WJI — Day 10: Feeding the Beast

Dear Reader,

Well, I can’t NOT mention it.

We are staying in a hostel, and while 99.9 percent of all the people we’ve been involuntarily bunking with have been genial, well-mannered people, there’s always an exception. Around 3 a.m. last night, we found ours, in the manner of a none-too sober guy vociferously reporting his thoughts to his bunkmates.

After Evan Wilt, who is now our class hero, asked them for silence, we returned to our restful slumber.

I had to say it, because that was pretty much the low point of the day. But without a low, there can’t be a high!

Our learning segment in the morning was very interesting. Despite the fact that I was plagued with emails and trying to sort out logistics with The Record, I managed to glean important parts from the lesson which was on cars.

No wait, sorry — CAR. Computer Assisted Reporting. In other words, how to use the Internet to help you report.

I’m not going to question where Mr. Pitts found all those websites — some information that he taught us to find I thought should sometimes stay hidden — but those websites will without a doubt help me muckrake.

For example, Mr. Pitts showed us how to run background checks on anyone we could get the name of.* Creepy, maybe, but helpful.

After that, we returned to the stories we were working on — mine was on the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooter, James Holmes’ case. It’s a really intriguing case. Unfortunately, I was stuck in an unfortunately timed deadline and couldn’t report too much, experiencing for the first time what reporters call the 24-hour news cycle, or “feeding the beast.” 

It was important that I experienced this, because I learned that I do not like feeding the beast. I do not like the beast at all. I’ve — hastily — formed the opinion that only a certain few websites should really be pumping out the dozens of stories that newsrooms feel so compelled to write, regardless of the day or hour. If all the news sources are saying the same thing, then what’s the point of repeating it again into the depths of the Web? But I understand it’s necessary and that World’s readers are looking for a specific angle on world events. I respect that.

Rant aside, I toured Asheville again in the afternoon, and decided upon the White Duck Taco Shop for dinner — once I learn how to write food reviews, I’ll tell you all about it. But for now, a picture will need to suffice:

That, ladies and gents, is a fish taco. Nothing special. Except for how amazing it was.
That, ladies and gents, is a fish taco. Nothing special. Except for how amazing it was.

*Don’t get overzealous on this site: It’ll ask you for money once you dig far enough. 

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