Tag: travel

One thing ends, another begins

In the last month, I wrapped up one project, spent three weeks traveling up the East Coast, and then started a new project.

Our summer project, “A Parent’s Quest”, is finally live.  It was a taxing last few weeks, but I’m really proud of the work we’ve come up with.  I learned a lot about education reporting and I hope that we avoided some of the pitfalls that exist in that rich subject.

I was supposed to leave the next day to visit friends in Washington, D.C., but a hurricane had other ideas.  When I finally got there on Monday, it was sunny and warm and I got to spend some time with good friends.  I then embarked upon an Amtrak odyssey up the coast, hitting Philadelphia, New York, and Boston and seeing friends along the way.  I left Chicago on a warm August afternoon.  When I finally got back, it was definitely fall.

Now in my final quarter of graduate school, we’re taking on what might be the most exciting project I’ve ever done.  We’re going to create a tablet-first app using Bonnier Corporation’s recently spun-off Mag+ platform.  It’s been an exciting week and a half so far, and I’m really looking forward to digging in.  We’re going to tackle a history themed publication with a hip, pop-culture angle.  All of this, we hope to accomplish in 12 weeks.

So it’s going to be a busy fall…

My bags are packed…

Traveling for work can be work in and of itself, but there’s nothing like showing up at a school or a parking lot with a camera and a tripod in the back of my car, ready to tell a story that I (or my editor) thought so important that I traveled across the country to tell it.

Last week, I spent four days in the southern tip of Texas, working with a colleague on a story about educating migrant laborers and their children. We probably drove around 1,000 miles all around this school district interviewing school officials, students, and one particular success story; a student who had migrated from Texas to Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan for more than 10 years during his childhood who is now slated to graduate from Michigan State University next spring.

As a journalist, I can sit at my desk and do all the research in the world, but nothing compares to actually going out and talking to the people I’m reporting about. There is something intangible about seeing these people in their natural surroundings, rather than interviewing them over the phone. And since I lean towards visual journalism, it’s necessary.

This coming week, I’ll be in Boston and Denver working on a story about school choice and how parents and educators are helping students navigate the increasingly complex world of public education. And, in addition to the mediocre hotels and (sometimes) worse food, I hope that being there, and seeing the worlds of educators, parents, and other interested parties will help me to tell a story that is both informative and interesting, in a way that reporting from my desk never could.