Home » Uncategorized » The faithful day when your entire story falls apart

The faithful day when your entire story falls apart

As a journalist, there is never any guarantee that your story will remain the same from the time you think of it to when it actually hits the presses. So many things can alter a story from new information being released, a more expert source being discovered, or the common instance when a source does not get back to you at all.

I know I’ve dedicated more than one post to this situation, but I keep running into different aspects. Since I’ve written for a few newspapers, I am somewhat used to unresponsiveness from adults. When it is my piers, or even classmates, however, is when it truly becomes annoying.

This week, I had a fantastic source for a profile who just happened to be a fellow Appalachian State student. I was in contact with this student over the weekend, and she was extremely excited about having a story done about her. Come Tuesday when I attempted to make definite plans for the in-person interview, I received no response.

I sent her multiple messages asking to reschedule since it was past the initial time slot I had asked her about to no avail. It came to a point today where I had to set a deadline for her to get back to me, which she ended up not meeting, and I had to completely change my story.

Thankfully, I had a backup in mind just in case something like this would happen. And even though this story is just as good as my initial idea, it infuriates me to no end when people do not respond with no explanation, especially when you can see that they have seen your messages and still do not respond. I do not believe that people realize that as a journalist, I am on a deadline, and I cannot sit around and wait for a source to be ready to talk with me.

If one story does not work out, I have no choice to move on to the next one. In a perfect world, this would only happen in a classroom setting, yet I know that this is a regular part of a professional journalist’s job. Therefore, it’s probably a good thing that I know how to combat this problem now rather than waiting until I’m getting more than just a grade on a story.

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3 Comments

  1. I can relate to this situation! I’ve been freaking out all week because my sources haven’t gotten back to me. Its taught me to ALWAYS have a backup plan, even if your story is 99 percent ready to put together. You never know what’s going to happen with people, and they don’t really care about us and our stories (which is depressing really). We’re learning quickly that a journalist’s job is much harder than anyone expects it to be. Relying on people for sources has proven to be frustrating and rewarding all at the same time.

  2. hoangkv says:

    I can completely sympathize with having the fear of losing your story in an instant. I remember sending out several emails, and getting no replies. However, I couldn’t and wouldn’t let myself go on without a story. Every since this class has started, I feel that the power of a phone call has been severely ignored. After getting no responses with my emails, I simply started calling new sources until I could scavenge a story.

    I hope that we will not have to go through those same troubles again, but I know that we will.

  3. clhall says:

    Entries for Weeks 3 to 7: 8/10

    Remember that you should be posting twice per week. From Week 3 to Week 7, you should have had 10 entries.

    Not sure about blog requirement? See Syllabus, Appendix F. They are also posted IN THE LINK TO COURSE BLOGS AT AsULEARN.

    Provide links to articles or ideas that connect to the ideas WITHIN your posts. (Choose a word in the post as the link.) Remember three to four links is a REQUIREMENT. That means that you should think about is relating in news stories, surveys, reports, multimedia to the ideas in your blog posts. (-5)

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