‘Quiet in the newsroom’: Breaking news coverage
As journalists, we know it’s an unspoken rule not to say it’s “quiet” in a newsroom because somehow, each time, all hell seems to break loose. Ready or not, it’s what you do next that matters most, whether that means heading out to the scene with a camera in hand, making calls to every responding agency or coordinating with team members to make sure all your bases are covered. It’s the hard work and determination you put in that determines how good your coverage will be.
Latest coverage: Fire Station 81 shooting; North Fire prompts evacuations; Power outages amid 80 mph winds; Deputy-involved shooting at station; Hundreds protest George Floyd’s death; Estranged husband stabs wife; “Unofficial” ballot boxes removed; Former employee sues Panda Express.
Learning how to navigate COVID-19
Over the last year and a half, we’ve watched as the world battled COVID-19. As journalists, it was our responsibility to share updates as they flooded in, minute by minute. And, it wasn’t long before my colleagues and I felt the pressure as we began to navigate through the misinformation to bring the latest public health guidelines to our readers. But it was also our duty to share the story of those who were deeply affected by this invisible virus that would turn our lives upside down, whether that be a business owner forced to shut their doors, health care worker on the front lines or mortuary struggling to keep up with demand.
More COVID-19-related coverage: Stay-at-home order issued amid surge; Businesses tackle another reopening; Sacrifices for our seniors; COVID-19’s effect on moms; 92-year-old COVID-19 survivor gets vaccinated.
Saugus High School shooting
It’s a morning I will never forget: waking up to endless buzzing as texts streamed in. “Shots fired at Saugus High — who can roll?” Soon, I was out the door and on the scene, watching students embrace as they waited to be reunited with their parents. I watched the aftermath of the tragedy as thousands gathered to remember the lives lost at a community vigil. Then as time went on, I watched as the community came together to heal.
More coverage: Saugus High shooting leaves 2 dead, 4 injured; Therapy dogs help community to cope after Saugus shooting.
Tick Fire erupts amid power outages
Following power outages and strong winds, the call for a brush fire came as no surprise, but sometimes news hits a little too close to home. The Tick Fire burned 4,600 acres and forced 40,000 — including myself — to flee their homes. Even so, I worked on covering the fire, reporting on my neighbors, whose homes weren’t so lucky, and following as the community protested outages that left many of their homes vulnerable in the first place.
Some of those stories: Home burns after power outage disables well water; Family searches for missing dog after home burns; A dog’s road to recovery after Tick Fire injury; Reflections from the fire lines.
Letting my creative side loose
What drew me to writing in the first place was telling people’s stories, and I discovered early on that what really makes me happy is searching for stories that mean something to me, whether it’s telling the story of an all-Muslim softball team as they compete during Ramadan, showcasing an inclusive performing arts summer camp for kids on the autism spectrum or celebrating a liver’s first birthday. Thankfully, I’ve also got a knack for storytelling, and I think it shows through my pieces.
More features: Life lessons in the kitchen; Milo’s mighty journey; Above and beyond the call of duty; Classroom to go; A flight path forged by fortitude.
Keeping on the cutting-edge of business
To me, business reporting is akin to writing features. Uncovering a business’s uniqueness and sharing its owners’ stories has become a passion. Moreover, it’s delving into and showcasing the innovations and technologies that these companies have dedicated themselves to, like those being used by Ultra Violet Devices Inc. in the fight COVID-19, that’s most rewarding. Whether I’m reporting a retail giant’s expansion into the area or showcasing women in business, each story works to aid and inspire the business community.
More business content: Westfield halts Costco project; What employers should know about 2020 laws; Skyline Ranch Plaza openings commence; Businesses board windows ahead of protest.
Telling a veteran’s war stories
Summing up someone’s life story in 1,500 words isn’t easy. It’s a daunting task, especially when you consider these stories are of hard work, patriotism and sacrifice. Each week, The Signal profiled one veteran, whose entire life story was whittled down to a page. More often than not, interviews would go on for hours, as veterans recount their war stories. While difficult to put into words, it’s been an honor to share their stories.
Veteran stories: Timothy Stratton; Kathy Ellis; Dennis Bartash; Anthony Gayden; Keith Craig; Ashley Bozeman; Veterans Day special.
Showcasing a true passion for pups
Since I was a little, I’ve been obsessed with dogs. Convinced I’d one day become a veterinarian, I decided I needed to study up, so everywhere I went, so did my A-Z dog breed book. It wasn’t long before I could identify each breed on sight. My knowledge of dog breeds has since faded, but my passion for pups hasn’t. While being a vet didn’t pan out (science isn’t my strong suit), I found a way to use my stories to help make a difference. It’s a passion that shows through in any animal story I write — because they, too, have stories to tell.
Some puppy coverage: A difference between service and support; Helping veterans with puppy love, Therapy dogs help Saugus students cope with shooting; Dog involved in rollover crash prepares for surgery; Why some choose pets over parenthood; Wellington’s eight-year journey home.
Sharing the world’s best destinations
Living in England, not only were the opportunities to travel through Europe endless, but for the first time, so was the chance to share my passion for travel with others. Through my time with the Stars & Stripes, Europe, the U.S. military’s independent news organization for the military community, I showcased some of my favorite countries with travel guides galore — hopefully helping some catch the travel bug themselves.
Travel with me: Iceland; Canterbury; Cambridge; Driving from UK to France; Moving to the UK; Moving overseas with pets.
Forming an opinion isn’t easy
As a freshman majoring in journalism, I was beyond excited to be welcomed onto the school paper as a staff columnist — yet much less excited about the opinion beat I was assigned. Sharing your opinion goes against everything you learn as a journalist, but learning to bolster my thoughts with others’ voices became an invaluable resource in my writing career. Whether improving mandatory sexual assault training or removing an unfair app, each story allowed me to affect change on campus.