afternoon. Since the police weren’t offering any information on the case we needed to find someone else to talk to. After some door-to-door knocking, the reporter, photog and I were finally able to get a man who worked at a nearby business to talk to us. Although, like us, he didn’t have much information, he still provided us with a good community member reaction that we needed. He had been in the area when the body was found, and the body was found right behind the business he worked at. We hurried back to the station to turn a quick vosot for the noon and headed out on our next assignment.

For weeks Indiana drivers have expressed their frustration with the toll road booths and the problems they’ve run into when trying to pass through them. Since the Toll Road Oversight Board was meeting in Elkhart County that afternoon, it was the perfect opportunity to ask them what they were doing about it. Governor Mitch Daniels was also going to be there, so we had the chance to get his angle on the problem. First we headed out to the nearest toll road booth to talk with drivers and get broll. What we ran into was exactly what we had been hearing about: drivers lined up for ten minutes as they battled with the machines that wouldn’t take their money. As we approached the first tollbooth a woman sat in her car yelling at the machine. An attendant on the other line was trying to help her, but the woman’s anger began to rise rapidly as she shouted into the machine “This is very inconvenient. You’re stopping traffic and people have things to do!” Of course thinking like a journalist, I was super excited that we had gotten the perfect nat sound for the package. We walked up and down the road talking with other drivers until it was time to go.

When we got to the meeting at the Indiana State Toll Road Post, I sat with the reporter until it was over and time to go outside to cover the vosot I would be writing.

Outside the Indiana State Police were holding a ceremony to dedicate the its new toll road post to former Senator and police officer Robert L. Meeks. Troopers who worked at the post were lined up and community members gathered around the podium. After a short dedication I joined the other reporters as we formed a circle around the Governor for a quick interview. Once I got what I needed from him the photog and I hurried over to Meeks for a soundbite and a quick chat with him. This only being my third week as an intern, I can’t say that I wasn’t thrilled interviewing the Indiana Governor and a former Senator.

The rest of Tuesday afternoon consisted of writing the vosot and helping out with the web.

Click here to read “Road taking its toll on drivers, Gov. Daniels says it’s ‘better than ever.’”

Click here to read “Indiana State Police dedicate toll road post to former Senator Meeks.”

Click here to read “Body found near Rum Village Park identified.” (Updated since we went out on the story.)

When asked to stay in and help the 11 p.m. producer Wednesday, I thought for sure it would be a pretty uneventful day. Boy was I wrong… At 8:30, just shortly after I had finished writing some vosots for the 11, the reporters, producers, and I gathered around the weather Doppler radar and watched in anticipation as a line of storms began moving towards our viewing area. As I worked on a vosot the meteorologist came out and asked for my help back in the weather lab. My job was to watch as weather reports came out of the printer and let him know if there were any tornados/severe winds that were sweeping through the Chicago land area. This would help us to know what to expect later on in the evening. Back in the newsroom, without hesitation, the producer began sending the reporters and photogs out to where she thought the storms would hit the hardest.

Just like Friday I knew this wasn’t something I wanted to miss. I jumped into the livetruck with a reporter and photog and we headed straight into the dark clouds of the storms. Before we knew it 70 mph winds hit us hard and the rain started pounding down on us. Fearing for our safety (the truck was swaying all over the place) we pulled over into a hotel parking lot and ran inside. There we ran into a bunch of spectators staring out the hotel doors at the storm. Turns out they were the workers who were in town fixing the power lines from Friday’s storm. The photog shot some broll and the reporter did a quick interview and standup. Once the winds began to die down we hopped back into the live truck and drove to a house where a large tree had been ripped out of the ground and fell onto a van, just narrowly missing a house.

By this time it was getting late and we needed to get back to the station so the reporter could turn a quick package. After an interview with a neighbor who had seen the tree fall we ran back to the station. The photog and reporter turned the package and we were back on the road again to do a liveshot at the same location. It took awhile to tune in, but we still were able to get the liveshot up halfway through the newscast. At midnight we were finally able to go home wet, satisfied, and exhausted from the adrenaline rush.

