Abby Grimmett's Blog
MDN Menu
  • Help
  • Home: Sitemap
  • Print
  • Expand
  • Default Size
MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Abby Grimmett's Blog in 2008
According to Brenda, Blogity Blog

Posted November 20, 2008: 

The Office is on and I'm going home for Thanksgiving tomorrow. How excited am I? Stoked.

I don't think I've ever been this excited to go home before. If you read my bio, you will see that I hail from a small Midwest town. Yes, I'm a farm girl. But you don't exactly see me wearing my cowgirl boots and stranglers around the capitol. In the past, I've always felt a little out of place being in a small community and coming to Columbia confirmed this. However, there are times when I deeply miss my roots, and this is definitely one of those times. I haven't been home since Labor Day - which was for my Grandfather's funeral. I think it will be difficult to go home, especially for a holiday that was once celebrated with him. But I am Thankful. Thankful for being able to appreciate my small hometown, and family that I so dearly miss.

However, I won't be home long. I'm headed to Chicago! I will be traveling with my family on Tuesday. Chicago--one of my most favorite cities in the country. While we are there, I plan to sleep in, shop in the fabulous stores that cannot be found anywhere near Columbia, and visit Northwestern. I'm thinking of attending Grad school when I'm finished here, so I figured we may as well check it out.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I'll miss you, Jeff City family.

Posted November 13, 2008: 

I've learned something today. It's hard to cover things that you don't quite understand.

I am working on a story covering a joint committee held here this morning. The topic:  VIP. Schwhat?!

I went to the meeting after getting a brief prep from Phill. No problem...so I thought. Yeah, not so much.

But, I'm working on it. I'm beginning to grasp it. I think. Voice over Internet protocol->alternative ways of communication->Skype!

I'm getting back to my story now. Peace.

Posted November 7, 2008: 

WOW! What an incredible/crazy/unforgettable/hectic week!

Election night went surprisingly well. Many of the broadcast students doing election coverage ran into many problems, but I was dealt a lucky hand that night. Everything went great.

Yesterday, the mayhem continued.

It was great to finally see people here. Many of the legislators were in town today, holding meeting to elect new party leaders. I was running around the State Capitol and the surrounding grounds. Needless to say, I am sporting many bandages on my feet today from running around in my fabulous heels. It is well worth it. Governor Elect Jay Nixon also held his first press conference which I was able to attend along with Juana and Phill. This was the first time I have ever seen Phill in the field reporting.

Wow. I hope after many years of experience, I can tackle things in the way that he does. Talk about control! He owned the interview. Props, Phill.

I'm hoping things will slow down. As much as I love the unpredictable, crazy events that often occur in this field, I feel I am in need of a slow news day.

Posted October 31, 2008: 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

This is one of my most favorite holidays of the year; however, my mind is not quite focused on the possible spooky events occurring weekend.

The election is only four days away. The newsroom has been in a frenzy getting everything organized for Tuesday night election coverage. I will be in St. Louis at the famous Pageant Theater where Attorney General Jay Nixon will be hosting his watch party. I imagine this will be an amazing night at a journalist.  This has been such an exciting election year and I feel so fortunate to be a part of it.

I will admit, I feel somewhat nervous at this point. We may potentially be doing live pops, which I have never done. We will be working with our own computers and submitting stories in a different format than usual. It seems there is much potential for something tragic to happen in terms of my performance or technology, but I'm working hard to ensure that won't occur.

Wish me luck!

Posted October 23, 2008: 

This has been a crazy week. Slow in terms of news, but this enabled me to finished my feature! You can check it out http://www.mdn.org/2008/STORIES/RURALMO.HTM

But the craziness of this week can be felt around campus in Columbia. Saturday is Homecoming, which means there is much to do. A lot of my time over the past couple of months has been spent fulfilling Mizzou's homecoming traditions:  pomping. I am so happy that this will be over! Spending 20 hours a week, rolling squares of tissue paper around markers and gluing them to a board? The finished product is breathtaking; however, my fingers are almost too sore to type stories. Ah, for the love of Homecoming.

The Tigers take on Oklahoma State at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tune in to see Mizzou's strength in stripes.

Posted October 14, 2008:

I will forewarn readers, the following blog entry becomes rather sappy toward the end. Please excuse my emotion, but I can't ignore my current feelings.

Last Thursday, I received one of the most exciting text messages that I have received in a long time. Amy asked me if I would like to cover Senator Joe Biden's visit to Jefferson City.

Of course I did! I haven't had this much excitement about a reporting opportunity in a long time.

After arriving at Memorial Park and encountering a few problems with getting press credentials, I was all set to go. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan spoke first and did an outstanding job. I was very impressed with her presence and speaking abilities. Senator Ike Skelton introduced his long time friend and the crowd's excitement and enthusiasm could be felt throughout the pavilion - especially from those lucky enough to sit on the hay bales behind the podium.

Even though the speech was rather long-winded, Biden maintained a strong presence throughout the entire 50 minutes. It was amazing to me to witness the emotion of the crowd. To see hundreds of people come together and and share the same feelings, through cheers and boos. I noticed that even members of the press corp joined in with laughter at times.

I was able to get four wraps produced after the rally. You may read them on this website. There was so much more that happened during his speech, but the sound bytes that I pulled were definitely powerful and received big reactions from the crowd.

