eudaemonic- (adj.) producing happiness and well-being

Friday, December 22, 2006

I had my first serious breaking news story today. Yes, I've covered house fires and fatality reports, but this was a real story with people and officials. YIKES! I have to admit, I was scared out of my boots. I guess I should tell you what happened. I had just gotten in and was working on an article about a new city plan for Jacksonville, when my bosses came over and told me in confusing terms that there had been a development with the Goodyear plant. See, Goodyear workers have been on strike since early Oct. over a plan to shut down the plant. (It also involves something about employees losing their retirement benefits.) The entire union is behind them, so that means there are strikes across the country!

Talks between the union and co. finally blossomed into something that the union will vote on. They have decided to keep the plant open one more year and offer "buy outs" for retirement and health care.

I was given a press release and told to cover it. WHAT? Yikes! The photographer and I rode together and he said casually, "Hey, don't you want to call the head guy... they're on a different time zone and might be gone for Christmas soon."

Of course... what a great idea... except I was so nervous to be doing this in front of the photographer that I couldn't really think of anything to ask him. This was a new story for me (the business writer had been following it). It turned out okay... no worries, I snapped out of my phone shyness :O)

Anyway, we made it out to the picket line and I asked my questions... lots of them... pages of them... It was way too much, but I couldn't help myself. I felt stupid asking them to explain their wording to me (stuff about retirement and benefits) because if I was a real reporter I would have been keeping up with the whole mess from the beginning. But, I'm not, so I just kept asking questions.

When I got back to the office I found that I would be writing the story tag team with another writer with his own information.

That's something else that made me nervous. I had to write half of an article without knowing what he was writing about. Granted, I was told to focus mainly on the "who" (not the what) aspect of the event, but it's still hard to write together.

I'm a little nervous about tomorrow... mucho mucho stories (seriously) and nada time.

Let's see what happens!


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