Tag Archives: daily newspaper

I’ve Become a Sissy

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Tonight seemed like any other night, minus the fact that I had the urge to get out of my apartment and take part in some physical exercise.

I started my run towards the neighborhood behind my complex when my sister called in, which then became my excuse to stop running and just chat away to catch up on life.

I had done my loop and finished sharing with my sister the dream I had about attending Kanye West’s birthday party with my parents when a sweet couple walks up to me and asks for help.

“We don’t know what to do, he isn’t well,” they said as I pulled out my headphone and looked at the black vehicle that seemed parked on the side of the road.

They took me to the drivers side and there sat a man slumped over in a position that no one in a heathy state would be in. That’s when my heart began racing and all I could think was, “This man is dead!?”

I worked in newspaper for six years doing the crime beat so this isn’t the first dead body I’ve seen. But for some reason this was the first time pure panic crept over me.

I couldn’t touch him, all I could do was yell at the rolled down driver’s window, “Sir! Sir!”

I asked the kind man who pulled me aside if the man felt cold to the touch. He said yes. Then I asked if he had felt for a pulse and his face contorted a little when he said no he hadn’t done that but he had already called 9-1-1.

Obviously, touching his neck to feel for a pulse wouldn’t save his life, but it would have brought clarity. But try as I might I couldn’t bring myself to do anything beyond yelling sir and asking if I should call 9-1-1 again.

While we were waiting another neighbor came up and asked about what was happening. We then asked if he would like to feel for a pulse and unlike us sissys this man went for it – but the man in the car’s body was too contorted to get to a pulse without moving his body.

That’s when the man in the car moved a little. I don’t know if it can be described as a jerk – but it was more than just his body falling further down. He was alive!

That’s when the other man helping noticed the car, which was running, was also in drive. Somehow the man passed out in his car with his foot wedged on the break – by the grace of God alone.

“We need to put this in park,” the man said.

I felt my pulse quicken as I realized the four of us were about to device a plan to reach into the car to make sure it didn’t suddenly start rolling away adding more to the already scary situation.

But just when I thought some action was about to be taken the beautiful sound of sirens began coming closer and closer.

Shout out to the Orange County Fire Department for the quickest response time. They immediately pulled in and rushed to turn off the car and get the man out. Loaded him on the stretcher and began making efforts to get him back to.

Unfortunately, I won’t know the end of the man’s story. He had a weak pulse and was whisked away to the nearest emergency room. The kind couple can rest assured that if he lives, they are responsible.

I, however, walked the rest of the way home realizing that the hardened journalist who was quick to jump in the car at the sound of possible death is now a big sissy. I couldn’t even touch the guy!

Geesh. What have I become.

Still Here, Still Uncertain

Hey, that's me in my cube!

Hey, that’s me in my cube!

It’s been a while, I know. Life has been chaotic, busy and above all else amazing. I still have days where I’ll see a snippet of news from the paper and wonder what was going on, how everything was being handled and have a rush of jealousy that I won’t get to be a part of that anymore.

I miss that.

But now I’m working in a whole new capacity. Hello, I’m Angel and I am the Social Media Community Manager for a large, Christian non-profit organization.

This is my team - web and social media. They're pretty great and always ready to greet the interns in interesting ways.

This is my team – web and social media. They’re pretty great and always ready to greet the interns in interesting ways.

I knew that this job was going to have challenges because my background is newspaper, not social media and there have been some trials.

Each month my department meets for worship, devotions and in this photo to introduce the newbies!

Each month my department meets for worship, devotions and in this photo to introduce the newbies!

All-in-all, God has put such a blessing on my life with this job, this new location in central Florida and the new friends I have made since moving.

Taking a chance like this, especially being somewhat older than the average person changing careers, was not an easy one. But God was faithful, as He promised He would be.

I’ve found that doing social media full time allows for creativity, taking chances and involves a lot of trial and error. I’ll be honest, there are days when I wonder why I was hired – but to be fair I thought the same thoughts while working at the newspaper.

I’m happy. I’m content. I’m not broke.

I know I made the right decision, but a piece of my heart still aches for the familiar background noise of the scanner. The feel of writing something and knowing it will be read by thousands and the amazing stories I would come home with each day.

But I’m finding a home here. I’m finding where I belong and I’m finding comfort in this career with the knowledge that I serve a far greater purpose.

It’s still a transition, almost three months later, but I have a feeling that’s how life goes. I’m always transitioning whether its with a career, a boy, a diet plan, a new makeup trick, a knew way of thinking.

That’s just how life goes and I’m here for the adventure of it all.

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Journalists and Cereal Do Not Mix

cereal

This post will not be brilliant, but I think it will be entertaining never the less. Although, I find myself to be entertaining on a regular basis so I may be biased.

I don’t know why, but not too long ago I was in the mood for cereal for breakfast. But since I wake up and literally roll out the door I just packed my milk, bagged the cereal and went on my way to work.

Most days this breakfast would be fine. I would eat my cereal, read the paper and then start my morning.

But the one day I decide I want cereal there’s a car crash, house fire and missing child.

Now, what is needed for cereal? Yes, that’s right, your hands.

And what is needed for typing up news? Yes, that’s right, your hands.

So I pour my cereal, pour the milk, grab the spoon to dig in and the world implodes.

