Friday, August 20, 2010

Signing Off

Today was my last day.

It was already a heavy breaking news week for Dallas with a shooting at a local police department and a teenage couple involved in killing a woman and seriously injuring her husband. Then came the police chase that ended besides a Love Field runway.

Yesterday a man decided to lead Dallas police on a chase, not really high speed, just a chase.

We weren't too concerned about it at first. The man was driving at average speeds most of the time. But even with a missing tire he showed no signs of ending the chase willingly.

It wasn't until he decided to drive through a chain-link fence and onto Dallas Love Field airport runways or taxiways that we knew we had a national story on our hands.
It was hectic on Thursday afternoon when it all went down. I helped with the story, went out on the scene and got the byline.

Today was the follow. They had released the name the night before so I had to update with that information and then find out more on his background and what the airport was doing about the security in light of someone with a partially disabled truck being able to very easily drive through a chain-link fence and onto the runways.

Let's just say I had my work cut out for me. But with the help of my fellow AP staffers and persistence, we were able to get the story out. This was the version just before I spoke with airport officials. One can never tell who will publish which version, but this is close enough.

It's been a great summer with the AP and I have met a lot of great editors, reporters and photographers. I learned a lot and I hope to use what I learned in my future endeavors.

Until the next time, goodbye AP and thank you!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Last week and new horizons

It's my last week with the AP.

This summer has gone by amazingly fast. Now, to be fair, my internship is ending a week ahead of schedule. For those of you that haven't heard, I was offered my first job out of college.

No, not with the AP.

This job has almost been two years in the making. A couple of years ago I interned with the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon as part of the Chips Quinn Scholars program. It was a great summer.

The executive editor told me on my last day to keep in touch because he wanted me to come back eventually. I didn't realize at the time that that someday would coincide perfectly with my graduation.

After keeping him posted over the years and letting him know where I was going in the summers for internships, December came around and again, I let him know I would finally be graduating in the summer.

This time, I wouldn't have to worry about having to go back to school after my internship. This time, all I had to worry about was landing a job in a newsroom.

This isn't as easy as it seems these days. I'll admit that I was getting a little stressed out about it earlier in the year. Some people say to start looking before you graduate and before the end of your internships because it takes a long time, sometimes several months.

But in February, after e-mailing resumes, cover letters and clips to several job postings from the journalism job listing websites to no avail, I stopped. I decided that the stress was too much and that I needed to just focus on getting through the semester and the internship I had lined up for the summer.

So I did, I stopped the job search and focused on what I was doing at the time. It felt right.

Although I cheated periodically and sent out a couple stray packets to see what would happen. Nothing but rejection letters and a lot of "we have decided to look at other candidates at this time."

So there it was.

But there was hope on the horizon with my back-and-forth e-mails with Bill Church. Since December we had e-mails going about the possibility of something opening up soon. I sent recent clips, an updated resume, you name it.

It paid off.

On the same day all of the AP interns (about 25 of us) got the "we will probably only hire a few of you" speech, I got the e-mail from Bill that they wanted to do a phone interview.

I was really excited to talk with the three editors I got to know that summer in Oregon. It went really well and after a couple of weeks of waiting _ somewhat stressful weeks _ I got the offer.

I have since signed the offer and am making my plans to move to the Pacific Northwest, hence the premature ending of my internship.

But it has been a great summer with this news organization.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wheels Down, Wheels Up!

Okay, so today I went to the airport to watch for President Obama's arrival.
It was a close call because stupid Google maps tried to send me in the wrong direction! Luckily, I know Dallas, and I managed to get there on time.

So it was a wheels down, wheels up call. AP Washington reporters were on the flight so there was no story to be written by me, but it was nice to witness a president's arrival.

Leave it to Dallas for there to be a little drama! One of the motorcade officers wrecked, but wasn't seriously hurt or anything. It wasn't at the airport so I didn't see it, but another intern gets updates from the DPD and let me know about it. The AP in Dallas was already aware_news travels fast after all.

It was super hot and I was glad there was an air conditioned waiting area for us.

So, there it is, probably as close as I'll get to both the president and Air Force One.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Catching up

daily morning conference call with all regions

patio view from AP headquarters

Well it's been a while since my last post, but to be fair, I have been busy.

After Austin, I went to New York to visit the AP headquarters along with the rest of our intern class. We met the president and many other high-ranking editors. We also had several opportunities to ask questions and chat with some of these individuals.

It wasn't all work though. I met several great fellow interns and we wandered the streets of New York together, did some shopping and stayed up really late. I also did some solo wandering to be able to grab some photos. Sometimes it's better for me to do that on my own so I don't have have people waiting while I randomly focus in on something I have to capture.

It was a fantastic experience and I'm really thankful I had the chance to be a part of it.

We were able to get a bigger picture of what the AP is all about. It really is a global news organization which sometimes you don't think about when you are in the day-to-day reporting out of your bureau. But when I read the wire now, I have a better appreciation for just how far this organization reaches. It's really impressive.

When I got back to Dallas I was catching up with everything when there was more information being released about the Coppell mayor that shot herself and her daughter. It was really frustrating because it seemed like I was just behind everyone with the updates. It turns out our AP Texas e-mail wasn't receiving the releases so for two days of stories I was a little behind on getting the news out. I was able to get the stories out the same days as the information was released, but it was a couple hours after the others. Luckily that has all been remedied so I think if we do decide to run any more stories about it, at least I won't be the last one to know.

AP does like to be first after all.

There has also been some routine daily stuff going on the past couple of weeks to keep me busy. That, and I have still been struggling to get my enterprise finished. I have only three weeks left and it's going to go by super fast.

It's amazing how 12 weeks can seem like a long time at the beginning of the summer then they just disappear.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Intense story

I started the week in the Austin bureau which was very nice. They have a prime location just outside the Texas State Capitol. It was really just an excellent place to have the office.

The people there were great and one reporter gave me the media tour of the capitol. So it was a great start to the week.

Since I have to work this week through like normal, I flew back in to Dallas Tuesday night and reported for duty in the Dallas bureau this morning.

From the get go there was already talk about reporting on this story out of Coppell.
This is one of those stories that just sticks with you.

I was in the office at 9 a.m. and out the door by 9:30 a.m. to head to the scene. I spent the morning talking with neighbors, then going to the city hall and police station to get more information about what had happened.

Everyone in the neighborhood and coworkers of the mayor were in shock and disbelief at the thought of what transpired.

I was back in the office at around 3 p.m. and waited for editing so I could send out another writethru for the afternoon papers.

I'm not sure what else will be revealed about this situation.


Friday, July 9, 2010


The Houston bureau visit was nice.

I was able to write a few things, worked on enterprise and met the editor that I said would always forget me.

We had a chance to talk and go over some things about the Otty Sanchez story which were very useful. It was good to meet face-to-face and be able to chat. She has a strong personality, is driven and stylish_a good combo.

Next week: Austin bureau