My biggest endeavor in journalism finally made it into the world yesterday. At about 600 words long and 2 minutes in duration, I was more than proud to announce its arrival into the world.
My partner, Tess Quinlan, and I got our assignment a few months ago, and I will admit that I was a little nervous for this project. Up until this point, I had never done serious journalism. Sure, I have written a hand full of articles for the school magazine, but I did not ever have to leave the comfort of my campus to do so.
For this project, we had to go out into the community for our story. Tess and I ventured to Harambee's Cluster II Play & Grow Lot. We were to interview some people associated with the garden and collect audio and pictures to go along with our story. I was a little worried about finding an angle to base our story on, but a fantastic one presented itself in the form of the garden's co-founders – Roberta Lyles (left) and Donna Handel (right).
Lyles and Handel have been friends for years and have lived together for many of those years. They were sick of the crime in their neighborhood. Instead of sitting around wishing a change, like many would do, Lyles and Handel made something happen. They teamed up with Groundwork Milwaukee to create a space for children to play safely and adult neighbors to socialize.
There it was. Tess and I had our great angle. Now it was time to create the whole package.
We had quite the experience with this project. For example, one trip that Tess and I took to the garden for pictures completely failed, due to an impromptu hail storm. That hail storm evolved into a hours-long rain and snow storm that I had to trek through to return our unused equipment from the day. The trip included a shuttle ride which took twice as long as it was supposed to, me getting locked in/out of a building and me running around outside in the snow spewing more than my fair share of curse words. I'm sure Tess remembers the angry texts I sent her about my little adventure.
Tess and I came from different spectrums of journalism to work together. Tess is in broadcasting and I have never set eyes on Final Cut Pro until this project. I am in written journalism and would double check Tess's e-mails to our professor, Herbert Lowe, for AP style. Yes, there were a few times that I missed some style errors, but Tess and I didn't let that get us down. Due to our differences, the partnership could have potentially been bad, but we easily made it work.
This project was my biggest learning experience in my young journalism career. I stepped out of my comfort zone to find fantastic stories about great people. I learned to edit audio, a skill which I am still a little timid in, but excited to keep learning about. For the first time, I worked with a partner on a journalism story. I sharpened my interviewing skills (the results of this will be seen further in an upcoming project – so stay tuned). Overall, I have received the foundation to becoming a real journalist in the future. Our little story even made it on the Fox 6 News website. Check out the project that made that happen.