Posted by: mindyrappoport | 06/27/2011

Diving in head first

A lot has happened since I last updated!

My first news story was printed in last week’s edition of the Boulder Weekly. When I took on the story, which was about a local organization’s struggle to get local businesses to donate their leftover food to help feed the story, I had no idea it would be so controversial. I knew from my last story about backyard compost that Boulder is a very eco-friendly community that has already instituted a “zero waste” plan, so when I first learned about Food Not Bombs, the organization that was collecting leftovers to feed the hungry and homeless, I assumed that most local businesses would donate their extra food to the cause.

Boy, was I wrong.

In separate interviews with two of FNB Boulder’s coordinators, I learned that only three local restaurants had been donating their leftovers to FNB. Caleb Phillips, one of the FNB Boulder coordinator, told me that big grocery stores, like Whole Foods and Alfalfa’s Market, were allegedly wasting quite a bit of food because they refused to donate it to the organization. When I called a local Whole Foods’ marketing director to interview her, I only got to ask her one question before she cut me off and said she was too busy to discuss the matter further.

I wasn’t surprised by her reaction; I had a feeling that would be the outcome of the interview. Even though I had written controversial stories before for the CU Independent, after hanging up with the marketing director, I still couldn’t help but smirk and think, “So this is what writing a controversial story for a print publication is like.”

On the same day that I published my news story, I attended the Online News Association‘s Camp at the Tivoli Student Center in Denver. The camp, which was open to ONA and non-ONA members alike, featured new media workshops from the likes of professionals at the Huffington Post, CNN.com, USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and, of course, the company that I hope one day offers me my dream job–Facebook.

I can’t even begin to explain to you in just one blog post how helpful ONA’s workshops were. I plan to describe the different workshops I attended and new media tools I learned about in more detail each week, so keep checking back to nab the next new tip before anyone else!

Today (Tuesday) was the day I turned in the Fourth of July edition’s cuisine story to my editor. I can’t tell you what the story is about until it’s published on Thursday, but check back then for an update with the link!

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