Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Crossed the finish line!


I whipped up two COMMS 420 stories in one day. It's quite an achievement, but now my fatigue-induced nausea and ache is setting in. It was worth it though.

First, I put the finishing touches on a story about the BYU athletics budget on Tuesday. I interviewed Dallan Moody, the athletic director over finances, like two weeks ago. But I procrastinated with other interviews and stuff, without any real good reason. My professor, after seeing my rough draft with only the Moody interview, suggested writing the story as two parts. So I worked on dividing it up on Friday, and then planned on doing the rest of my interviews Monday.

It's a good thing, too, because Monday my second 420 story became suddenly urgent.

Professor Hughes gave me the assignment to write a story about former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.'s presidential prospects. Some Huntsman buzz came up after a Newsweek interview hit newsstands earlier this month, written by none other than McKay Coppins, a friend and a BYU grad. Pretty cool for McKay, I hope I follow those same footsteps somehow.

Anyway, I was thinking of writing just a general story on the buzz. But then on Monday, the news broke that Huntsman had submitted his resignation to the White House and would be leaving his ambassador post. Which is a pretty obvious sign that he's up to something.

In The Daily Universe front page meeting, someone asked if a 321 reporter could do a story on the Huntsman developments real quickly. I piped up and said I was going to do one for 420, but that it would probably be two or three days before I could finish it. But I realized that if I was really going to do this story, to do it quick enough after Huntsman's breaking news for it to be relevant, I would have to do it the next day.

I freaked out. But, Monday night I called McKay and he graciously gave me 15 minutes of his time on the day that he was "vindicated" (his word). That gave me a good start, and then the next morning I finished my last interview for the BYU athletics budget story and then rushed to find some more interviews for the Huntsman story. I talked to the president of the BYU College Republicans, the president of the BYU Democrats, a political science professor and two students from the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy.

And I finished it that afternoon! I was 45 minutes late to my 4 p.m. class, but other than that it was pretty smooth.

Anyway, that's the story behind my story.

Here it is!

Huntsman to throw hat into ring?

The original story was 58 inches long! I decided to take out some secondary quotes for a shorter version (which was still 40 inches). Our fearless leader Natalie Crofts was kind enough to use both versions, the short one for the newspaper and the long one for the website.

(My BYU athletics budget story will be published sometime later.)

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