Click here to read “Storms uproot trees in South Bend.”

I’ve always been interested in crime stories so on Thursday when I had the opportunity to attend a court case with a reporter I couldn’t say no. In high school I shadowed a crime reporter from a local newpaper, but this has pretty much been the extent of my exposure to reporting on court cases. I’m really intent on learning how to cover court cases and what a reporter should know when going into them. In this case, the court was having a preliminary exam for a man who had been accused of raping a woman at knifepoint. Unfortunately after waiting around the courthouse for a bit, we got the news the case was being adjourned that day because new police reports were presented. When they do finally decide to hold the preliminary exam, I definitely plan to go with them.

Click here to read “Dowagiac rape suspect’s court date postponed.”

Friday and Saturday turned out to be pretty light days. Friday night I went along on a story about a man who had burned himself while cleaning up sticks and shrubs from Wednesday’s storms. The burns were pretty severe and the family wanted the hospital to keep him overnight because they felt they didn’t have the resources to care for him But according to the family, the hospital refused even though the man is covered by two insurances.

Click here to read “Man burns himself cleaning up storm damage, hospital discharges him.”

On Saturday I was finally able to begin editing my first practice package. As the weeks go on, I’m still looking forward to learning all the basics on Newsedit and then finally honing my skills and techniques of editing. I also hope to work on my writing, voicing, and the overall art of putting together a package.

As far as next week goes, I can’t wait to see what week four has in store for me!


Severe Weather Rips Through Michiana... and Much Much More

The thing about being a reporter is… when the news is telling you to take cover indoors during a severe storm, we are out chasing the damage the storm is doing.

Severe weather ripped through the Midwest yesterday, producing winds up to 90 mph in the South Bend area. Even before the storm we were ready… well almost. I’m pretty sure it’s situations like these they always tell reporters and photogs to bring an extra set of clothes. You never know where you’re going to end up! Too bad for me I didn’t think being an intern qualified for these rules. I learned later that night while being drenched in a torrential downpour, this certainly wasn’t the case.

During the 5 p.m. newscast the radar showed some pretty heavy storms moving through Chicago, so we knew we were going to be hit about 7 p.m. The meteorologist was predicting hurricane-like winds and widespread damage across the area. So what better story to do a package on? (yes, yes I know we reporters sound cold-hearted, but I swear we’re not!)

Our first stop: a golf club. We arrived there before the storm hit to interview the manager about fathers day. Business this father’s day is supposed to be up compared to last father’s day, and this would be our backup story incase the storm passed over us. But sure enough about 20 minutes after we arrived the storm rolled in. As the reporter and I took cover in the car, the photog braved the winds and rain and got some great video. From inside the car, thankful to not be the photog at the moment, I watched as things started flying everywhere, this included the tent a wedding rehearsal had been practicing under. We watched as the wedding party fled past the car towards the club house, getting completely drenched. The photog called us from inside as well and told us it would probably be wise to come indoors. The car had been shaking pretty wildly.

When we got inside the clubhouse we spoke with the wedding party and found out the groom had been picked up by the wind and thrown into his grandfather. He and his grandfather were injured. He, of course, was the perfect person to interview to show the extent of power to which the winds had.

Once we left the golf club we ran over to a house where a large tree had been completely uprooted. When I first saw it the grass reminded me of fake turf, the way it had just been ripped out the ground by mother nature with no remorse. The woman inside the home at the time wasn’t hurt, but her carport and nearby power and gas lines weren’t so lucky… Four houses around her had been evacuated as the crews came out and capped the gas line.

On our way back to the station we stopped to get video of a large tree that had almost fallen on a house. All across the area we had photogs spread out covering stories such as the ones we were doing… trees across the road and on cars, sports fields ripped up, possible tornados etc.

I’ve never seen the newsroom so hectic on a weeknight. The phones were ringing off the hook and all the photogs, reporters, and producers who had stayed late were running around helping to put together the newscast. The news director brought in pizza for the hungry and people were helping out in jobs they rarely do or have never done… For me this included running the telepromoter for the late lead in and writing a vosot. It was truly an amazing night to be a part of Stormteam 16!

