Jaded in Emerald City
Adventurous romps in Seattle city experienced by yours truly
Monday, June 14, 2010
I don’t even know how to properly start today’s blog, I’m so excited! I guess I’ll start from the beginning and work my way up to the big finish.
Walking into the newsroom today felt a little bit more comfortable. I’m falling into my element more each day, so I was excited about what I might get to do today. I went out on assignment with a great reporter this morning that was so helpful and actually took the time to explain what he was doing so that I could learn and take notes.
First, we headed to City Hall to a “newser” with the mayor. (This is sort of like a press conference but only the reporters and stuff are there.) He held a budget meeting this morning and was following that with a commission for musicians in Seattle initiative press conference. But, what we really went there to ask him was something totally different. He made a statement last week concerning saving money in the budget by arranging for the Fire Department to have 3 men on an emergency response truck rather than the standard 4.
MAYOR MIKE MCGINN
Over the weekend, a fire broke out in a public housing duplex in Fremont, killing 5 people ages 5-22. The fire was the worst fire in Seattle in almost 40 years. Basically, the FD arrived at the scene and for some reason, they hooked the hose up to the hydrant, pulled the lever….and nothing happened. They are sending the truck back to the manufacturer for inspection.
So, we, among the other stations and the paper, were there to ask him if he still feels that it’s a good idea to decrease the FD budget. After the music newser was done, the mayor invited the media up to his office on the top floor of city hall for further questions related to the fire. I went in there!! Needless to say, the mayor expressed his dismay at the situation, and told the media that, though the two things were unrelated, he did not feel that this would be the best time to make budget cuts within the fire department. Ya’ think?
We left the mayor and went to the scene of the fire in Fremont where a memorial was set up for the children who died. There were so many bouquets and notes and items unique to each child who died in the fire. The people were refugees from Ethiopia, as many of the families on that particular street are. We walked back into the apartments to the scene of the fire, where the duplex was scorched from the inside out. An Ethiopian man thought the reporter was from the Housing Administration, even though G held up his badge and said KIRO-TV. The man didn’t speak very good English and when the photographer held the camera up to him, he realized that we were from the media. He didn’t feel like speaking to us, I think because it was difficult for him to. The deep sunken wrinkles around his face and ceremonial tribal cap made it clear that he was one of the community elders, come to speak on behalf of the family.
Later, as I was sitting by the memorial taking notes and writing down my observations, a lady named Sherry came over to speak to me. She asked me if I was with the media and when I confirmed she just said, “”Oh.” I quickly told her that I was an intern and that piqued her interest enough to keep talking with me. She just apologized and said that she wished I didn’t have to experience things like this so soon. I told her it wasn’t the first time since I started the job that I’ve faced something difficult, she had heard about the two dead teens last Friday. She just replied, “Oh, God bless you. Well, don’t worry, you’ll become a veteran and then you’ll be fine!” I told her that I hoped I never become numb to the sadness and that in my opinion, every person’s story is unique to them. She seemed touched, and didn’t really know what to say. I think she was appreciative; she just smiled and agreed with me.
A photographer that I worked with on my first day came out to the scene with another reporter as well; they were covering a different angle of the story for the 6 broadcast. On my first day, he told me about how tough you have to be to do this job sometimes and I didn’t really think much of it at the time. After what I went through this weekend, it seems like I should’ve listened closer. As I was standing in reverie in front of the memorial, he came over and said, “So, how ya’ doing, kid?” I told him that it was sad that so many children had to die and he said this is what I was trying to tell you. I regaled him with a ten second short version of my Friday story and he replied, “Yup, I once covered 12 deaths in 2 weeks. Buck Up,” and lightly tapped me on the shoulder.
So, that’s what I did. After the reporter I was tagging along with finished his script he said the sweetest words, “Why don’t you write a stand up, and we’ll tape it when I’m done?” Glitter came falling from the sky and my heart did a little happy dance. I had about thirty minutes, so I climbed up into the driver’s seat of the live van and started writing. Not to toot my own horn, but I really didn’t need thirty minutes, probably because I’d secretly been thinking about it all day. So, I wrote three different scripts until I settled on my favorite. I read it to him and he didn’t even make any corrections! He said good job! We taped 4 different stand ups so that I would have one that I was really happy with and he coached me the whole way and thought it was great that I could remember so much, because I had written myself sort of a lengthy s/u for my first time. (Well, first time in the field under a time crunch, with a pro!) So, it was a fabulous and it put me in a mood of the same.
After work, I got on my bus. My transfer at the tunnel in Westlake Center is so nice. Don’t you just love when your bus stop smells like a Macy’s? I know I sure do. On top of that, I made it home with absolutely no problem today. Life is good.
Very very pleasantly jaded….
Song of the Day: “1901” Phoenix….It always makes me happy