- FUN FEATURES
On Friday, Feb. 4, two Cheshire High School students, Samantha Perri and Ryan Farrell, visited The Cheshire Herald for much of the day. The visit came as a part of the school's job shadowing program, designed to introduce students to professions in which they are interested. The hope is that, by seeing professionals in action, during regular business hours, students can determine whether they truly want to pursue such a career.
After their experience, we asked the students to tell us, in their own words, what the day was like and what they learned. Below is each of their responses:
*By Samantha Perri
Coming to The Cheshire Herald, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. The only knowledge I had of working at a newspaper is what I've previously seen on Gilmore Girls or in a few movies of a small reporter who breaks an important case and becomes a hero or a star. Prior to job shadowing, I've known my interests were on the creative side, like drawing, photography, Web design, creative writing, and music. I had no idea about the career path I wanted to take, just things I like to do. They seemed more like hobbies rather than a job or career.
Going to shadow at The Cheshire Herald, it wasn't something I really planned on actually doing, just something that related to my interest in writing and I figured that there wasn't any harm in checking it out. I received a paper that I had to fill out before shadowing, which included basic questions such as “What skills are needed to work in the job you decided to shadow?” or “What technology is used in the job you decided to shadow?” I planned on asking all of them and leaving when I finished the paper. That isn't exactly what happened.
When I first arrived at the workplace I entered a room with a woman behind a desk and a phone beside her. That I expected. From there I was directed to a room with a table and a few chairs around it. Mr. Josh Morgan, a Cheshire Herald reporter, briefly explained what was about to happen. He asked a few questions, like if we were interested in journalism. After he was finished speaking, the editor, John Rook, walked in and explained in more detailt what it was like to work at a place like the Cheshire Herald. He showed us a recent newspaper along with a first and second draft on the table. Both drafts were printed on a glossy paper that looked somewhat like photograph paper and appeared as if you could easily ruin it with oily fingerprints. He explained what it was like to work there so thoroughly, when he asked if there were any questions I had to wrack my brain to think of one that wasn't answered.
Afterwards, the news reporter that had first spoken to us gave the other student job shadowing and I a tour of where the paper is created. Looking around, even more of my questions were answered. The people were all exceptionally friendly and working hard on what they were doing. After meeting who made the newspaper, the news reporter took us out of the building and out to witness first hand what he does.
We visited the police and fire department and discussed the connection they had with the newspaper. We also took photos of things happening around Cheshire and he explained what the photos would be used for and how, often, he had to figure out what to write for himself. I didn't expect to leave the workplace and go out on the scene.
During the job shadow I realized how many of my interests were involved in working for a newspaper. The job that I thought would just be a neat workplace to visit had become more than that. It definitely made the list of careers I'd want to consider. Writing is just one of the tasks that a newspaper needs. Photography, graphic design, and knowledge of online software is also involved. The experience of job shadowing at the Cheshire Herald was definitely an experience I was glad to have had.*
*By Ryan Farrell
On February 4, I attended a job shadow at The Cheshire Herald.
Myself, Cheshire Herald reporter Josh Morgan, and fellow job shadow student Samantha Perri went many places. We went to take pictures of people on the roofs at Stop & Shop and The Stork Club, raking snow off to prevent snow from destroying the buildings, as had happened at a church off East Johnson Avenue.
We visited the Cheshire Police Department and got a nice tour of the entire station. Inside the station we saw jail cells where they keep the people who get arrested. We also saw where they keep their police vehicles and where they get 9-1-1 calls. Also, we saw the inside of the fire station – that's where we had our lunch break – and I got to see some old friends.
Finally, some of the firefighters asked if we could find a fire hydrant buried in the snow and take a picture, to show residents the need to uncover those hydrants. In case of any emergency, firefighters must be able to get to them.
What I learned is that, to be a reporter at The Cheshire Herald, you need to talk to a lot of people, if they are friendly or even if they are not. If they are not friendly, you need to listen to what the person has to say and listen for the important details, because that's what makes a good story.
We had lots of important questions and got lots of important answers. You have to be good at English, journalism, photography, and have a good attitude to work at The Cheshire Herald.*
We would like to thank Ryan and Samantha for being such attentive and interested "shadows" and we hope their experience has helped them understand the job of a journalist, and the inner workings of a newspaper, just a little bit better. Maybe we'll see them out there on "the beat" one day as well.