Although the rest of the week wasn’t nearly as exciting, I still learned a lot.

On Monday, I was sent out on a vosot with one of the reporters. One of the hospitals in the area was celebrating their sixth month anniversary by honoring the first baby born there. Boy was this baby cute! They placed a plaque outside the room where the mother had delivered her. After an interview with the mom and dad, we headed back to the station so I could write a vosot for the five and six.

Click here to read “New hospital celebrating 6 months of caring for patients.”

The rest of the day pretty much consisted of sitting in with the producers in the control room to watch the newscast.

On Tuesday, I had the chance to work with the floor director/camera operator running scripts, directing the anchor towards which they camera they needed to face, learning the different camera shots on the rundown, and watching the newscast from the studio. It’s always interesting to see how different studios run. Last summer at WREX there was no camera operator and at KOMU, even though the cameras are robotic, we still have a floor director. At WNDU the cameras are manual and during the noon show there is one floor director. During the 5 p.m. there are normally two to three people.

After the noon, the anchor, who is also a reporter/photog, and I ran out to pick up a vosot. The drive out to where we needed to go, Southwestern Michigan College, is about an hour from SB. I always find long car rides like these to be valuable. I use it to ask the reporters and photogs all the questions I’ve always wondered about what it’s actually like to be a reporter/photog.

At Southwestern Michigan College, a program called Education Talent Search was holding a week long camp to teach kids how police conduct crime scene investigations and how they collect and analyze evidence. I interviewed one of the students about his experiences with it and one of the directors of the program. By talking to the director, the reporter and I discovered another story we could do later on. An important thing to know… one story can always lead to another.

Click here to read “Camp lets kids explore a wide range of career options.”

Since we got back pretty late and by the time I finished writing the vosot for the five and six, I missed going out with the nightside reporter. So I stayed in with the other nightside reporter who was covering Obama’s first oval office speech. He brought in a Saint Mary’s professor who studies political communication to talk about what he expected to see in Obama’s speech about the BP crisis. We then we sat with him during Obama’s speech so he could analyze Obama’s body language and the things he spoke out during the speech. Like most times I sat in with the reporter as he wrote the story to see how it would come together.

Click here to read “Obama will make BP pay for ‘reckless’ actions.”

Wednesday Beachteam 16 formed! You may have heard the job of a reporter is glamorous and although this is completely untrue (we have our share of really stressful days and if you think the pay is good… ha… ha!) we do have our fun days. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to the beach, so I was totally ready.

Earlier in the day an 11-year-old boy had almost drowned while swimming in the lake. One of the lifeguards jumped out and saved him. This had been one of the several near drownings that day so we decided to do a package on water safety and focus it around the near drowning at the beach.

We spent about 45 minutes there, having the lifeguard re-enact what happened and interviewing him, and then interviewing a parent who had taken her little kids to the beach that day about what she does to keep them safe. After getting all the video and interviews we needed, we couldn’t help but to end our day at the beach with some ice cream from downtown!

This past week I also asked to start helping out with the web. At WNDU comments on the website must be approved before being posted. This was my first task… to read through and approve or reject viewer’s comments. I’m sure after awhile it gets old, but being a first timer on the job, the comments are pretty amusing to read. Next week, after getting back in from doing my vosots, I’m hoping to write these stories for the web.

Today I plan to work on editing the package I wrote last week. I sat in with the editors a bit more this week and one of them really showed me how to use the system. I hope with some time I will be able to learn newscutter pretty efficiently. On Wednesday, while down at the beach, the photog took us to the WNDU bureau located in St. Joe. It was the first time in years since I’ve seen a tape-to-tape editing system and each time I do, it always reminds me how spoiled we are in how far technology has come…talk about stressful editing.

In the next few weeks I also plan to complete the storm and water safety packages. When they’re done I’ll be sure to share them with you!

