Skills I have Learned that Have Made Me a Better Journalist

Schools have sat empty for over a year, until their reopening in April 2021 (Photo by MChe Lee on Unsplash).

I have worked on long-form written stories and multimedia projects, but never at the same time or for the same story. This project definitely challenged me in a lot of ways, but I felt very gratified in the work I did and I cannot wait to see the final, published, story and share it with my sources.

One of the biggest setbacks for me was definitely interviewing in the pandemic. All of my interview clips will be Zoom interviews, and the process was missing that connection of an in-person interview. The pandemic also hindered my ability to get B-roll of the schools because everything was closed when I was filming, and it can also be risky to videotape young children at school. I do think my capstone would have been even better if I was able to gather in-person interviews, but at the time of my interviews, schools weren’t even opening for hybrid learning.

Something that surprised me was none of the public K-12 school campuses are open, they are all gated. In my hometown, none of the schools are gated, and they can be walked through at any time. I did assume San Diego would be the same and finding out it wasn’t limited the amount of photo and video content I was able to get. Luckily, I wasn’t caught sticking my camera through the gates so I could get better footage.

The best part of this project was the people that I interviewed. They were all so eager and willing to speak about the struggles of their schools and were incredibly supportive of my journey as a student journalist. They are so excited to read the final product and share it with their communities, and that feeling is beyond rewarding.

Photo Editor at The Daily Aztec, intern at East County Magazine and journalism student at San Diego State University. I am currently creating work in JMS 550.