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October 22, 2005

Jumbled Facts - Friday's Lab Exercise

I had a really difficult time with the lab exercise today. There was just so much information thrown at us in such a short amount of time that I really didn't grasp any of it, and I know my article contains inaccurate and incomplete information. I was trying to write so fast and take in everything as well as get the names and spellings right that I missed a lot of important things, even the second time. A lot of things I wrote down were incomplete because I would move on to writing about something else before finishing the previous thought, which left me with a whole lot of nothing. Then I tried to recall some of the info, but I found myself just jumbling up the facts. Like, did the prisoners escaped on Tuesday, or if they found the abandoned van on Tuesday. I still am not sure. Also, I got really confused about Johnson being recaptured...the first time it was read I thought he was...and then the second time for some reason I thought they had only sighted him at some store. I thought I had him mixed up with the other escaped prisoners who were both caught prior to the events of Olsen and Johnson.

I think it was a good idea to give us lots of facts and details and make us decide what is most important and spit out a decent article under pressure and a time restraint. Real journalists do work under similar pressure. But, I thought not letting us use the notes as a reference throughout the exercise was unrealistic because a reporter would never be encouraged to try to report everything from memory after reading the facts twice. They would have some sort of sources in front of them. This exercise just made people panic and then probably report inaccurately, rather than illustrating that a reporter might need to think and work quickly in order to meet deadlines and keep the news current (which, I think was the purpose of the exercise.)

Posted by LorinSchumacher at October 22, 2005 12:50 AM

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