Week 5: Honing reporting, writing and video editing skills


Week five was another great step forward in my internship experience. Having completed my first package the previous week with some help from Scott Blessing, my next goal was to write and edit a story on my own.

I caught a ride with WAVY reporter Jason Marks and photographer Curtis Akers out to the small town of Hertford, North Carolina. A recently-elected member of the Hertford Board of Commissioners, Quinton Jackson, had agreed to speak with Jason about an incident the week prior that led to Jackson being arrested a charged with two misdemeanors, including resisting arrest.

We went to the Hertford Courthouse to see what we could find in terms of court documents that might paint an official perspective on what happened. However, the charging documents lacked any real narrative on what happened. Next, we went to police headquarters to see about getting a copy of the actual police report. Jason emerged from the Municipal Building next door with a “copy” of the police report – with virtually everything the officer had written about the incident being redacted.

Next, Jason interviewed Commissioner Jackson, who gave a lively account of what he saw as unprofessional behavior by the town police after stopping him. No one else in the town government, from the town manager to the police chief, would talk to us. That meant it was time to head back to the station to put the piece together.

I wrote a script with some helpful edits from Jason, and then on Wednesday morning I returned to face AVID one-on-one. It was a little bit frustrating at first, but once I got in a rhythm I was well on my way to a finished package. Larry and Curtis gave me some minor assistance, but I feel confident that I will be able to write and edit my next package with no help at all. I finished my day with a complete package, feeling good about where I am at this phase of my internship.

That said, I still have quite a bit to learn – the inner workings of iNews, the practicalities of shooting video, and being able to combine all of those skills into one focused day.

Here’s the story I put together afterwards:

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