Even though only two weeks have come and gone at WNDU, I feel like it’s been longer. The things I’ve learned and covered… car chases, standoffs, storms… is something I thought might never happen, but looking back on all these adventures I’d say it’s been a pretty successful two weeks so far.


First Week Adventures At WNDU

Being an intern is one of the best jobs in the world. You’re not quite an employee so there’s room to make mistakes and even though you aren’t paid, I think all the knowledge you gain is payment enough. As my first week of being an intern at WNDU in South Bend, Ind. comes to an end, I can definitely say I will never doubt the value of an internship.

My first day I was thrown into the swing of things by being given a vosot to do. A town near South Bend was holding a groundbreaking ceremony for a new building for their elementary school. At the ceremony I met a number of interesting people and by talking with them I got a good sense of what their community was like. Residents there are very close knit, mostly because they had lived there almost their entire lives. Most had even graduated high school with each other. The few I talked to had graduated the opposing schools in the community in 1955 and 1956, but they still remembered competing each other in sports. They shared with me many memories of their high school career and what the building was like during their time there. The forth grade girl I spoke with said her parents graduated the high school as well. She was super excited to be getting a new facility because “I think we should have newer stuff than what they used.” Each of the people I spoke with was just a simple reminder that everyone does have their own story.

Click here to read “Ground broken on Sam Adams expansion in Cassopolis.”

Once back at the station and after writing the vosot I headed to the editing bays where the photogs hang out. Only a few of the reporters at WNDU are backpack journalists and even then they don’t always have to go out on their own. As an intern I go along with a photographer on my vosots as well. Because of this reason I feel it’s important for any reporter to get to know the photographers well. Good communication can only lead to a good story. I love the fact of having someone else to bounce ideas off of as well.

When 4:30 rolled around I asked to go out on the nightside assignment. Residents on the West Side of South Bend have been dealing with street construction since January, but it’s not just any ordinary construction. The streets are completely torn up… cones set up over giant manholes, driveways replaced by dirt, potholes everywhere, no space for vehicles to navigate their way around, and finally nowhere for rain water to drain; although the reason for the project is to create a combined sewer system. The streets even reminded me of a dirt bike racetrack. I could definitely see why the residents were not happy. We spoke with one woman who made for a great CCC because she was good at expressing emotion.

I sat in with the reporter as he wrote the story. I feel by doing this I can take different reporter’s techniques to try and figure out my own. I also feel sitting in and watching how they put together their story will help me with my writing.

Click here to read “Construction complaints on South Bend’s West Side.”

After my two shift Tuesday, I decided Wednesday and Thursday’s I would work nightside shifts so I would be able to shadow reporters. Of course meetings are pretty prevalent on weeknights so on Wednesday night I went along with a reporter on a story about a street expansion. This story meant a little bit of door-to-door knocking which I love… well on stories where people aren’t cursing you out of their neighborhood. We talked to a few interesting people and even found a woman walking around outside her home looking to see where the county had placed the stakes for the expansion to take place. We had a few people decline to talking on camera, but they still gave us some great information. At the meeting on the expansion we grabbed some facts, video and interviews and then headed back to the station.

Click here to read “Granger residents voice concern over Gumwood expansion.”

At the end of the night, while I was hanging around waiting for something to do, reports of a standoff came across the scanner. I’ve never seen one of these before, of course how many people really have, so I rushed to ask the photog if I could come along. When we got there the police were set up with their bullhorns and shields, lights blazing on the house. They were asking the man inside to put down his weapon and come out of the house. The SWAT team showed up and geared up to get ready to go inside. After about an hour we heard the popping noises of teargas canisters opening, and then watched as the police threw them inside them home. When no one came out the photog and I began wondering if there really was anyone in there. All around us neighbors had started to gather, including one family who had been told to leave their home by the police to ensure their safety. I felt bad because they looked really cold in their pajamas. These neighbors started telling us their crazy version of what had happened earlier in the day that led to the standoff. Apparently it started when the man got home and started choking his fiancĂ©. When she ran outside and told some neighbors, he came out with a sawed-off shotgun and pointed it at the neighbors. When he saw police arriving he ran back inside in the home. This started the standoff. After a few hours of being there the police finally brought the man outside of the home and arrested him.

