Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blogging and Bureaus

When working as part of team, one of the best things to establish early on is delegation. Delegating power to individuals is a reassuring step towards getting the job done. Before delegation, though, must come at least a basic understanding of the individuals on your team. Not only does an understanding of your teammates help delegate responsibility effectively, but it also helps to meet deadlines. If Amy is more relational and flourishes around people, will she be able to stay in an office, collecting quotes and organizing them by a deadline? She may be able to, but if the more informational part of reporting stresses Amy out, there’s a chance that she might not meet her deadline or produce a well-developed article.

When working as a Bureau reporter, it was hard for me to work under a short deadline without a basic understanding of my team. We were only able to produce an outline of our article and we wasted valuable time trying to figure out who was doing what job.

However, I do realize that in the future there may be many instances where I am thrown into a group of individuals whom I am unfamiliar with, similar to this experience. For that I would stress the characteristics of adaptability, creativity, and the ability to work under pressure. This assignment reminded me that journalism is a field where you have to be especially quick on your feet. You are communicating what you believe to be useful information to the public under strict deadlines, and a lot of that work depends on other people.

When interviewing students that commute to Biola University, two other reporters and myself happened to interview two individuals that are employed by Biola University to make commuter students feel in community with a) students who live on campus and b) other commuter students. These interviews weren’t planned beforehand. There is a possibility that we could’ve walked into the Collegium at a wrong time, during a commuter event or even when commuters were rushing to class, with no time for an interview. If we were given an unfavorable circumstance, could we have as a team pulled together to get a little more creative?

Our team was seeking to peek into the commuter life, and this required that we asked a few questions about finances. While some people may find this uncomfortable, it largely depends on how you approach the interview. I have heard many students in class talk about their experiences with people who just didn’t want to talk about certain topics. I would venture to ask the students how they are approached the individuals that they interviewed. A reporter can present an initially uncomfortable question in and inviting way that gently urges an individual to respond comfortably and honestly.

As far as blogging and Bureau reporting goes, I feel that the blogosphere allows individuals more leniency with deadlines, seeing as though most blogs aren’t like newspapers, with a structure of deadlines that the public is aware of.

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