When we first began covering our neighborhood on Ridge Avenue, we were just doing it to get our grade and get out, but as we spent more time there and met more people we felt more like real reporters. It was like we were actually doing something to help these people in this poor area, even if most of them didn’t like us and often gave us a hard time about being there.
We learned the most about our neighborhood by just being in it and aimlessly walking around. The older people were usually the most helpful, since many of them were born and raised there and saw the neighborhood go down hill firsthand. Several of them said how it was once a nice place to live and how now they're scared to even go outside.
Throughout the entire six-week period it was quite clear that most of the locals in the neighborhood did not want us in their neighborhood. It was obvious to them that we were outsiders, and when we’re walking around with cameras, exposing the poor condition in which many of them live, they have good reason to not want us there. At first we didn’t really want anything to do with the area or anyone who lived there, but over time it became fun to learn about places, especially businesses, in the area.
I think the experience will help, just because it makes us more numb to certain things that may have stirred us up in the past. It is important for reporters to keep their cool, especially when in difficult and uncomfortable situations. Being thrown into such a deprived area helps us to not feel as awkward the next time we’re forced to report in a similar place.
-Group 11 Wrapping It Up