First General Assignment Shift

Working from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., my first day on a general assignment shift went by so much faster than I thought it would. The rush of breaking news really pushes you to work fast and hard for a story.

Columbia Public School District spokesperson Michelle Baumstark attended the Missourian’s education beat meeting the night before and mentioned that full-day preschool would now be five days a week, rather than the previous four-day week. This change is being implemented next week, the week of Sept. 3.

Thus, this was my story for my general assignment shift. Between communicating with Baumstark and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, my day consisted of a lot of “phone tag.” But, that’s the role of being a journalist! When I was younger, I always felt like I was bothering or annoying people when asking people to talk to me, but, in journalism, the need for answers is crucial and timely. I’ve learned that when you respect others’ time, they respect yours. The relationship between journalists and sources is crucial and must be one of respect and professional manner.

My first general assignment shift taught me to work quick on a deadline in order to be first to a story and to communicate with sources quickly. Read my story about full-week preschool via this link.