Life as a student-journalist during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Madeline Edwards

When I covered a story for SBU-TV about the coronavirus in Wuhan, China in early February, I never thought the world would turn into what it is now.

In a month’s time the coronavirus went from being my story to being everyone’s story. On March 13, we had a whole newscast dedicated to COVID-19 news. International, national and local TV news began dedicating their whole shows to the pandemic as it grew.

As a journalist, it is my instinct to be curious and check the news throughout the day. Now every time I open an app on my phone, the first thing I check is coronavirus news.

We are in a world where things are changing so fast it is nearly impossible to keep up. As a student journalist, it is a learning process.

What is the most effective way to get all the correct information out in a timely manner? How do I tell stories from home? What adjustments do I have to make to fulfill my audience’s needs?

The foundation of broadcast journalism relies on going out and talking to people. Yet I’m told to practice social distancing. I’ve had to adapt. Personally, I’ve communicated a lot by email and phone to get information.

It forced me to look past the black and white and get creative. I’m still producing packages for SBU-TV even though we don’t have a weekly broadcast. Our news station is fully digital now. It’s weird to think how one day everything is normal and the next everything changes. That’s how we learn though.

There are some things that cannot be taught in a classroom. We must figure things out ourselves. That’s what’s going to make my peers and I stronger journalists.

(View one my recent SBU-TV stories:

Madeline Edwards is a student in a Media and Democracy class at St. Bonaventure University.



Categories: Jandoli Institute, Media

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