Bringing a new baby into the planet while grinding out the final stretch of Langara College’s journalism program has been an epic challenge, and regrettably I haven’t been able to post in some time. But now that I’m interning at The Vancouver Courier it’s a perfect opportunity to share some experiences of writing and shooting for a major media outlet.
My first day was a tad daunting. It was a gloomy Monday in rainy Vancouver and I was mentally drained after finishing a 3,000-word article the night before on the growing trend of people preparing for the end of the world. (Stay tuned as I try and get it published.) Exhausted, I had to quickly adapt to the idiosyncrasies of the Courier newsroom and its staff in addition to the dated equipment they use.
But even while feeling like a fish out of water, I was able to crank out an article on a proposed tower at the north end of the Granville Bridge that twists from a triangle into a rectangle. The news was two weeks old, but I tried to get latest on where the proposal stood and how the project could set a precedent for future development in the city.
No one answered my calls in the first two hours, but thanks to enduring a class referred to as “Daily Death” where we had to bang out complex news stories in three hours, I was able to reach a city councillor and prominent Vancouver architect and meet my 3 p.m. deadline. (Our instructor Frances Bula often brags about a previous student who had a blood vessel burst during the class.)
My second story, about a Vancouver Haida carver crafting a totem pole from an ancient cedar that fell in Stanley Park, went a little smoother. I was able to get in touch with carver Clarence Mills right away and take photos for the Courier, which are featured in a mini-gallery with the online story.
After a day-and-a-half of writing, the rest of the week was pretty slack. I mostly tagged along with photographer Dan Toulgoet and helped with gathering photos. I was sent on an assignment to shoot a press conference held by the Vancouver Police Department to promote a new poster campaign aimed at capturing more suspected Stanley Cup rioters. City reporter Mike Howell wanted to focus on the volunteers in his article, so I grabbed a shot of a man handing out the posters to the crowds.
Also, I was assigned to shoot a girls basketball game. I was stoked to see a dozen of my photos were published in an online gallery.
Well, that was the first week, and I’m excited to see what next week brings. I will pitch stories tomorrow on topics ranging from earthquake preparedness to a new cafe that’s aimed for cyclists and located in an alley in downtown Vancouver. If you have any radical story ideas hit me up at:
jared_jg (at) hotmail.com.
Stay tuned for next week.