This was such a refreshing journalistic experience. Coming back to the newsroom at the State Capitol at 10 p.m. and pumping out stories reminded me of why I'm here. This is what I love to do. As journalists, we often encounter frustrations, roadblocks and stress; however, at the end of the day I still love it.

And that's why I'm here - for the love of journalism.

Posted October 2, 2008: 

I'm waiting...waiting.

No, John Mayer, not on the world to change. I'm waiting for an interview.

I need to talk to a spokesperson from Congressman Kenny Hulshof's campaign. The MASA endorsed Jay Nixon today and I was working on a story about it. Phill reminded me that I need to show the other side's voice. This was at 3:00 p.m.

I called the spokesperson for Hulsholf's campaign and left a message at the office. I also called a cell phone and left a message. I have nothing...

It's my fault that the call was put in as late as it was and now I'm not going to get a callback.

I have no story.

Lesson learned: don't forget fundamental journalistic practices. Stories need balance and every side must be shown.

Posted September 30, 2008:

Last Thursday was the season premier of "The Office," one of my favorite television shows.

I find that I hardly ever have time to sit down and allow myself to be a couch potato. But for the Office? Well, it wasn't exactly difficult to convince myself it was OK to dedicate an hour of my Thursday to my beloved Dunder-Mifflin family.

How exciting! I'd been waiting since May for this. I managed to study for Biochem during commercial breaks, and was on the edge of my seat when Jim got down on one knee and PROPOSED TO PAM!

Wow. It's about time.

Needless to say this hour, an hour of complete mindless television, was the highlight of my week. I'm a 20-year-old college student and the highlight of my week was an episode of The Office?

I'm a nerd.

But I'm a happy one. Because for that hour I wasn't worried about my future as a journalist, the EPA, or economy, I was simply relishing in my one hour of freedom from this crazy world.

Thanks Dunder-Mifflin.

Posted September 18, 2008:

I'm learning quickly that slow news days are rather dull. But I wonder, shouldn't there be some kind of news somewhere? Why can't I find a good lead?

MISSING:  Story Ideas. If found please return to Abby Grimmett, MDN.

I have also learned that picking up a story after you've been in the office for merely 10 minutes is glorious. Simply because I had a car here, I was able to go to an event on Tuesday. It was over quickly and I was able to get back in the studio to do my story. I was out of the office by 4 pm. Brilliant!

But in all seriousness, I think I'm stumbling onto a great idea for a good feature story. Hopefully it'll work out.

Posted September 16, 2008:

Week two turned out to be quite interesting. I worked on a story covering a Senate committee hearing on Medicaid. On Thursday I was able to work in Columbia most of the day. The Journalism school was holding their centennial celebration which also featured the first gubernatorial debate. I met with Amy and after enjoying Starbucks and Shakespeare's we arrived at the debate. It was a great experience.

All of the candidates were there. Nixon started out the debate saying he wanted to focus on what was best for Missouri and not on politics. However, he was the one who initiated the only heated part of the debate. He mentioned campaign contributions and finally we were able to see some fire in the candidates, particularly in Hulsholf.

After the debate was over, I felt so privileged to be part of the press interviewing Nixon. I was standing alongside reporters from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and big market TV stations. I also was able to ask two questions, which he directly answered to me.

I feel I'm already starting to get a hang of this process. It is becoming easier to write and produce stories, and I am able to utilize my time more efficiently.

 

Posted September 5, 2008:

As part of Broadcast 1, we are required to put in time at a radio station. All students had the option to do a one-day shift at KBIA in Columbia, or a two-day shift at MDN in Jefferson City. Being a political geek, I decided to tackle the capital reporting shift. I will be working at the newsroom in the capital two days a week.

I arrived at my shift at 10 a.m. and was put to work right away. Our editor and TA, Amy, had some story ideas for each of us working that day and I was asked to write a story about the Missouri National Guard troops who are stationed in Louisiana assisting with Hurricane Gustav damage. Shortly after receiving this story assignment, Phill came into the office to announce that a reporter was needed in the rotunda to cover the Missouri Republicans for Obama event. I volunteered and proceeded to the event.

I had the opportunity to stand alongside six other reporters to listen for former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach speak. A Jefferson City man, Matthew Ousley, and Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee were also present on behalf of the organization. I began writing my story and then contacted the spokeswoman for the Missouri Republican Party in order to hear their voice on this issue.

By about 6 p.m. I was finally ready to produce! I recorded two stories with sound bytes and put them on the lineup for KMOX. It was a long day indeed, but I feel like once I have acquainted myself with the process, I will become much more efficient with my time. Amy was a great help in teaching all of us the tricks of Phill's program and she is a fantastic editor. She also gives us a lot of laughs. It was a lot of work, but fun...seriously!

I think my biggest frustration of the day was making phone calls. I got into contact with the people I needed to, but it took me quite some time to actually figure out how to dial out. Who knew I'd have to relearn how to make a call?

I'm anxious to see where this semester will lead me. In the packet we received in the first day it said in the beginning of our time here, it is more important to focus on quantity rather than quality. I'm hoping that I can produce many stories over the next couple of weeks in order to become more efficient and skilled in my work.

Special thanks to the awesome students in the newsroom! I have the opportunity to work alongside Brenda Martens, a fellow broadcast student who I've known for a year. It is very comforting to know that we are both on the same page, and we can share laughs about our experiences throughout the day.

Missouri Digital News is produced by Missouri Digital News, Inc. -- a non profit organization of current and former journalists.