I’ve come out of my second general assignment shift unscathed and in high spirits and with another news brief to boot! Definitely better than the last time, without a doubt.
Today, like last time, started with a slow morning. I kept myself busy reading the Missourian, preparing for interviews and setting up chats with potential story subjects for the upcoming week.
Class was light and enjoyable. We had a large seminar about popular music and American identity with all the honors arts, music and theater students combined into one hall. A group project in Spanish finished early and we ended up chatting about studying abroad, hometowns and costumed musicians out by Speaker’s Circle.
When I got back from lunch (which included free pizza on Lowry, instant upside to the day), I had a few things to work on for my beat stories and assignments. After about an hour, an editor asked if anyone had been by Chipotle recently and seen anything about a second gas leak in two days near the construction site in the area.
I knew that I wanted something to work on, and I was called to go check it out. I spoke with some Ameren workers and business employees in the area. I got a pretty good picture of what was happening, but after giving me the information I needed, none of my sources wanted to be attributed to the story in the Missourian. So, that was a problem.
After a couple hours of calling, waiting on the line and being transferred, I got in touch with the Ameren Missouri spokesman. As the spokesman, he acted as middleman and took my questions to take to another unnamed official. A couple rounds of phone tag later, I was finally ready to send the story off with more information and better attribution.
So last time I covered a fire. This week I covered a gas leak. Little things, but lots of practice along the way.