Four stories. 100 minutes. A ‘staged’ earthquake scenario.
My mind was blown
Or turned to mush. It could’ve been either.
My multimedia reporting class today was like no other. Sallot had told us well in advance that we were going to do an ‘in-class writing assignment’.
I giggled and thought “easy peasy”.My previous experiences with in-class assignments have involved fake dead prostitutes, a frantic ten minute search for a CP stylebook and a lengthy three minutes deadline finish.
So as you can tell, I was well prepared.
Nope. Nothing I could’ve done prior to showing up to St Patrick’s 35 minutes before class would have prepared me for the hellish whirlwind. Not even the good karma I thought I had from ‘letting someone eat the last banana’ could’ve helped me.
We had 100 minutes to write and edit four articles about an earthquake in Alaska. While I was trying to teach my fingers how to type on a PC, my mind kept on whirring “What did I have for lunch? How do I spell Alas-kahh?”
As I finished my second story (pretty decent lede if I say so myself..) I just wanted to throw my hands up in the air, grunt in frustration and announce that I was going home. Knowing I would fail and forever be seen in Sallot’s eyes as a quitter, I stayed and typed away.
Never anticipate anything and never assume that you’re going to get an ‘easy’ day in reporting. I learnt it the hard way, always bring your A-game.
The entire time I was writing about a bus full of senior citizens who had burned to death while evacuating from a tsunami danger zone, I was actually thinking about how to get to the next level on Diner Dash on my iPad. My mind was so out of focus.
My lede was “They managed to escape the tsunami, but they could not escape death.” Thank goodness it was a fake tragedy.
But you know what’s not fake? The huge tub of salmon cream cheese that I am about to eat now. Journalism is dangerous. It also makes you hungry.