Click here to read “One in custody after Wednesday night stand-off in South Bend.”

Thursday proved to be just as exciting as Wednesday. Since the police department wasn’t providing us with information on Wednesday night’s standoff, I drove with a reporter to the police dept to have the police report read to us. While there we were tipped off on a police chase going on in Elkhart County. After grabbing gear from the station we headed to the scene where the police chase had ended. What we saw was debris scattered across the road, a completely smashed up car and police car, and fireman trying to pull debris out of the trees. The car involved in the chase had been stolen and after leading the police on an 80 mph chase across two counties, the man finally ended up crashing. He had tried to avoid a police car and stop sticks, but ended up smashing into another cop car. The stolen car split into two. The rear axles and the gasoline tank flew into the trees of someone’s yard. The rest of the car spun out about 100 feet away from there. Somehow the driver of the car wasn’t seriously injured and thankfully the policeman whose car had been hit wasn’t hurt either because he had gotten out to set up the stop sticks.

Click here to read “Accident splits car in two pieces after police chase down bypass.”

After this we did a little speeding of our own to get to the next story an hour from the accident scene. The Elkart County Young Republicans were holding a question and answer session for the fifteen Republican candidates running for Indiana’s third district seat previously held by Congressman Mark Souder. This was a very video light story and we only had time to conduct one interview, so I was curious how the reporter would cover the story. Also in a story such as this, where there are so many facts and people, I was watchful in what information he decided to use. I feel the more I tag along on meetings and events like this, the more I will learn how to cover them easily.

Click here to read “Republicans face-off for chance at Souder’s seat.”

Once I got back to the station I helped write a VOSOT so the producer could focus on the rest of her newscast.

Click here to read “Local kids learn soccer moves on eve of World Cup.”

Friday was a light day compared to the rest of my week. When I got to the station I was sent out on a vosot. South Bend holds free concerts in a downtown plaza every summer. Local bands take the stage and vendors line the plaza in the event called “Fridays by the Fountain.” I talked to a few people and finally interviewed this girl who lived with her grandma during the summertime and comes to every concert. As any event it was a pretty simple thing to cover.

Click here to read “Fridays by the Fountain begins 10th year of music in South Bend.”

For the rest of the day, up until it was time to shadow the nightside assignment reporter again, I sat in with one of the photogs while he edited a few of his pieces. I’m slowly learning the editing system, but I don’t believe I will be able to really understand it until I get to use it myself. So later that night when I went out on the next story I decided to do my own practice package on it. This way I could practice my storytelling and later learn the editing system. Friday night’s story was about students who had been expelled from public schools and placed into a program called “Fresh Start”. They were having a graduation ceremony from the program as they make their way back into public schools. My practice package for this should be done by next week.

Like always I’m constantly looking for ways to improve. Throughout the duration of this internship I will be focused on developing my own writing style and techniques. I struggle at conversational writing and would like to get much faster at it. By the end of the internship I hope to have found one good story, reported it, have another reporter voice it so it can air…overachieving? I guess we’ll have to see! For now I would like to continue working on putting together stories, reporting in general, learning more about the editing system and ENPS.


Media Excursion To The City That Never Sleeps

In a city where everyone is always on the go and no one ever stops, the news doesn't either. Last week I had the chance to visit some media outlets that keeps pumping out the business news in New York City.

From Fortune Magazine to Fox Business News, I learned the inner ropes of how business news runs in a big city. This trip was part of a business journalism course I took this past semester.

On Tuesday, PC Magazine was our first stop. In January of 2009, PC Mag ended their print issues and became an online publication only. We spoke with Editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff who told us if they hadn't made this decision, he believes they wouldn't have survived. To gain readers PC Mag uses search engine optimization to the fullest. They do this by saturating the terms they think people will search, especially in the headline of their articles. They design their stories around key terms. Ulanoff said it's better to clear than clever. He said he believes it's a science and an art to master gaining readership through search engine optimization. He thoroughly enjoys having an online publication though because he believes they are much more connected to their readers than before, especially by having a comment section on the articles. One of the hard things reporters must face when writing for this magazine is managing their language. Everything must be written in lamens terms, although they don't necessarily shy away from using a bit of jargon because they believe their readers are pretty knowledgeable in technology.

