Joseph Jamal Andress is a junior broadcast journalism student at the University of Missouri. He began working for Missouri Digital News in August of 2010. Prior to his time with MDN he interned with the ABC affiliate TV station in Houston, Texas, KTRK. He worked in the Sports Department and edited highlights for the six and 10 o'clock news broadcasts. As a student at the University of Missouri Joseph Andress is heavily involved on campus. He is on the executive board of the National Association of Black Journalists, United Ambassador Minority Student Recruitment Team and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.To help Joseph on his career path he also works with the NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri KOMU and the student run television station on MU's campus, MUTV. Joseph Andress was born and raised in Houston, Texas and believes that hard work is the great equalizer.
I'm not satisfied
I've just about finished my semester here at MDN (I'll be back Jan 4.) but I don't know if I am where I need to be as a reporter.
I know that I've learned and that I have improved but the ultimate question is, have a made the very best of my time and gotten all that I can from being here?
Unfortunately, I don't think I have, but I guarantee I will.
I'm coming back early January to jump head first into a fire that I know nothing about. (reminds me of Fall of 2009)
I'll be covering the legislature.
I know nothing about politics and honestly I'm not even sure if I like politics or politicians but I'll be here and I'll be covering it.
Wish me luck.
It's almost an oxymoron for me.
If there is daylight I'm not stopping, I'm working, running, being busy.
I will find something to do with my time, It's guaranteed and has been proven time and time again.
The day before finals start they call "Stop Day" Everyone is supposed to finally pause their lives for a second and take a break, a break from studying, from stressing, and go out and enjoy some free pizza, soda candy, etc.
My stop day started about 12 midnight working on a project that is due today at 7:00 pm.
I was in the lab trying to finish until about 4 this morning when I finally was able to get that completed.
Next up I went and did some extra credit this morning.
Now I'm at the news station working.
Stop Day huh?
Can't Stop, Won't stop
Today I have been working on a story about Unemployment benefits running out for various people due to Congress not extending benefits.
Literally there are going to be 2 million people throughout the country unemployed without benefits by the end of the month.
To start I have to say I am thankful me and my family are not in that situation.
But secondly I think Congress has lost sight of what's important.
Why make the people in your own country struggle, I would much prefer for us all to be in debt 13 trillion dollars than for the ones who were unfortunately let go of to be left out in the cold.
However to be fair they do give the unemployed 26 weeks to start with so they do have some time to go job hunting.
Everytime I get tired of working in college I try to remember that this is why I'm here.....
Well I guess I can leave now.
It's around 7:30 and I just finished the story I have been working on since 11:00.
It's amazing the things you can get accomplished when you just go ahead and stay late.
I'm glad that my schedule has finally cleared up and I can afford to stay late and finish stories or write a blog or anything.
It's a great feeling to be truly finished when you leave work.
A month ago I had to leave at 4:30 every week to get to a meeting that I simply couldn't miss.
I felt like I never could get anything finished, I was always starting something and planning to finish it off next time.
Well I am here to testify that that is a terrible strategy.
If you can, just stay late.
My time here at MDN may be extended into next semester for "my own good."
I think coming back is a good idea but I worry about being too busy next semester. Next semester I come face to face with the "Gatekeeper of KOMU" which is Greeley Kyle. According to every broadcast major at Mizzou B2 is hell in a handbasket. I've been hearing stories about this class for 3 years now and it's finally almost time.
This brings me to the question of Nature vs. Nurture. Why is Greeley Kyle's class so life changing for people. Does it push people to their limit and only the students who are made for this survive or is he a great teacher and you just have to be determinded enough to get through it.
I would like to believe it is the ladder because unfortunately God has yet to get back with me on whether this is what I'm meant to be doing. But then again who knows... I could be the next Stuart Scott/Stan Verret(A-Phi)/Michael Wilbon or Ed Bradley. I guess that's what's fun or terrifying about life, it's all a mystery.
The November 2nd election is coming up this Tuesday and in light of this I just want to express the importance of voting. Everyone in my generation grew up having the right to vote so we have no idea what it is like to have to fight for something that everyone should be entitled to.
In the years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, people who were not white had to deal with poll taxes, unfair literacy tests, unequal voting districts, etc. The only challenge we all face today is our own ignorance about issues, and our lazy habits that won't let us leave our house on election day.
On Tuesday there will be a vote on Proposition A. Proposition A will keep every city in Missouri, other than St. Louis and Kansas City, from ever enacting an Earnings Tax and it will also allow the voters in Kansas City and St. Louis to vote every 5 years on whether to keep their earnings tax.
Proposition B will be voted on. A "yes" vote will amend Missouri law to require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles. The amendment further prohibits any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets. The amendment also creates a misdemeanor crime of "puppy mill cruelty" for any violations. A "no" vote will not change the current Missouri law regarding dog breeders.
Amendment 1 will be voted on. A "yes" vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to require that assessors in charter counties be elected officers. This proposal will affect St. Louis County and any county that adopts a charter form of government. The exception is for a county that has between 600,001-699,999 residents, which currently is only Jackson County.
Amendment 2 will be voted on. A "yes" vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to exempt from property taxes all real property used as a homestead by any Missouri citizen who is a former prisoner of war with a total service-connected disability. If passed, this measure will decrease property taxes for qualified citizens.
Amendment 3 will be voted on. A "yes" vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate. A "no" vote will not change the Missouri Constitution to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing a new tax on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate.
And of course the most visible thing being voted on is Robin Carnahan v. Roy Blunt for the Missouri State Senate.
Complete - 1.
You never realize how great being complete is until you have had to take a long time to get there. I have been chipping away at a feature story for about 3 weeks. I'm not proud of how long it took however I am proud of the result. I am now complete with my feauture campaign story on Proposition A. I have had the story edited, voiced it, edited again, switched some things around, voiced again and then went through that process once more and finally made it to where I am now. Complete. This feeling of complete is different it's not a short simple complete that I'm used to it's more of a thorough, detailed, and exuberating complete that I rarely get. I like it.
I believe it's always good to relflect, so now that I'm finishing out my fourth week I would like to just go over some of the things I'v learned in this first month of work.
First, Don't be afraid to learn on the job. I use to feel that in order to cover something you needed to already be an expert on it. I've come to realize through my time here in the capitol that if I took up that kind of attitude I couldn't cover anything but Houston Sports Teams. That is part of the reason I threw myself into this internship like I did. I wanted to know how I would do in an environment I knew nothing about. How am I doing? It's a new experience every single day, and I have learned more about politics and Missouri news in the past month than I did in two years of living here.
Second, be persistent. Nobody wants to talk to you, nobody trusts you, and you are no one's friend. If you really want an interivew it will not fall in your lap you have to go get it, even take it. Call your interview subject over and over again and then when you can't get a hold of him go to his office knock on his door and look him in the face. A subject not paying any attention to you is not an execuse to not get something done when you make it to a real newsroom.
Third, Pay attention to the details. I think everyone that I work here with has called somebody recorded a conversation with them and then realized that the audio wasn't good enough to use. Does Mr. Brooks let you slide without good audio? Absolutely not. If you don't adjust one setting and your audio comes out terrible you just wasted you and your subjects time.
Fourth, Deadlines are real. If you have news that you want covered then you need to realize that it is only important for a certain amount of time. Therefore, if you don't get finished in that span of time you just missed the boat.
I know it seems depressing but it's just like any other rule. No one likes rules but they are necessary to keep the wheels turning.