Being a General Assignment Reporter Keeps Life Exciting

Shooting my first breaking news handheld for the first time with the DVC Pro

Being a general assignment reporter has been an amazing experience! Why? Because each morning I wake up and think to myself, “I wonder what I’ll be doing today?” Each day brings new situations and the variations keep life exciting.

Which makes me realize why when I asked everyone why they loved their jobs during all of my internships, the photogs and reporters would always say they love it because they get to do something different everyday. It’s so very true! Even just in this past week, I’ve covered everything from education to health to crime to local government corruption. It’s exhilarating!

Last Monday I got to go to a local elementary school that is heading into the 21st century and buying all of their 6th graders kindles to boost reading scores by making it fun.

Then on Tuesday, I covered my first homicide and had to knock on doors to find neighbors that knew the victim. Now that was an experience that I knew was eventual. It turned out okay, only one of the neighbors told me, “You don’t belong here! Leave!” the other neighbors were actually quite willing to talk to me about what they knew and what happened.

Weatherman Clay Ostarly being the reporter at the scene

Then on Tuesday night after work, I went snow chasing with the weather guy to try and shoot video of snow for the 10pm show (there was no snow–just rain), I was sitting at my desk when all of a sudden I heard the scanner going crazy about a car that crashed right into a house. I listened closely and heard that the house was on fire.

The reporter bells started ringing in my head and the weather guy was like, “should we cover it?” and I said “Heck yes!” so after I confirmed it with the Ouachita Fire Department, we grabbed my camera and jumped in a company car and sped to the scene. I played photog and Clay Ostarly was the reporter in the situation, so while I was shooting the scenes of a pick up truck that was still smoking, he was chatting it up with people– finding out what happened. So between the two of us we got great soundbites and video to bring back to the stati

on. And since typically there isn’t an overnight reporter, we got to give the morning show, Good Morning Arklamiss, their first fresh news scoop in a while! It was fun, we worked until past 1am typing up a script and editing the video together. I then went home and got only a few hours of sleep and headed back to the station for my regular 9am-6pm shift. But that’s how you know you love your job, when you don’t mind working all of the time–because it’s just fun. Sometimes I feel like I was born to do this, I can’t imagine doing anything else!

So anyway the next day I did a follow up about the car that crashed into the house, turns out it was a DUI from someone who had a past criminal record. I feel so bad for the family’s house that was destroyed. Here is that video, thanks weather guy for helping!

Thursday I shot a health story about how the local university was teaming up with a major research center in Baton Rouge. The possible outcome way down the road could be finding a cure for degenerative diseases including Alzheimer. Thursday was also the day that Virginia Tech had their tragic murder suicide involving the police officer, so on Friday I localized it by going to the college in town and telling the community about the state of the art technology that they have to secure their campus.

Finally, yesterday I tackled the city’s engineering audit that revealed possible corruption within the department. The city of Monroe is my beat so I enjoy explaining what is really going on behind the scenes to our viewers.

And today I shot a story about how the entire state of Louisiana is overhauling it’s entire health care system for those that qualify for medicaid or are uninsured.

So like I said, I get to cover such a wide spectrum of stories and get to meet all kinds of people! I love it! It certainly ensures that my life is never boring!


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