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That old, familiar way

September 13, 2008

I feel reinvigorated.

After two full years as a music reporter with the Collegian, I was compelled due to a new policy to take a new position this semester: investigative reporter. I was resistant at first, but I’ve since decided it’s a welcome change. However, while I was writing at least three and as many as five articles per week last semester, I’m now three full weeks into the fall semester without a byline.

On top of that, simply being as busy as I’ve been has prevented me from publishing anything with any of the outlets for which I freelanced earlier in the summer. Basically, it’s been over two months since I’ve had anything published on any sort of accessible level.

That changes on Monday.

On Thursday, a borough-wide ban on smoking went into effect in State College (which you can read about here in a great article by my colleague Matthew Spolar). Many of the bars fall into loopholes that allow them to continue to permit smoking while no fewer than a half dozen others put their own bans into effect weeks or even months ago to help ease the transition. In reality, only four establishments enacted the ban this past week, but I was asked to write a reaction story anyway (one which will be published on Monday and soon after linked in this blog).

For those who don’t know, a reaction story is a common site in newspapers, coming soon after something big happens, usually sooner than any of its effects can be noticed and with a small enough sample size that no possible trend can be gleaned. So you talk to people on both sides of the coin and try to frame the story so that not one of them gets any special credence given to his argument.

That’s basically how this story went: a few people saying they haven’t noticed a change yet and a few saying they expect changes to come.

But that’s not the point.

The point is: I actually did some legit journalism for the first time in months. After churning stuff out on an almost daily basis for the duration of last semester, I was burnt out by the end, but after some time away, I’ve been champing at the bit, and now that I’m back in the game, I feel reinvigorated on all journalistic fronts, one of which being, of course, this book.

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