Day Two: Stories and voices coming together

Updated: Jun 21, 2019

By Melina Kritikopoulos, June 11, 2019

Today was the second day of our Mosaic journalism experience. We started the morning off like usual: With breakfast and a newspaper. After enjoying a strawberry yogurt and stories about California state testing in schools, I quietly came up with the answers to Sal [Pizarro]’s news quiz. He asked us mainly about local weather and sports facts (the two sections I only skimmed), so I was left with the lesson that I should be reading everything.

After breakfast was a presentation by Maya [Suryaraman] about the basics of reporting. I have to admit, it was repetitive for me — my journalism teacher at Santa Clara High uses the same slides — but it was a good refresher nonetheless. We learned that the reporting makes the story, in addition to a few basic reporting rules like avoiding “Sit-On-Butt” Journalism, always getting second sources and being sure to observe everything around us.

We were set to work for about 15 minutes until our next group activity was scheduled. Inside the quiet, open room, I met with my editor, Maya, to discuss my story, which had been giving me issues in terms of finding sources. We talked for a while, thinking of possible angles that could work, but I moved on still feeling uncertain.

Next was our guest speaker, David Early, who provided laughs and wisdom. He had a massive presence, shaking any awkwardness out of our systems and sharing knowledge. We learned about his incredible life and career, as well as tips on how his stories became so successful. In an energetic manner, so much so that he asked Zoey for juice halfway through, Early emphasized the importance of details and the privilege we get as journalists to tell others’ stories. David’s presentation left us feeling inspired and refreshed.

Lunch was next, and our group had broken up a bit since most of us were photographers out on a different assignment. Only Zoey, Elizabeth and I were left. We walked over to La Victoria Taqueria, which is shaping up to be our usual lunch spot. The three of us were all quite tired and burning with the heat. Unlike yesterday, a conversation didn’t flow as fast; we were all really hungry and too busy eating to say anything. I was still thinking about my story, and while scrolling through our story idea document, I found a new piece to write with solid sources, which raised my spirits. With lots of extra time, the three of us decided to head over to Yogurtland for some dessert. We bonded over not having had frozen yogurt in years. On our walk back to campus, we discussed our story ideas more, and I was eager to get working.

We got back from lunch and I checked in with Maya about my new story idea. It was approved and I’ve heard back from a source after emailing her not even one hour ago. As I draft this post, Mosaic students all around me are calling, typing and taking photos for their upcoming stories. I can’t help but be nervous for my interview tomorrow, but I’m happy that I have a strong story under my belt. In about two hours, Rob [Salonga] will teach us how to interview. I know that the rest of this week will be stressful, but very rewarding.

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