For our first out-of-class news story I chose to cover a fundraiser for the Take Back The Night event in April. This event is a day full of speeches and marches that are geared toward raising awareness of sexual violence. I chose this event because it was interesting and I found out about it through a classmate who was directly involved in it.
I know it is necessary for journalists to develop contacts within the community they’re covering so they know what’s happening and they know people who are connected to what’s happening, but I can see that I am going to have to work at separating these types of relationships from personal friendships. In hindsight, I think that while I was covering the fundraiser, part of me was paying more attention to my friend/classmate than to the event itself. I don’t think it’s impossible to have friendships within this professional realm, but I want to be aware of the nature of these relationships because I want to remain objective and independent.
The fundraiser was held at the Chrome Cat bar in Old Town, and it did turn out to be interesting, but covering it showed that I still have a way to go to develop my journalism legs. I have to work up the courage to be aggressive about interviewing people, and I can’t just stay in a corner and quietly observe things. The assignment was intimidating, but it was fun to put it all together into a story.
– Laura Riess