Well, I made it through Trib Training Week!
This will be my first year as a full-time reporter for the Marquette Tribune. However, I am not like a news or sports reporter where I am expected to research and write for two articles per week (one for each issue).
I will be working on the projects desk as an investigative reporter. This is the smallest desk of the Trib, with just one editor and two reporters.
Instead of two short, 500 word articles per week, I will be expected to submit pieces that involve more research and interviews. My editor still hasn't determined how often I must produce this type of reporting.
I'm kind of nervous. This will be my first semester balancing two jobs and five classes. I certainly won't have as much time to just hang out in my room as I did my first semester freshman year (no jobs, six classes).
Anyway, onto how the actual week went....
The first day started off quite easy. A breakfast reception was followed by a small speech from the dean of the College of Communication, Lori Bergen. During her speech, Bergen mentioned how we are "pioneers" of the new student media format of convergence. All of the separate branches of student media (Trib, Marquette Journal, WMUR, and MUTV) will work independently, but also collaborate on large projects to produce multimedia packages. There are also "pool" reporters who will be called to work for any given branch when needed. This is the first year Marquette's student media will be running like this.
An exercise on Tuesday helped demonstrate how a story would (ideally) be covered utilizing all media branches.
We were given a hypothetical scenario (Dining halls eliminate hot cookie night for health reasons and budget cuts -gasp!) and then split into teams, each comprised of print people and TV/radio (read: tech savvy) people. Our task was to design a mutli-media package complete with a 1-minute clip and 500+ word article. We had to interview dining hall employees and managers, but also get student input. It was a good refresher exercise, but also a great way to start meeting people from the other branches. After all, we'll be working with them much more than last year.
The rest of the week felt like whirlwind of meetings and speakers. The news editor for the Racine Daily News stopped by and talked about enterprise projects. This was of great interest to me as mostly all I will be writing for the Trib will be articles of this type. We did a brainstorming exercise which was really beneficial in demonstrating how stories are created.
Another speaker we had was Marquette's head of communications, Andrew Brodzeller. When trying to get in contact with university officials (President Pilarz, a professor, the provost, etc.), we most likely will need to go through Brodzeller. He was very informative, going into detail on the process of contacting him.
Other than the exercises and speakers, it was mostly just a lot of meetings with our respective branches and desk editors. For the first issue (which came out today), the projects desk did a two-page spread on the demographics of the incoming freshman class. We also interviewed freshman from far away and asked them "Why Marquette?" I enjoyed hearing their stories; they all came here for very different reasons.
You can read the full print article here. The profiles have not been put up online yet, but I'll let you know when they do.
Overall, I'm nervous but excited for the coming year. I'm looking forward to working on many of the ideas we have on the projects budget!