Miller Charmaine

Charmaine's adventures in news writing and editing

Diary Week 8

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Today at the the story idea meeting, I did not pitch my idea because I thought it would work better for a different day. I’m emailing Christina the information to use with the Wednesday staff.

I did, however, assist in providing a new angle on sort of an evergreen story. Someone in the meeting brought up an idea on the follow sheet about the city’s plans for turning the shuttered Gainesville Correctional Institution into a homeless shelter. Because I was already in the process of trying to contact Theresa Lowe, the director of the Alachua County Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry, for another story, I happened to know that she and other coalition members were in Atlanta that day looking at a project similar to what they hope to accomplish with the former jail here. 

Mr. Forrest Smith liked the idea and took that trip to Atlanta as a new angle to the story. He had a radio student get in contact with Lowe, and Lowe was able to give her information about what was happening up there. It was pretty exciting to be involved in that, especially because I didn’t expect it. After the radio student completed the interview, I assigned the story for online to a Web producer. The article is here. I really wish we could add another source, it seems a little skimpy. Also, the intended angle of the story, which was the trip to Atlanta to see what further progress can be made or what new ideas were inspired, was lost, I think. The headline sure isn’t revealing anything new. We have already reported on that, in last Friday’s In the News. I guess that is one of the hardest parts of assigning something toward the end of my shift and not being there to see it all the way through.

Other than that, I was exporting a lot of audio files from the KLZ program so that the Web producer, Dana, could “webify” stories. Dana Edwards kept a really great attitude her whole shift, as she wasn’t editing much content, but she took reporting and writing initiatives without complaining. I think she ended up writing three or four stories.

I edited Dana’s In the News article, making a few changes. I added Florida to Department of Environmental Protection. I deleted a quote that was misplaced; it was referring to something else than what the copy was implying. In the excerpt about Eastside High School, I was a bit uncomfortable with the wording “Students agree the reaction…” as if stating all students share this opinion. The original article says “Some students…”, which I know is vague, but at least does not blanket-statement all students. I also changed Monticello native to Monticello, Fla. native because I didn’t know where Monticello was.

I had the privilege of writing out the bullet points for the Morning News in 90. I was cut short on time, so I hope there were no major errors.

I then edited online reporter Samantha Shavell’s story about a new online exhibit the George A. Smathers libraries were hosting. I reworked a sentence. I had a couple of cases where I needed plural agreement in the sentences. I hesitatingly lowercased Curator Rebecca to curator Rebecca.

The last story I edited I actually didn’t have time to complete. I believe the story was spiked, but here is the link anyway. I got through a little more than half of the story and had seen some common mistakes cropping up. First, I downstyled the hed. I also lowercased and put in quotation marks “stand your ground” law. Original: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law. I abbreviated Governor to Gov. Rick Scott. I changed the wording “in the state of Florida” to “in Florida” for conciseness. I rephrased at least three sentences. I uppercased Legislature for the state Legislature. I changed the spelling of absolutue to absolute. I nixed the “or not” in “whether or not.” I changed knee-jeck to knee-jerk. I corrected someone’s priestly title to the Rev. Name. Finally, I changed all of the quotes from ending in a period to a comma. I even saw one like this: “blah blah blah.” Scott said, “blah blah.” There the correct punctuation is flip-flopped.

Obviously, the story had me stressed out, especially because I had to pass it to another editor when my shift ended and I had only gotten through half.


Written by charmainemiller

February 27, 2013 at 12:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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