When I heard back from Assistant Metro Editor Sherri Day at the Tampa Bay Times I was thrilled! Although I had known that my interest were in the field of journalism, I had never actually seen any type of journalist in real time.
Upon my arrival at the Tampa Times I was greeted with a warm smile by Sherri Day. She has worked at the Times for nine years and has been in her current position for two years. Sherri took me inside of the office and started introducing me to her co-workers immediately. I saw where the Advertising and PR people brought in the dough and I was also introduced to the many editors and reporters that make up the Tampa branch of the Times.
After introductions I was able to see what really happens in a typical day of Sherri Day. She arrives at the office around 9:30 in the morning. Every morning she is sure to have her email account already checked when she enters. Today is a fairly quiet day, no breaking news of any kind, luckily all of that can change at any given moment. So, she moves on to the task of budgeting. By entering into the Times software she is able to access the stories that her editor will soon propose to the top TBT editor. Asks a question to the editor who then shouts across the room to a reporter. After their exchange she posts a new article online on tbt.com. Unfortunately, Sheri had a meeting on her schedule for the next couple hours so she set me up with cops reporter Laura Morel.
Laura Morel is nothing short of awesome! She has been at her current job for close to a year and is enamored with her work. Her job is to write stories on crime in the Tampa Bay area. Today, she was working on a breaking news story about a suspicious package on Dale Mabry and Santiago. I was fortunate enough to ride along and see her in action. We arrived at the scene of the incident at around 11:12 am. We were looking for the POI on duty at that time. The police blocked off roads about two streets out. When we found the POI she was surrounded by a group of reporters, news anchors, and video crew. I had the privilege to hear the results of the investigation first hand. Laura was asking questions and writing notes that she sent to her editor every so often. After we gathered all of the information we got the ok from Sherri Day to return to the office. We got back to the office at around 1:15 p.m.
Top 5 things I learned by shadowing:
- There are many jobs that are available for journalists.
- Never wear heel on the job!
- You have to love what you do to put up with the bad.
- Knowing how to write a great story will help you anywhere.
- ***Journalism is what I want to pursue!***
By Daina Stanley