Tag Archives: newspapers

This Time Last Year

It’s funny how you can look back on things  and decide they were even better than you previously gave them credit for. Like when you were younger and you couldn’t wait to drive a car, make money, or pick your own clothes.

I’m just getting into the groove of 2011, but I still find myself looking back. Looking back at Facebook photos, archived emails and blog posts that remind me of where I was and what I was doing exactly 12 months ago.

My first picture as a Pinellas News Intern

Not only was I still a journalism student last January, but I was also an intern at the Pinellas News in St. Petersburg, Florida. Who would have guessed it would have been such an exciting and such an eye-opening learning experience. Not me.

It all started with a trip down to the Sunshine State. Funny enough I’m back down here right now and I wish I could be spending my days again reporting for the community paper. But my internship is long over and whats more is that little paper no longer exists.

As I took a drive downtown yesterday to visit my old stomping grounds as an intern reporter, the nostalgia really set in. This little community that I had known as my vacation hideaway since I was three years old became a place full of lively stories and interesting people that I was so eager to meet and write about. In the beginning I was quite intimidated at the thought of having to report in a city where I hardly knew anyone or anything, but that all wore off quicker than I expected just by talking to the natives and doing as much research and exploring as I could.

The view of downtown St. Petersburg

Not only did the internship give me a ton of great reporting experience that I have been able to build upon in my career, it gave me many memories and a newfound appreciation of the city of St. Petersburg that I will keep with me and think about every time I come back to visit.

Reporting from President Obama's town hall meeting in Tampa

Looking for a dose of the past? You can check out the stories from week one, two, three and four of my internship.

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Sneak Peak at Tweak

Good things show up in your Inbox when you least expect it.

As an aspiring writer, I’ve come to learn that quick replies from editors are not common. Sometimes you can wait weeks and even months to hear back from someone about a pitch, job opportunity, or to find out when they will be publishing your latest assignment. I have to say it’s not easy to just sit back and wait, and sometime you can find yourself becoming  borderline stalkerish sending constant emails and leave too many voice mails trying to get any sort of answers.

But as soon as you stop obsessing a breakthrough will arrive- seriously.

This week I got word that a story I had written back in May (yes, that long ago) was going to be published in the lifestyle section of the London Free Press.

Photo by Shopsterium

Back when I was in j-school and doing shifts at the Free Press (also so very long ago it seems) I got to know the lifestyle editor at the paper and expressed interest in writing for the section. She had assigned me a profile about a local jewellery designer to do on my own time, and I almost forgot all about it until now.

In the last few months as a recent grad I’ve found the waiting game almost too much to bear, but that saying, “Good things come to those who wait” really reins true.

Patience my dear, patience.

Check out the story about Tweak Boutique Jewellery designed by Caroline Bruce of London, Ontario here.

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Taking Care of Business

It’s always great when things just fall into place after all your hard work.

In journalism school (man that seems like ages ago) I took a business reporting class where we had to produce a feature on anything business related. I chose to profile a student-run business in London called Rhyme With Orange Creative. It’s run by four UWO-Fanshawe students who offer graphic design services and marketing solutions to companies.

As I began to think about writing for publication rather than just for school assignments, I decided to pitch the story to the London Free Press business section. After many emails and telephone calls back and forth with the editor, the story finally appeared in today’s edition of the “Business Monday” section- on the front page too! I haven’t actually been able to see the print version as I no longer live in London, but luckily my friend Jess was kind enough to cut it out for me and will be mailing it over.

Check out the article here in the London Free Press.

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You can never have enough shoes: This weekend at the London Free Press

Photo By: Morris Lamont/London Free Press

After a relatively unproductive weekend, I took a day shift Sunday at the London Free Press. As I rode the bus downtown I went over the list of potential story ideas in my head that I could pitch. I arrived in the newsroom prepared for one of the city editors to okay one of my ideas and to spend the afternoon looking for sources and making phone calls. Instead I was greeted by one of the photographers, Morris Lamot, who told me I would be going along with him to cover Slush Cup at Boler Mountain.
As the day panned out I realized many things, one of them being that I seemed to be the only person I knew who had never heard about a Slush Cup before. (If you don’t either the best you can do is watch this video).
Check out the story from the London Free Press here.
Here’s my two cents from this weekend:
1. Always be Prepared: So I may have ripped this motto from the Boy Scouts, but I think journalists should start adopting this practice too. As a reporter you never know where the day might take you, and where you might end up to cover a story. You may need a raincoat and some wellies, or you may need some heels and a blazer. Case in point: On a fairly warm Sunday (about 6 degrees) I found myself going to a ski hill. When I got dressed that morning the last thing I was thinking as I starred into my closet was, “I should wear something warm incase I spend the whole day outside.” Not going to lie I was more concerned about coordinating my cardigan with my bracelets. But luckily at the last minute I wore my boots instead of my converse, and my wool pea coat instead of my short leather jacket. After the first hour at the hill my feet were already numb (these boots are nice but not designed for trekking through snow all day long), and I was wishing  my outfit plan included a scarf. The photographer on the other had pulled out a pair of Sorel winter boots from his trunk along with a hat and an insulated jacket. “You never know where they are going to send you, and if you aren’t prepared you can’t do your job the way you need to,” he said. Now the next time I take a shift at the paper I don’t plan on bringing a small duffel bag with different outfit options, (not that I wouldn’t enjoy that) but I will for sure think about versatility when I access my choice in the mirror.
2. Multi-tasking is an Art: My job for the day was simply to interview some spectators, contestants, and a representative from Boler so I could write a colourful story about the event. The photographer on the other hand had to shoot video for the web and take photos that would appear in the paper, as well as in an online photo gallery. I watched him as he shot some clips with the mini-cam and then quickly turned to his digital SLR to snap some stills as all the action was going on and people were moving all around him (don’t forget he was standing on an uneven snowy hill!). On top of that he even made it a point to run over to every contestant after they came down the hill to get their names for the photo captions. I was having trouble just conducting interviews while keeping track at how many people had come down the hill. Luckily we worked together back in the newsroom, sharing names and going over the facts for the story, but I realized that’s not always going to be the case. The realities of the job today are that I might be sent out somewhere without another reporter/ videographer/photographer to share the work with. This means I will be expected to step up my game and make sure I cover all the major points of the multimedia story––  even if it’s just covering some crazy teens skiing into a pond of freezing water.
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