Day Two: Jumpstarting our journalism skills

Updated: Jun 21, 2019

By Lauren Kim, June 11, 2019


Our second day at Mosaic began as expected: I rode the bus for the first time to the Martin Luther King Library and walked in the splendid heat to The Spartan Daily newsroom, where a refreshing bowl of cereal and a cup of yogurt awaited me. Students began piling into the room as 9am neared and casual chatter filled the morning air. Sal [Pizzaro] came in with our copies of the morning’s Mercury News and tested us on our reading retention. Unfortunately, I had read the articles he didn’t highlight and was subject to anxiously skimming through articles last minute.


Following our morning routine, Maya [Suryaraman] provided a short presentation on the fundamentals of reporting. Her lessons directed us away from “sit-on-butt” journalism and toward “name the dog” reporting, great segues for us to begin planning our personal assignments. Maya’s tip, extracting sensory details from an event in efforts to humanize a factual story, became especially relevant when preparing my own article on youth activism.


The directors were excited to introduce our guest speaker, David Early (aka Deyvid Urlee, for those who know), a prominent former feature writer for The Mercury News and fantastic stand-up comedian. He gathered us all in a room, locked the directors outside the door and shared some of his greatest, most compelling life stories. His journalism career has led him through many difficult, heart-hardening experiences that allowed him to teach us how personal journalism could be. He had seen and done so many mysterious things and he offered us the motivation to do the same. Not to mention, he was hilariously entertaining.

 

Zoey, Ruth and I were sent to report on our first event, the Global Youth Climate Action Summit at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto. Held in a community center’s large theater, local youth activists gathered to discuss the importance of encouraging others to make change against global warming in our communities. Ruth took some really clear, great shots of the speakers and Zoey and I spent our time talking to the attendees. It was slightly intimidating, at first, speaking to strangers objectively and impersonally.


All in all, it was a productive day. I learned what seemed to be the biggest lesson of the day: Ask subjects to spell out their names entirely. We gained insight on the power and rawness of true journalism — and we had cereal. I look forward to tomorrow’s lessons and friendships!

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