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Crime reporting under pressure

A few weeks ago in my Newswriting course, the students participated in a lab workshop designed to give us a taste of the pressure and time constraints that journalists must work under everyday.

During the lab, our professor read facts about a crime story from a piece of paper while showing it to us on an overhead projector, took it away and gave us a few minutes to write preliminary articles, and then went through the facts one more time so we could pick up any important ones that we missed.

As I later discussed with my professor after class one day, the exercise was not entirely realistic or fair, because journalists usually have at least a few hours or a full day to write a news article, whereas we only had about a half hour. Nonetheless, I found it to be useful for testing my ability to work under extreme pressure, in a bit of a hectic atmosphere, in a situation I couldn't really prepare for ahead of time.

Newswriting has been the most important class in my New Media Journalism curriculum thus far here at Seton Hill University, and I suspect that what I have learned from the class will always stick with me in my career.

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