The next day we woke up early and headed out the Good Morning America studios. Although they obviously don't cover business based news, it was still a good learning experience. When we first got there they had been setting up the outdoor stage for that day's guests: the Dancing With The Stars finalists, Nicole Scherzinger, Evan Lysacek, Erin Andrews, and their trainers. The production crew led us through the lined up crowd and right up next to the stage where the finalists would be performing. After their interviews the hosts and finalists came out to the stage to answer some fan's questions and do some dancing. I was very interested in seeing how the crew set up their cameras and how the show is filmed around the stage. We also had the chance to see the studios. Check out the video below to see the finalists dancing at the end of the show.

Next we went to Crain's New York Business. For 25 years Crain's, a family owned private company, has thrived in the toughest market in the country. The trade publication covers various industries including automotive and healthcare. There are two dozen Crain's publications across the country. Crain's New York itself has 13 reporters who cover 22 beats. Because it's a weekly paper they don't exactly cover the biggest news stories in a common way. If they did, the article could be old news by the time it comes out. As far as the web, they use it to supplement the print edition - for example they do video profiles on businesses that were recognized as great NY businesses in the print edition. Most views, from 80,000 - 90,000 people, comes from the daily newsletters. Their online publication is where most of the growth is happening, but they still rely heavily on their print publication. Although print went from 90 percent of revenues to 70 percent of revenues they still say it's what "covers the bills." It was very interesting to see how a publication like this runs.

At FOX Business we met with the news director. He shared with us the journey he took to get where he is now. We also talked about how TV is becoming more interactive and how he came up with the concept of the HD wings. I've never really thought much about doing network news, but after speaking with a few employees there I have considered it. I think even working web for network news would be exciting. I loved being able to see the studio for the web. Although it didn't surprise me they had an entire studio dedicated to their webcast, I still enjoyed seeing it because I've never seen one before.

BusinessWire is a client based service and fortunately our next visit after FOX. BusinessWire works with clients such as Pfizer, Altria, Philip Morris International, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. They write press releases for their clients to transmit them to people such as journalists and investor services. The press releases include more than just simple text. They also post the logo of their client, photos, multimedia and social networking links. Businesswire.com itself gets more than 40.8 million page views and 6.6 million visitors per month. Their feed is sent out in 18 languages. In the newsroom no one is allowed to have their cellphones out. Employees are closely watched. Any sort of news released before it's supposed to be released could strongly effect the stock market. I could definitely see the trust Businesswire puts into its employees to do their job.

After a short train ride and walk we arrived at LAW 360. LAW 360 is another news release business that writes for lawyers and their clients. It's a subscription based service that writes for a lot of lawyers because they believe it's a good way for them to keep in touch with their clients and to stay in the know. LAW360 is a newer business located up in space that looks like a loft. I noticed how this made the newsroom have a completely different atmosphere than a regular newsroom. It was very chic, spacious, and sunlight poured into through the windows creating a happy mood throughout the newsroom.

No other building impressed me more than Bloomberg though. No pictures are allowed to be taken inside, but I don't think I'll ever forget it. Inside, all the meeting rooms are made with clear glass. This allows CEO Lex Fenwick to keep a watchful eye over his employees at all times of the day and the clear glass gives the sense of transparency in a supposed transparent business. Near the door and on the wall outside each of the meeting rooms is the name of a different world capital and the number of terminals sold in the city that month. Each month the number is scraped off and changed. The reception area boasts a large LED screen flashing market conditions from all around the world and several fish tanks. The architectural expression of the building is just amazing.

On Thursday morning we had a chance to sit in on a production meeting at Bloomberg. The show the crew was working on runs from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. At the production meeting they book guests and set up an online of the next days show. Since the show is so early they tend to have to book guests from Europe. One of the things I really liked about how Bloomberg is run is every three months employees are split up into teams and are given different topics to cover.

