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Job Shadows Get A Taste Of Real World Journalism

February 3, 2012 by John Rook

Each year, students from Cheshire High School venture out into the "real world" to see what professionals do for their day-to-day jobs. The purpose is to expose a younger generation, still determining the course of their future careers, to the realities of any job.
In journalism, each day is unique unto itself, as the stories and events covered can change in a matter of hours. Because of that, showing students what a "normal" day at the office entails can be difficult, since there rarely is such a thing.
Yet, The Cheshire Herald has been privileged to be a part of this program for the last several years, allowing one to two students to come and follow our reporter/s around for the day to get a sense of what life at a newspaper is all about.
This year, The Herald job shadows were Miranda Scaramozza and Guadalupe Marquez. The students arrived at approximately 9:30 a.m. and departed at 1:30 p.m.
Both students confessed an interest in a certain aspect associated with journalism, and they were attentive, inquisitive, and eager to learn what makes The Cheshire Herald tick.
After their experience, we asked them to sit down and write a short account of their day spent at the newspaper. Below, you will find their responses:

Guadalupe Marquez
Class of 2013

Many people pass up job shadow opportunities simply because they think they know what they want to do with their post high school studies. Well, even if you are dead-set on a career, it is still a great opportunity to experience a job shadow that revolves around one of your interests, whether you are in high school or just want to try new things.
Today I job shadowed John Rook, the editor at The Cheshire Herald. I also spent some time with Josh Morgan, news reporter, and other staff members, learning the in's and out's of a local newspaper. This incredible opportunity allowed me to see what working for a local paper would be like. I learned how long it takes a local paper to print and how long it spends in production, which is my favorite part. Being Layout Editor for Rampage at CHS, I love the production aspect of a newspaper.
I arrived in the morning and was warmly welcomed with smiles and the familiarity of a reporter's notebook and pen. I met with my classmate who also was shadowing the same person, Miranda Scaramozza. We sat and talked about how the paper goes into production so it will be out every Thursday.
After answering a few of our questions, Rook handed us over to Morgan to go out on some interviews he had scheduled during the day. Our stops included The Cheshire Police and Fire departments and the Town Hall.
We met new people and had a great time seeing how Morgan interviews people. At all three stops, it seemed like he knew everyone there, and that is important when being a reporter; having good relationships with people. It seemed like that was the theme of the day. After finishing up all our stops we returned to the small but friendly office of The Cheshire Herald. And this is where I currently sit in the Editor's chair writing this small account of my day.
I would like to thank all the people I met today that allowed me to come into their job and allowed me to see how the real world journalism world works. especially John Rook and Josh Morgan who took us under their wing for a day.

Miranda Scaramozza
Class of 2013

Upon arriving at The Cheshire Herald one thing was clear from the beginning: relationships are everything.
Several relationships exist around this one paper: between the readers and the writers, the writers and the editors, and the writers and their sources. Providing citizens with the information they want is the ultimate job of the staff of The Cheshire Herald. Acquiring all the information on the various stories and issues in Cheshire is no easy task though. To get the stories and facts required to inform the public, journalists need to contact various sources and ask them the questions that will provide the best information for the stories. The relationship between journalist and various town officials is extremely important and ongoing.
Josh Morgan of The Cheshire Herald has several relationships with important members of the community, among these the Town Manager and Lieutenant of Public Relations of the Cheshire Police Department. While I was shadowing Josh I noticed one trend in all the relationships he had with each person he spoke to. Every person he contacts throughout the day trusts Josh explicitly. After four years at The Herald he has learned the importance of earning and keeping this trust. Without his numerous sources, the paper would have no life.
There is a fine line that journalists walk daily between which knowledge should be shared with the public and kept “off the record.” By keeping certain pieces of information, that a source may share with you in confidence, out of the article you are writing, you ultimately gain the trust of that source. Your sources trusting you ultimately will lead to better stories and more information in the long run. This balance is not always easy at the time when you are first writing an article, but the payoff in the long run is well worth it.
Information is power and the writers at The Cheshire Herald are quite arguably the most powerful individuals in this town.

We would like to thank both Miranda and Guadalupe for spending part of their day with us. Both were extremely intelligent, asked interesting questions, and were a pleasure to have "shadow" us for the day.

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