Yesterday was probably one of the best days I've ever experienced.
I had the opportunity of heading out on the field with Michael Williams, CBS4's political reporter, a veteran of the news biz (today is his 29th anniversary), and one of my personal heroes in the field. The man is an amazing journalist. But more on that later.
Besides being able to shadow one of my heroes, we headed out to Hialeah Park, where Governor Charlie Crist was taking a tour of the abandoned park. Earlier in the day he signed a gambling bill which hammered out a deal with the Seminole Tribe of Indians for casinos (one of the stipulations in the agreement is that Hialeah Park be revitalized to bring horse racing, and eventually slots and poker, to the historic park.
(Watch Michael's story here)
It was my first real political/photo-op experience, and it was amazing. The energy that this business brings is unreal. Here are some pictures from my BlackBerry:
I didn't really interact too much with the Governor; it was a quick visit. But just watching everything going on around me was such a great experience. And yes, his tan is really that great ;)
I learned so. much... about writing, interviewing, researching, and just journalism and the industry in general. I was so happy to find that Michael Williams is so nice and genuinely helpful; it never felt as if I was bothering him or anything, he was always available to answer any questions I had. As I taped my sign-off for my resume tape, he told me I had a good camera presence, and gave me some tips on writing news stories. Later in the day, he offered to help me get my foot in the door in some smaller markets around Florida, and mentioned that I have a "natural talent". I was floored. This is Michael Williams! I know a lot of you might not know him, but to me, he's huge. I grew up watching him on NBC6!
God has really blessed me in tremendous ways. Just getting this internship was something that I never really expected. But I'm there, and I'm constantly around some of the best talent in South Florida. I'm constantly amazed by the caliber of people that work in this business, and I've gained a newfound respect and passion for the craft of storytelling. If you watched the piece above, note Michael's vivid imagery and use of words. I know, this is the nerd in me. Don't judge.
One of the questions I posed to Michael yesterday was whether or not he suggested starting off at a small market to gain experience, or if I should find a job in a larger market such as Miami. He suggested that I start off small, so that I can make my mistakes and become a better reporter. This is something every reporter has advised me to do during my time so far, and I'm seriously considering it. Pray for me as I make these decisions in the future... I'm excited to see what God has in store.