After Bloomberg we visited Fortune Magazine. We sat down with editor-at-large Carol Loomis and senior editor-at-large Allan Sloan. Carol shared with stories when she first became a journalist and how it was to be a woman journalist at the time. Allan had some really good stories as well. We got their input on where they think the future of journalism in going.

Next was the Wall Street Journal tour. I've been a fan of Wall Street Journal and narrative story telling style for years so I was super excited to speak with those who work there. The WSJ just recently moved to a new building after being bought out by News Corporation. Inside are pictures of how the WSJ used to be decades away, which I found interesting. Downstairs in the newsroom is also a very special memorial for Daniel Pearl. Placed on the wall is three different plaques, one stating "His spirit inspires journalists everywhere to shine the light of truth and understanding into all corners of the world." This memorial truly took my breath away.

After touring the place we sat down with page one editor. He explained to us how stories make it to the front page and gave us three great examples. The three main things that put a story on the front page is when a reporter turns out a great story because they go on a wild goose chase--- mainly from getting crazy ideas from covering their beat well, an editor presents a great idea to a reporter, and when the reporter pushes through difficult circumstances and puts out a great story. He suggested that when writing stories, direct your idea towards a universal theme, but don't outright say it. He also told us to put something funny in every story. It always helps the reader, especially if the story is depressing. The online managing editor stopped by and we spent time talking about their online publication and a new application has for smart phones.

After the WSJ, we made our way over to CNN Money. The host took us around the station, showing us the editing bays, control room, and the newsrooms. This tour mainly consisted of showing us how the station is run. Of course I loved it because I'm a broadcast major. We learned how the website works and how the newsroom works together on it.

The last day of our tours we visited the New York Stock Exchange and Standard and Poor's.

In a very rare occasion, our group was allowed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Unfortunately I was upstairs in the broadcast room looking for a jacket to wear on the floor while the 9 opening bell rang, but I still thought it was pretty amazing to be able to walk around on the floor while trading was going on. We also talked with a few brokers to learn what they do. We learned they are redesigning the floor to allow upstairs traders to come downstairs. Reconstruction will also change the way the camera angles are on television. The brokers described the people on the floor as "fun-loving." They said it's not a very high stressed environment... and those torn pieces of paper you see on the floor? "That's usually just lunch orders." For the most part they told us that technology is really taking over. The number of people have been reduced, one person can now do the job that multiple people used to do. As one of the brokers said, "If anything feels old, it's the building."

After walking the floor we moved upstairs to speak with a public relations representative. He talked with us about what he does. He said for the main part he is frustrated, not with individuals in the media, but with the way the media itself is structured. He said it's easy to make errors because the media wants to get out the information quick, but overall he really enjoys his job.

Our last stop, Standard and Poor's, served as a great way to learn about what credit rating analysts do. On ratingsdirect.com 65-70,000 articles are published each year. These articles cover companies and rate them. The rating is basically a forward looking opinion of relative creditworthiness and their ability to pay full and on time. Investors and issuers rely on their ratings because they provide an independent opinion of creditworthiness. S&P's rates over $32 trillion of debt, in nearly 100 countries, issued by 37,000 issuers. The host at S&P's took us through the rating process and how the keep the ratings fair. S&P has 14,000 credit analysts around the world. Their business model is based on ethics, efficiency, quality, and transparency. It's always interesting to hear how businesses like these stick to the value of ethics, and I definitely learned a lot about that at S&P's.

Even after all these tours, I still had time to take a stroll in Central Park and Battery Park, take a ride to the top of Rockefeller Center, attend a Yankee's game, get a taste of Chinatown, run into Brian Williams, Jimmy Fallon and Peter Alexander, take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty, visit the WTC site, watch as they taped the Today Show, and tour a lot of the Manhattan area. Overall you could say it was a pretty great trip. Click on the slideshow below to view more photos from the tours.

Copyright © Tara Grimes
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