My first GA shift

Last Monday, I survived my first general assignment shift as a reporter for the Missourian. Since I had early morning classes, I decided to sign up for the late shift from noon to 8 p.m. I was extremely nervous all weekend, because I’ve never had any experience working in a newsroom before. 

After spending a few hours manning the telephone desk, my assistant city editor (ACE) Ted Hart came walking toward me carrying a bright yellow vest. At first, I believed the attire was a longstanding initiation joke. I was about to become another victim of Missourian hazing. 

However, it turned out the vest was not a joke. A freezer had caught fire at MU’s Mark Twain dining hall and I was being sent on my very first assignment. I suited up in the yellow atrocity with pride and jogged a few blocks to the fire. By the time I arrived, the freezer had already been extinguished and the action was over. 

After interviewing one of the firefighters, I came back to the newsroom prepared to write a story. However, my ACE told me that unless the dining hall would be closed for an extended time period, the story wasn’t really worth covering. Since the damages were extremely minor, the dining hall never missed a beat. Although I was a little disappointed not to cover the fire, it was still very exciting to experience my first taste of on-scene reporting.

Later in the day, I wrote an obituary that was published in Tuesday’s paper. Although it wasn’t exactly what I imagined my first story would be, I was glad to ease my nerves and finally have a story published that I could be proud of. I had a really good first day as a general assignment reporter, and I can’t wait to do it again! 

My first week as a Missourian reporter

With the first week already behind me, I can already tell I’m going to enjoy this semester as a reporter for the Missourian.

Although I haven’t been published yet, I expect write my first story this Monday during my inaugural GA shift. In the meantime, I’ve already taken the initiative to get started on three interesting stories.

The first story will likely focus on elderly drivers and how the state of Missouri should handle their license renewal process. I’d like to explore whether drivers with dementia should be allowed on the streets and if elderly drivers should have to take more frequent vision and hearing tests after a certain age. With the Marian Ohman trial still underway, this is a hotly debated issue in Columbia.

I’m also following the Rob Sanders case, which will go to trial Sept. 26. Sanders lost his job after 18 years with the Columbia Police Department after shoving an inmate in his holding cell.

The third story I’m working on is more of a long-term project, but I believe it’s an issue that definitely needs to be addressed. Columbia’s road lines are marked with an unreflective paint, which quickly become invisible at night during the rain and snow. In my opinion, this poses a great danger to Columbia drivers who travel at night. Many other cities throughout the state use reflective paint, so why is Columbia lagging behind in the safety of its roads?