In the end, I ate mushy cereal 20 minutes later. No one likes mushy cereal. I repeat, no one likes mushy cereal.

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Moral of the story, cereal is the worst idea for anyone in the newspaper business on duty at the time of consumption. Just say no — eat a Pop-tart instead.

It’s All Coming Out

Dear Blogosphere,

I’m going to be honest – it’s been a rough one as of late. I write this post begrudgingly because I feel it is my personal duty to warn anyone desiring to go into the field of print newspaper about how terrible life will be.

Yesterday, I moved back home.

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That’s right. At the ripe age of 26 after working full-time at the same newspaper for more than four years I cannot afford to live on my own.

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I cannot afford to live without roommates and, unfortunately, I’m out of those because who wants to live with a stranger or someone they know they will want to kill within the week?

… So I have two new roommates who go by the names Mom and Dad. As an aside to save whatever amount of pride remains, I heard a recent statistic that 40 percent of people my age are living at home.

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When I first realized this would be happening I cried a lot. This is not where I wanted to be in life.

At 26 I was supposed to be married, in a great job and getting ready to move into my own house or have a kid or buy a big TV.

Instead, I’m trying to figure out how to fit my whole life into a home my parents have set up with the thought that their grown children wouldn’t be needing to come back.

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I love my mom and dad. They’ve been so generous about all of this. They know this is my only option, but it bothers me that I have to do this.

It bothers me that I can’t live in a cheap apartment by myself because I just don’t have enough money for that.

So kids, the lesson today is A.) Don’t go into this field unless you have literally no pride and can suck up living with your mother and father even as an adult and B.) Routinely get rid of stuff because moving is the pits.

Changing Times

At the ripe age of 26 I’ve decided to change my ways.

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That’s right, I’m looking ahead at a different me. Well, at least the way I write.

A few nights ago I picked up a book that I have found to be a personal favorite, Rick Bragg’s Somebody Told Me. Bragg is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and an inspirational writer.

In school, we learned about his writing technique. The former St. Petersburg Times and New York Times journalist would sit with those he was interviewing and just listen. Rarely writing anything down, just soaking it all in.

My professors told me the only time his pen would move was when he was getting THAT quote. The one quote that embodied everything the person was trying to say, that spoke of their character and of their background.

When I first started working at the Daily News my editor told me to look at those writings that I really enjoy and look at what aspects I like most about them.

It’s easy for reporters to have a formula when writing: Lede, nutgraf, quote, transition, quote, fact, transition, end quote. Your story is done.

But with Bragg’s work, and now with mine, it’s a journey. The reader is transported into the world your reporting on. They can taste it, smell it and truly get to know your subjects.

So, henceforth and from here on out throughout my journalistic career, I will be the writer I’ve always wanted to be. I, hopefully, will be a writer that can inspire the next generation of reporters.

Wanna see my first attempt? Read here!

I’m a Reporter

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It’s strange to think that I’ve been in this business now going five years full time. There’s been some pretty hard days, but then again there’s been some pretty great days too.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my career. Where I want to go, what I want to do, who I want to be.

A few months back I spoke with some high school students on the value of being a reporter today. Ironic, since I’m going to graduate school with the intention of pursuing other career options.

But talking with the students made me feel like maybe this journalism thing is a higher calling, so to speak. No, I’m not a preacher or a prophet. But I am a professor of truth.

It almost makes you forget about the lousy pay, terrible hours and little to no thanks.

I guess this post is my musing. Who am I if I’m not a reporter? It’s all I’ve ever done, at least as an adult.

I think it may be all I know how to do.

After years of working in this business I no longer can have normal conversations with people, including my own parents.

My mother told me a story about a student who got into the attic and the only thing I could think about was calling the paper to tell them about a great little story we could pick up.

Even outside the office when I’m talking to people on the phone or in person I automatically have a pen and paper in my hand and am taking notes. I don’t think I can focus without doing that now.

I’m quick to not trust and quicker to look both ways when I cross the street.

I guess, five years later, I really am a journalist. No longer a newbie. No longer wading through the unknown.

I’ve become one.

Hello. My name is Angel and I’m a reporter. Nice to meet you.

 

When is Justice Served?

I’m angry.

This isn’t the type of anger that happens when someone steals a story or a mean word is said. This is the type of anger from deep within that makes me want to do something. Change something.

Alissa Couch was a 28-year-old mother of three. She had done everything she could do to keep her abusive husband away from her and her children.

But the police in her small town were unorganized and when they reported to her home they told her to file an injunction and left.

She had filed an injunction and her husband, 32-year-old Jerome Parrish-Couch, should have been arrested for just stepping foot on Alissa’s property.

Instead, he returned less than an hour after the police and stabbed Alissa multiple times. She was found partially naked and hidden under a comforter.

Read the story >>

Where were the police? Where is justice for Alissa? Why was this allowed to happen?

Alissa did everything she could do. She was a woman stuck in an abusive relationship and she found the strength to get out. To get an injunction and call the police to make sure that injunction was kept.

But a lack of ability and too much laziness cost her her life.

I spoke with the police for several days following Alissa’s murder. They told me there was no injunction. There was nothing they could do.

They could have saved her. Instead, her children will grow up without a mother and with an abusive father who will hopefully spend the rest of his life in jail.

I’m angry and I want someone to pay for this.