Journalism 1 Stories
My first Journalism 1 assignment was a profile story on my honors precalculus teacher, Mr. Daniel Kravets. I described his life story and his hobbies and pastimes, as well as how his life has changed after COVID-19. I think I did a good job with organizing the story, as I managed to keep things concise and used indirect transitions. However, this was one of my first interviews that I’ve conducted, and it was quite awkward. I was unable to get enough information on Mr. Kravets’ love for video games and sports from the interview, so the story did become a little boring. My lead also wasn’t attention-grabbing, which is something that I still struggle with. Overall, I believe that my writing has definitely improved over the course of this semester after this story.
In this story, I wrote about the significance of early voting and youth voters in the 2020 presidential election. I also explained the impact that social media has had on young voters and their opinions on politics. I think I followed the LQLQ structure well and packed a lot of information concisely. My interviews also went a lot more smoothly this time, so I was able to use expressive and descriptive quotes. However, I do think my lead could have been more attention-grabbing, and I could have researched more thoroughly. My headline is also cliche and too long. This is my favorite story that I’ve written because I put a lot of effort into researching, interviewing, and writing the story. I enjoyed learning more about politics and the election process.
I wrote my sports story on the Dec. 6 NFL Raiders vs. Jets game. The story explained what happened in each quarter and the significant plays that took place. Mayukhi and I wrote this story together as a pair, and I’m thankful for her work, as I honestly didn’t know anything about football prior to this story. This marked the first time I watched a full football game, and I worked hard to learn more about the rules and players. I think I did a decent job on following the sports story format, proofreading for AP style, and using expressive quotes from the post-game interviews. However, I sometimes still couldn’t fully understand some of the terms and plays for football, so Mayukhi did help me for that. It was really fun writing about something new and unexpected like sports.
The blind-like rails of a bridge, located on a trail close to Windermere, shield the hidden wilderness. It is places like these that show the true beauty of San Ramon.
Corrections: I might have moved closer to the bridge to catch more details. I would have also put more focus on the tree branch.
This seemingly ordinary fire hydrant can also command attention with its banana-shaded hue. It stands out in my neighborhood between the aisles of common dwellings.
Corrections: I would have taken the picture from a straighter angle, as I think the angle is a little tilted and looks odd. I would have also added more focus on the fire hydrant since I think the object got a little blurry.
This trail, still wet from Tuesday’s showers, forms a path for those who embark on a journey. This trail is surrounded by wildlife in the form of plants, animals, and the rolling hills.
Corrections: I feel like this sidewalk was very uninteresting, and the plants were also very dull. I would have taken a photo of a sidewalk covered with fall foliage to give the photo some more color. Also, the angle of the photo is a little odd, so I would have tilted the camera more forward.
Reflection: With this collection of photography, I intended to capture the beauty of nature and San Ramon. For the first photo, I saw a beautiful branch hidden beneath the rails of a common bridge in my neighborhood and thought that the concept would work well as repetition. For the second photo, I thought that the yellow fire hydrant I often walk past would make a great strong subject. For the third photo, I thought the lines in a sidewalk would work well with the leading lines rule. I typically don’t take too many photos, so I thought this was a great assignment for me to learn more about photography. I think my lack of expertise is reflected in some of my photos, as some of them lack proper focus and good angles. My favorite photo I took was the first photo, as I really liked how the branch was covered by rows of railings. My least favorite photo was the last photo, as I found the photo boring, and I thought it lacked depth. I think this collection reflects how Journalism has allowed me to explore new hobbies and learn new things, as I’ve never taken photography that seriously until now. I also think I’ve gotten more interested in photography as a result of the assignment.
Throughout the first semester, I’ve learned a lot about myself as a writer and have explored so many different aspects of Journalism. I would rate myself as a practitioner with all of the different parts of Journalism that we’ve covered so far. I could probably write a story by myself with little guidance, but I might get stuck on certain parts. I feel like I’m better at some stories compared to others, and I have certain weaknesses as well. For example, I could probably write a news story by myself with little to no trouble, but I would struggle with writing a sports story. I’m also better at maintaining a structure for news story as opposed to writing captivating leads and headlines. However, I think I’ve been improving, and my writing has gotten better.
My best work would have to be my news story. This was my first time writing a news story, but I think I did pretty well. My news story was about the 2020 presidential election, and the effect that early voting and youth voter turnout had on its results. I did a lot of research on how the election works and learned a lot about politics along the way. I also researched statistics on early voting and youth voter turnout. My interviews went very smoothly, and I was able to get a lot of expressive quotes. I think I did a good job with informing the readers with a concise story. I also focused on making sure the story flowed well with inbuilt transitions. I think this news story really highlighted my strengths, and I enjoyed writing the story.
My worst work would be my profile story. This was my first time writing anything for Journalism, and I think my story was quite average and weak. The assignment was to interview someone whom you find intimidating, and the interview was definitely quite awkward. I wasn’t able to ask as many questions as I had hoped for, and I think my story lacked flavor as a result of that. I was also very inexperienced as a writer, and I didn’t follow AP style. I think that I’ve definitely improved as a journalist, and I feel a lot more confident in my ability to write a story than I did before.
I think I need to work more on making my writing more attention-grabbing and captivating. I think at times, my writing is too straightforward and bland, which can cause the writer to become disconnected from the story. I also tend to focus too much on the structure of the story, which may lead the story to become a little formulaic. As a journalist, I think I sometimes struggle with being a “jack of all trades, master of none.” I’m not really bad at any particular aspect of Journalism, but I’m not great or amazing at anything as well. In the future, I hope to further develop my writing skills to make my stories stand out from the crowd. I would also like to work more on my photography skills and take more photos. Overall, I definitely have improved quite a bit this semester, but I still have a long way to go in my journey as a journalist.