Tuesday, June 23, 2009
One thing I learned in one of my photography classes was: don’t pack up until you’ve left. And I think, for reporting’s sake, another thing I would add to that is stay as long as you can. But don’t outstay your welcome – that’s how you burn bridges and alienate people. In many instances, my partner and I have learned that if the person you’re talking to wants to keep talking, let them. You never know what you’ll learn, even if it’s not one hundred percent appropriate for the story you’re working on, it might definitely come up later.
For example, while working on this final project, we went to Good Shepherd to speak with Kyle Morris, the coordinator of the Juvenile Offender Diverson Program. While there we did our usual work – set up the lights, ask the questions, press the button to record the interview. And then we all just got to casually talking, and discovered that Mr. Morris knows a group of people trying to get a Philadelphia based women’s online mag started. And they might be interested in someone to help with Web design. So a potential internship/adventure was born.
While working on our PAL story, Officer Wells mentioned she knew someone in the 35th Police District, Barbara Blackford. Had we not been introduced to Barbara, we would have missed some pieces of the story that have become sort of integral to our projects. After a very long day for Officer Blackford, she still sat down in her office and spoke to use extensively. About a lot of things, really. Some police related, some not. But had she not welcomed us back in to the office, we wouldn’t have heard about the plaque dedication of Police Officer Louis Vasger who was shot and killed in 1973. We learned that the city is dedicating plaques to all officers who have fallen in the line of duty, Officer Vasger’s being the 68th in total, and the fifth for 2009.
This semester I think I’ve learned a bit about the nature of people. Given the right circumstances any of them will talk your ear off. You should never pack up your stuff until you’ve basically walked out the door – you don’t want to miss a potential moment. And sometimes, in the end, it’s about people helping people – in whatever way you can.
By Wendy Borst and Justin Finneran, Group 3, Olney-Logan
Good Shepherd image courtesy of phillymediators.org
Posted by Wendy Borst at 8:06 AM