Recognizing classroom concepts on the job

(Photo courtesy Saleen Martin)

During my second week at WAVY, I wrote a few stories for both Wavy.com and hrScene.com, ranging from topics like local events to suspects sought for theft or fraud. Doing this has allowed me to get more familiar with WAVY’s style from the perspective of a content contributor or writer, how often we post to social media and the decision-making that goes into these posts. I’m getting a lot better at writing ledes too!

I was also tasked with making photo slideshows, including one about storm damage on Friday and the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, which brings me to a realization.

Here at WAVY, I really am taking the concepts I learned in school and either recognizing them in the newsroom or applying them as I’m writing.

One of the things we’ve talked a lot about in school is citizen journalism, or when citizens take their own photos or information they find and post it online to share with the world.

Based on what I’ve seen here, WAVY viewers are pretty enthusiastic citizen journalists. The WAVY Facebook page is loaded with visitor’s posts about traffic, weather, enlightenment/useful information for other viewers and sometimes, corrections for Wavy.com, so it’s neat to be a part of something like this.

A flooded street in Norfolk after Friday’s storm. Like many WAVY viewers, I took it and sent it in for the slideshow.

I also have access to WAVY’s Facebook page now, so if there’s a photo I’d like to use from a viewer and want to know where it was taken, I can comment and ask them, and communicate with viewers on behalf of WAVY. It means a lot to me that my supervisor is confident enough in my abilities to let me do that.

I also wrote this story about NATO ACT, and was contacted by LCDR Karen Eifert, who thanked me for adding more details to what they’d sent us. That really made my day.

WAVE of the week:

This is actually advice that my supervisor gave me during my first week at WAVY, but I think it’s fitting to list it here. It’s paraphrased, but she said:

“I try not to make the news release my only source. I suggest visiting Facebook pages, going to other websites, and seeing what you can find.”

Now, checking out other sites and social media pages is something I always do when I write a story based on a news release.

I’ve learned that details can really take your story from “blah” to “Aha!”

I’m looking forward to writing more at WAVY, and learning as much as I can from my supervisor!

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