I’m started to look for stories and events around the Benton-Stephens neighborhood from Tuesday, and find some places that might have stories. I sent e-mails to people taking in charge of them; fortunately, I got most of their replies.
By reading the former reporter Alyssa’s memo, my partner Abi and I noticed the Columbia Community Garden is a great place to go, so we went there on Thursday. Before that, I sent e-mail to one of the gardeners Rachel Penn, who leaded us to take a tour around the garden. She is very friendly.
Some story ideas came to my mind after the tour: I can write a story about the garden’s history, how many people are involved, and an introduction of what’s in the garden. Finding a personal and get to know his/her works in the garden is always useful, from which I would know is there difficulties in maintaining the garden as well as how s/he gets over them.
Interestingly, Abi and I saw there’s a Montessori book fair near the garden, and we can absolutely do a story on that.
I also sent e-mails to Benton Elementary School and the Memorial Baptist Church asking for events information. The interim pastor of the church James Smith told me that they prepared buddy packs to send food home over the weekends to families in need; they have several projects to assist with school supplies and coats for students, and additionally, there are some music and community events that the church plans in the near future.
It is impressive that James copied the ministers in the church to remind each other in contact with me.
These experiences taught me that courtesy is very important, with which I can build good relationships and keep in contact with my sources as a journalist.